Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
FOLLOWING a fine performance at this year’s Old Mutual Vumba Mountain Run half marathon at the weekend, Caroline Mhandu has set her eyes on the Old Mutual Soweto marathon, in South Africa where she will compete in the 21km race on Sunday.
The event is made up of the 42km, which is the main event, 21km and 10km races.
Mhandu finished second behind Rudo Mhonderwa in the Vumba half marathon and is seeking for another positive result having had a decent season.
She is among several local athletes that entered for the event including Betha Chikanga, Anna Bundu and Winfred Mutiro.
Mhandu believes after the Vumba Mountain Run, she is in a good position to make an impression at the Soweto marathon where she will be making her maiden appearance.
“It’s a great advantage to me because it (Vumba Mountain Run) has helped me with the nerves and I have gained a lot of experience on how to go up and down the mountain. And I know how to distribute my power.
“My wish is to make the top 10. I am looking forward to a good race. This is my first time to compete at the Soweto marathon,” said Mhandu.
Some of her major highlights this year include the Tanganda half marathon in which she came out tops, Old Mutual Westgate half marathon where she was second as well as the POSB 15km race where she claimed the title.
She also competed in several 10km races including the FNB Joburg 10km CityRun and FNB Durban 10km.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services athlete said she would want to maintain the momentum going into Sunday’s race.
“After Vumba marathon I took a rest for a few days and I feel good and ready for the race. I am hoping to maintain the momentum and I hope I am going to do well again. Soweto is also a tough race, it’s a mountain race.
“I want to showcase my talent in athletics…It is my passion to run,” said Mhandu.
Chikanga, who came third at the Vumba Mountain Run will also be among the participants as she looks at concluding her season on a high note.
Bundu is also vying for the half marathon while Mutiro will be seeking for to leave a mark in the men’s 42km.
Seasoned long distance runner Collen Makaza, who works with most of the athletes said the limelight will be on Mhandu.
“She is a hard worker, she can fight and the terrain in South Africa is up and down and she is good in such terrains. So on Sunday I will be banking on her,” said Makaza.