Katlehong Athletics Club president and runner, Isaac Mabula has retired from participating in the Comrades Marathon this year.
This after the lanky Mabula decided to call a quit in the long-distanced running challenge after marvelously completing his 30th Comrades Marathon held in Pietermaritzburg in June this season.
His performance is equal to the record one of the renowned and respected athlete Bruce Fordyce who also retired after 30 years from Comrades Marathon..
Mabula started his running career in 1980 under Germiston Callies and two years later he was part of the four members that established Katlehong Athletics Club.
From 1990 his medals tally at Comrades Marathon is 4 Silver medals, 2 Bill Rowen medals, 21 bronze Medals and 3 Victor Clubham medals.
Mabula started running during the apartheid days, where racial segregation was status quo. They would be stopped in town while doing a long run and asked what are they doing in the suburbs before 5:00am .
Then black people were not allowed to be there (area) before that time. Still that didn’t stop Mabula and his club from pursuing something that they love so much.
In the 90s, there were lots of political violence in Katlehong, Isaac and other runners were forced to take their training session to somewhere else to ensure they pursue their dreams of producing good athletes.
“In fact, talking to Isaac Mabula about running during apartheid days and violence in the 90s will humble you and make you appreciate the freedom we enjoying right now of running anywhere else in the country.
“ At that time stories about black runners were not allowed in shower areas at certain race while their money was accepted by race organizers and these are some of the painful experience during the dark era,” said KAC chairperson Hloni Motloung.
“Now, in celebrating and honoring the great strides that Isaac Mabula has achieved in his running career, Mommy Wellness Day Spa (Brackenhurst) has rewarded him with a complimentary Day Spa Treatment.
“Mabula has also guided over 300 novice runner to their first ever comrades finish as he started running as a pace setters on race such as Soweto Marathon, Loskop Marathon, Kosmos 3 in 1, Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon. The man also has a dream of running the London Marathon in 2020.
“Finally, the club has decided to honour him (Mabula) with a 10km Road Race from 19 July 2020 namely Isaac Mabula 10km Challenge which will be hosted at Hunstersfield Stadium, Katlehong. This is because the club wants to inspire young people from Katlehong to take up the interest in sport and see Isaac achievement as motivation to them,” added Motloung
Ms Hope Thebe, owner and MD of Mommy Wellness Day Spa stated that: “The story of Isaac Mabula touched me [us] significantly as he is an epitome of what we believe in. Running 30 Comrades consistently at his age, is quite remarkable and inspiring. We are happy to be a part of his journey”.
“We believe in total relaxation of our bodies and promoting holistic Health and Wellness. We believe that when we are healthier and well, we live longer and are able to be more effective in carrying out our life purpose.
“Our bodies are the vehicle through which we carry out this purpose; the more well they are, the more productive we become,’’ concluded Thebe.
Katlehong Athletics Club trains every Tuesday and Thursday at Huntersfield Stadium from 17:00.