Sani Stagger Marathon
Mthembu puts Sani Stagger high on priority list
Himeville - Reigning up and down Comrades Marathon champion Bongmusa
Mthembu has singled out the upcoming Sani Stagger as a vital part of his
build up to the 2019 Comrades Marathon when he tackles the iconic Sani
Pass on Saturday, 24 November.
Mthembu is a past winner of the Sani Stagger, but had to settle for
second place last year, however he says he is starting to get into the
groove of his training far earlier this year than he has in the past.
"With such a short break between the Two Oceans and the Comrades this
year we have already started training," the Arthur Ford athlete said.
"That means that this year's Stagger is going to be a different race
because I am at a different stage of my training than I have been in the
"There are also going to be some really tough runners there this year,
but you want good competition at tough races.
"The Stagger is one of the toughest marathons in KZN, but I am looking
forward to giving it another go this year!"
The Sani Stagger takes the runners from the base of the pass to the
summit and back along gravel roads which can make the going tough.
Mthembu understands the intricacies of the race and has a sound race
"I like to take it easy on the way up the pass because there are guys
that hurt themselves going up and then have nothing left for the down
"I also just try and stick with the guys at the front for the first six
or so kilometres on the way down then I try and up the pace.
"Running on such a rough surface can also catch guys out," he explained.
This year's Sani Stagger full and half marathons are both fully
subscribed. This has a two-fold impact on the event Mthembu believes.
"Having more runners taking part should mean that the competition is
going to be better and the Stagger is becoming a race that many top
runner want to run because of the altitude.
"Also the race brings people into this area and the race promotes the
community and helps the local people - it grows the community," he
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Double defending Comrades
Marathon champion Bongmusa Mthembu will be hoping to go one better than
the second he got in 2017 at the 2018 Sani Stagger on Saturday, 24
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