Some runners train for years for the gruelling race that demands commitment, discipline and endurance from those who take it on.
This year’s race, run on 1 June, was no different for the over 14 000 athletes who participated. But one team stood out – the Nedbank Running Club whose athletes were some of the top runners on the day.
We chat to the national manager of the Nedbank Running Club, Nick Bester, about the lessons we can can learn from these runners.
He says their winning philosophy is very simple and it comes down to the commitment the athletes invest in the sport. They dedicate their time and they are strictly disciplined about their training.
The former Comrades marathon-winner says the most important lesson people can learn from runners is that winning has nothing to do with luck, it’s all about hard work and determination.
If there is anything he has learnt from working with athletes over the years is that they put all their efforts and energy into their work.
“The athletes commit themselves and as soon as I see that they have the heart and mind to run, I then commit myself to helping that athlete. Many athletes have the talent, but they don’t have the passion,” he says, adding that it’s not always about being the best. When you have the will to succeed, you will eventually become the best.
As a manager Bester doesn’t have to push the athletes, as they already have the fighting spirit and he says this is something that most people can apply in their daily lives as well.
“Talent alone is not enough – it’s very important to be dedicated in whatever you do and keep fighting for it,” Bester says.
The Nedbank Running Club was established in 2008 with the aim of developing athletes. They have 10 running and three development clubs around the country.
With sport development being a major stumbling block for most athletes in the country and especially for those from disadvantaged communities, clubs such as these are vital as they are able to get sponsorship for the athletes. The clubs also nurture young talent.
Bester says it is commendable that despite all the challenges that many athletes face, they are still able to rise above it all to keep pushing to be the best.