Budd: Women cope better!

2014-05-30 12:42
Zola Budd (Gallo Images)
Durban - South African running legend Zola Budd believes women are physically and mentally better equipped to cope in ultra-marathons than men.

The 48-year old who competed at the 1994 Olympic games for Great Britain and in 1992 for South Africa in the women’s 3000 metres, will be attempting her second 89 km Comrades Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday.

“I believe women perform better than men over longer distances. I don’t know if it has something to do with a woman’s ability to cope better with pain, but I do know that women have a higher body fat percentage than men. They have more energy in reserve and that is perhaps why they look in better shape when they cross the finish line at ultra-distance events like the Comrades marathon,’’ said Budd.

Since 2008 Budd has been living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with her husband Michael, her 18 year-old daughter Lisa and 16-year old twins Michael and Azelle.

Despite all her running achievements Budd says she decided to run the Comrades because in South Africa you are not regarded as a runner until you have done Comrades.

“If I tell people that I am a runner from South Africa, the first thing they ask me is if I have ever done the Comrades. I was always asked that question why I have never done Comrades and I always answered by saying that I am not ready for it yet. That is why I decided to eventually do it,” she explained.

The former world record holder in the women’s 5000 metres and World Cross Country champion, had to train on her own in South Carolina.

She ran her first Comrades in 2012 with nine times Comrades winner Bruce Fordyce from start to finish.

Fordyce completed his 30th Comrades last year. Both Fordyce and Budd aimed for silver medals (sub 7 hours and 30 minutes) in 2012, but they ended up crossing the line in just over 8 hours.

“It was really tough for both of us in the last part of that race - especially on the downs - so we decided to adjust our goal and just go for the finish. Last year I did not run because I had the flu, but this year my preparation has gone really well. I ran Two Oceans in 4:07:58 earlier this year, which was an improvement of my previous time of 4:29. I have obviously picked up a lot of experience from my previous Comrades down run and will be going for sub 8 hours. Anything better will be a bonus,” she added.

Read more on:    comrades marathon  |  zola budd  |  athletics

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