Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release
Prime staff aiming high at 2016
Durban – Despite having a former Comrades Marathon winner and two
other top ten hopefuls in their training ranks, a lot of the
Prime Human Performance Institute’s focus will be on the three
staff members that will be tackling one of the most challenging
ultra-marathons when they start in Pietermaritzburg heading for
Durban this Sunday, 29 May.
Along with former Comrades winner Bongmusa Mthembu and top ten
hopefuls Skumbuzo Dlamini and Siphiwe Ndlela, Director of the
Prime HPI Dennis Jackson as well as Prime physiotherapist Ash
Hanson and Elite Athlete Development Programme Administrator
Ayanda Dlungwane will be amongst the 20 000 strong field this
weekend and the ‘office’ rivalry is starting to come to the fore
with just a few days until the race.
“The smart money has got to be on Ash – the ladies always seem
tougher than us!” Jackson mentioned. “Ayanda is doing his first
Comrades and has only done about two months training, so he is
going to be interesting to watch!
“Either way though, we are going to be around Hillcrest or Kloof
when Bongmusa, Skumbuzo and Siphwe cross the finish line!” he
Finishing the near-90 kilometre journey at any pace is a feat in
itself however Jackson quipped that it was going to be a lot
tougher for the staff than the athletes as the office-bound
members have to spend an extra three hours on their feet during
“I gave my humble advice to the top guys when I told them that it
may be impressive to run close to six hours but the real test is
when you have to run longer, close to 9 hours.
“Like Bruce Fordyce said when asked about what to eat on the run
‘It didn’t really bother me because I was always finished before
“I am going to be doing my eighth this year with Ash also taking
part in her first, and aiming for a sub-nine hour finish, whilst
Ayanda will be taking on his first after he qualified with a
three hour 40 minute marathon!” Jackson added.
With just a couple of days to go until the big day, the training
is done and now it is a case of waiting for the start gun.
Jackson, who is heading towards the magic green number of ten
Comrades finishes, understands just how important it is to stay
healthy in these next few days.
“I don’t have any superstitions or anything like that, my
approach is a simple one from here on in – avoid anyone who
sneezes!” a cautious Jackson confessed.
Keeping an eye on the guys at the front of the race is not the
most important thing for Jackson, getting to the finish is.
He will however have his ear close to the ground when he is out
on the route while also looking to savour the moment of setting
foot in Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban.
“We always hear via the grapevine what is happening at the front,
who wins the race and what their times are but I will be
specifically looking out for our Elite Athlete Development
Programme Athletes to see how their races went!
“No matter how my run has gone, as soon as I set foot on the
grass inside Kingsmead or in Maritzburg it just feels like you
are floating towards the finish line!” he concluded.
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From Left: Prime HPI
Director Dennis Jackson, Comrades top ten hopeful Siphiwe Ndlela,
Prime physiotherapist Ash Hanson, Comrades top ten hopeful
Skumbuzo Dlamini, Ayanda Dlungwane Elite Athlete Development
Programme Administrator are all ready to take on the 2016
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