Khajoane prepares for marathon debut



MASERU – After appearing second at the women’s SA (South Africa) Run4 Cancer 32km race in Polokwane, Limpopo last week, ’Mamosebetsi Khajoane revealed to Public Eye that she was preparing for her marathon debut in three months.

Khajoane, 30, clocked in 2:11:41 at the race. She finished behind Zimbabwe’s Annie Charisa, who won the race in 2:11:41, and in front of Kenya’s Rosaline Isaiah, who crossed the finish line in 2:15:23. Khajoane, who had never run a full marathon before, said she’s targeting the FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon to be held in Botswana on February 24 next year.

“As you know, all along I used to run 10km and 21.1km. I ran the Limpopo race (last week’s SA Run4 Cancer 32km) in preparation for my marathon debut,” said Khajoane in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday.

 “I will start competing in marathons starting next year with the Kazungula Bridge Marathon in Botswana in February.”

Khajoane, who has already started a marathon programme in preparation for the Kazungula Bridge Marathon, competed in the SA Run4 Cancer 32km for the first time. 

This after she came in seventh in the N12 Half Marathon in Potchefstroom, South Africa, a week before. The race only paid the top five finishers. “I was not fine. Maybe it was because when you prepare for a marathon, you must put on more endurance than speed,” Khajoane said. She also came in second in the Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) Half Marathon, which was held in Francistown on March 28. 

She did her personal best time twice in different distances this year: 1:17:19 in the Harry Gwala District Half Marathon and 36:31 in the ABSA Run Your City 10km on May 14 and July 19, respectively, both in Durban, South Africa.

“In fact, I have to say that this year I have managed to put up a very good performance, and I think that’s the result of having a good coach,” she said. Khajoane is currently under the guidance of a South African coach, Elisha Kwenamore.  “My coach was Kokolia Mokonyana for the 10km and 21.1km events, but currently I am using Kwenamore’s programme in preparation for marathons,” she said.

She further revealed that she decided to compete in full marathons after realising that she was not attracting sponsors when she competed in the shorter races. “I have decided to run marathons because I want to attract sponsors.

“I have realised that it is not easy to get sponsorships when you run 10km or 21.1 races,” she said. Khajoane further said: “In most cases, sponsors focus on athletes who run big races (like marathons), and that makes it hard for athletes who run short distances even if they would like to try long-distance events. “So I have realised that there is a high chance of acquiring sponsorships when one is competing in 42.2 km, and when you have sponsorship, you don’t worry a lot about race registration, accommodation, transport, and other things.”

Khajoane said another reason why she decided to start competing in full marathons (42.2km) was because of the good prizes in long-distance competitions compared to other races. “There are mostly better prizes in marathons than there are in other distances, and that’s one of the reasons why I decided to shift into running full marathons.”

Khajoane’s target is to start running two marathons each year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *