South African Athletics

Buud could win Comrades

2016-05-05 10:58
Jonas Buud (Supplied)

Cape Town - Not even a virus will stop the 100km world champion, Jonas Buud, from racing for gold at the Comrades on Sunday, May 29.

Buud, who will be racing in the colours of the Nedbank Dream Team, was hoping to become the first Swedish athlete to win Comrades but, unfortunately for him, he caught a cold in March.

“It took me almost four weeks to recover properly, which meant that I missed out on some crucial practice and had to adjust my goal for Comrades. I think a top-ten finish is now a more realistic goal.”

Any athlete with aspirations of winning the down-run (Pietermaritzburg to Durban) would be foolish to take Buud’s comment seriously.

The Swede is a seasoned campaigner who seems to become better and better with age and who does not quit once he has set himself a goal. His performance in the IAU 100km World Championships demonstrated this.

Last year Buud finally had the privilege of standing on top of the podium at the 28th edition of the event which was held in the Dutch town of Winschoten. The 41-year-old took the lead at 63km and just kept extending his lead all the way to the finish line, eventually crossing the line in 6:22:44.

The Swede’s time was a national record and a huge improvement of more than five minutes on his personal best time, moving him up to 12th on the all-time list for the distance.

Buud was second in the 100km World Championships in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.  Another of his achievements is winning the Swiss Alpine Marathon (78km), one of Europe's largest ultra-races, on eight occasions.

The Nedbank Dream Team athlete is no slouch either when it comes to racing the Comrades. He already has three Comrades gold medals to his name. His best result was a second place finish on the up-run in 2013 when he finished in a time of 5:41:21. In 2011 he was fourth in 5:42:45 and in 2014 he was seventh in 5:38:17.

Asked what it takes to run a good Comrades, Buud said: “Daring to trust yourself. It is important to realise that Comrades is an 89km race. There is no point in being in first position after 45km.”

Buud started his preparation for Comrades with a three week training camp in New Zealand. While there he won the Tarawera Ultra 100km, which is part of the Ultra Trail World Series. In March he finished sixthin the North Face Transgrancanaria at the Canary Islands.

“I will be training in Madrid during the last few weeks to get a feel for running on asphalt again. Here in Sweden the temperature at the moment is only a few degrees above zero.”

Read more on:    comrades  |  athletics

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