By Nomfundo Xulu-Lentsoane

  • Mr Mokgotsi ‘Kala’ Kalaeamodimo completed the 2024 Comrades Marathon in 9h48m11s, significantly improving his previous year’s time of 10h38m.
  • Backed by fellow runners and the Department of Social Development, Kala was inspired by the community’s support and his personal mantra, “Invest in Your Health.”
  • Facing tough sections of the marathon, such as Inchanga and Polly Shortts, Kala’s determination and the patronage of the KwaZulu-Natal community drove him to succeed and continue his running journey.

When Mr Mokgotsi ‘Kala’ Kalaeamodimo joined the Comrades Marathon start line at 5:30 am on Sunday, 9 June 2024, with the theme song “Chariots of Fire” blaring from various speakers, he felt confident. Motivated by fellow runners’ conversations and the support from the Department of Social Development (both national and local), which came out in full force to cheer him and his colleagues, Kala was ready.

“I felt great despite waking up at 1 am to prepare. My mantra is: ‘Invest in Your Health. The Comrades Marathon is just a cherry on top,'” said the 59-year-old after finishing the race in 9h48m11s. Last year, he completed the race in 10h38m and aimed to beat his own record time this year. Kala was not competing with the likes of Piet Wiersma, Dan Moselekwa, or Degefa Lafebo, who claimed the top three spots in the men’s race. His run was for himself and his health, both physically and mentally.

“Inchanga and Polly Shortts, which are the 45km and 80km points respectively, were the most difficult. The support from the KwaZulu-Natal community kept me going. I have never seen such patronage anywhere else,” he said, adding that he has 364 days until his next Comrades Marathon.

Giving up is not an option for Kala. He believes in continuing to run and encouraging others to follow suit.

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