‘Excited, nervous, anxious and quietly confident’

Thiru Chetty

Thiru Chetty

Published Jun 7, 2024


Thiru Chetty of Athlone Park in eManzimtoti will participate in his first Comrades Marathon on June 9.

The 33-year-old said his decision to run this year was inspired by wanting to conquer the fear of such a big event.

“I’ve grown up waking up and watching the Comrades Marathon on TV with my parents and two siblings, so to have the opportunity to take part in the ‘ultimate human race’ is a dream come true,” said Chetty, who will be running for Amanzimtoti Athletic Club.

“I come from a family of uncles, who have always pushed us to play sports and be active. This is probably my main driver to compete. These days we tend to get so distracted by our daily commitments that we forget about our health,” said Chetty, who manages a logistics company. He also manages canteens at Kingsway High School and Amanzimtoti Primary.

For his training, Chetty said: “I either run in the mornings with a local group called the Happy Morning Runners, or in the evening if I’ve had a late night at work. We do long runs with the Toti Athletics Club and other KZN athletic races on Sundays. We cover between 50km and 100km a week and are increasing the mileage in the build-up to the big day.”

He said he got into long distance running during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was becoming unfit and I needed to get out there. I previously participated in fun runs at Kamalinee Primary where my love for running started,” said Chetty.

Chetty ran his first Two Oceans Marathon earlier this month, a 56km ultra-marathon in Cape Town. He said this made him feel more confident as he completed the race in 6 hours and 41 minutes.

He said he competed in other marathons but nothing that scared him as much as the Comrades Marathon did.

“It can be pretty scary being a first-time Comrades runner amid the older, more experienced runners, but the local running members have been supportive and willing to share helpful tips. Runners are like that. They’re always willing to assist and lend a hand. I am excited, nervous, anxious, and quietly confident.

“As I head into the race, I will be changing my diet to include more fruit and vegetables, definitely having more protein, and paying more attention to multivitamins, magnesium and vitamin D.”

Chetty added: “I’d like to inspire as many people as possible to go out and start running the roads of the community and improve their health and fitness. The journey starts with 1km of walking/jogging, and it can build up at your own pace. It’s probably easier to make time for your health now rather than when it’s too late.”