Tongaat runner completes marathon as best local finisher, qualifies for Comrades

Elston Naicker

Elston Naicker

Published Apr 4, 2024


Elston Naicker, from Tongaat, recently participated in the Dolphin Coast Marathon and completed the race as the best local finisher.

He completed the 42.2km race in 2:35.53 and secured a spot in this year's Comrades Marathon with an A seeding qualification.

“I ran at an average of 3 minutes and 4 seconds per kilometer to achieve this finish,” said Naicker, 32, a machine operator at Tongaat Hulett.

He began his running career in 2019.

"I wasn’t always into running. While growing up, I loved playing soccer but as you get older, it gets more difficult to play the way we used to, so a few years ago I got into running and now I’m hooked on it," added Naicker.

He said he did not run the race to win but to prepare for the Comrades Marathon.

“My coach instructed me to not run the race to finish first but to run at a relaxed pace, so I could prepare for the Comrades. I have participated in the Comrades before, finishing in 6 hours and 27 minutes in 2022, and 6 hours and 3 minutes last year. This year, I want to do better,” said Naicker.

He said his training with his coach, David Ashworth, was also intense.

“Training for the Comrades is intense. I have to run at least 150 to 200km a week and on top of that, I have a seven day job which makes it more difficult.

“I believe with sports like running, you must have discipline if you want to be successful. Anyone can have motivation but sometimes you lose that motivation, so the most important aspect to succeed is discipline."

The 87km Comrades Marathon will be run on Sunday, June 9, from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.