Limpopo premier pays visit to oldest person to complete Comrades Marathon

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Limpopo premier Stanley Mathabatha had visited an 81-year-old man, who broke the record as the oldest person to complete the Comrades Marathon.

Premier Mathabatha visited Johannes Mosehla at his home in Ga-Mogashoa village, outside Jane Furse, in Limpopo.

Mosehla made history when he broke the record set by the legendary runner, Wally Hayward, in the 1989 Comrades Marathon. Mosehla was also included in the Comrades Marathon Green Number Club Roll of Honour, after completing ten races.

Premier Stanley Mathabatha was accompanied by officials from Sekhukhune district municipality, Makhuduthamaga municipality and Limpopo Sport Department authorities.

Mosehla from Ga-Mogashoa, outside Jane Furse, broke the 34-year record by completing the 87.7 km race in 9h26min10sec.

The previous record holder Wally Hayward ran 9 hours 44 minutes at the age of 80.

Mosehla received gifts from the Department of Sport in Limpopo and SA Run for Cancer representatives, to appreciate his achievement. Mathabatha says the provincial government is yet to honour Mosehla soon.

“When we heard about him via the media, remember I’m a fan of comrades marathon I watch Comrades Marathon almost every year. When I heard that this person, the oldest person, our own Wally Hayward is coming from this province, Limpopo, in the name of Johannes Mosehla, I became interested. So I then said, it can’t happen that you’ve got somebody so senior, somebody so paramount, somebody who achieved the kind of achievements that he achieved in your own backyard, but you don’t know that person.”

Mosehla says he is honoured to receive a courtesy visit from Premier Mathabatha and his delegates. He says he has been training on a daily basis in order to achieve this record. He says he started running in 1963 and represented his province in 1971.

Mosehla says his first Comrades Marathon was in 2005. He ran his tenth race this year.

“I’m very happy and I am proud that I have managed to achieve this. I have been preparing myself for years and finally, I have achieved this, through the grace of God. I am committed to continuing with the Comrades Marathon next year to break my own record because I was trying to break other people’s records before.”

Mosehla’s wife, Virginia, and his son Tebogo have been supportive. They say that Mosehla has always been passionate about sports.

“I am very happy, we support him each and every time. He use to wake up in the middle of the night and he was scared that someone might attack him along the way but we support him… We are quite proud of our dad he has been running for many many years our fondest memories, actually, of just him running the whole time. And we are quite confident that the record he had broken is a motivation to many, many other people. He would be able to break it again for the next five, six years so we should look forward to going into comrades. Just for the record to be repeatedly broken. We’re very proud of him.”

Mosehla is calling on all South Africans to participate in various sports, to avoid chronic illnesses. He has promised to run again in the Comrades Marathon next year.