Stephen Muzhingi, Going for Gold at Comrades Marathon 2013
An Introduction to Stephen Muzhingi, The Man, The Legend
UPDATE 2013 - After being forced to run 2 Ultras and one marathon in the space of less than two months in 2012, Comrades Marathon last year saw Stephen saying goodbye to former coach and manager of F1 Bluff Meats Athletics Club, who, by all accounts, was the reason for his not winning Comrades 2012, as expected.
But Stephen is back. After parting ways with his manager as a result of interference by his former coach after winning Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in 2012, the two have renewed their WorldWide Exclusive Contractual Partnership Agreement for the following three years. With this comes the promise of blue chip sponsors, a fantastic new club, new apparel sponsors, and a determined and psyched Stephen Muzhingi!
Stephen Muzhingi, born in October 1980, is a Zimbabwean national who is now a Professional Athlete, and specializes in Ultra Marathon and Marathon running. Stephen could, in previous times, be seen manning his hair salon in the city of Harare.
He was the Comrades Marathon Champion until 2012, when he achieved a 6th position, and won consecutive races in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and recorded the second fastest time in 2009, 5H23, over 89.17KM. With 6 Top 10 places (Gold) at Comrades, The Ultimate Human race, he is 1 of only 3 people to have won 3 consecutive Comrades Marathons. The controversial win by Ludwich Mamabola (running for Mr Price Sport) is still under investigation, and Mamabola has successfully appealed his ban on competitive running. (March 2013)
Stephen also boasts 5 Gold Medals for 2 Oceans Ultra Marathon, held annually in Cape Town, South Africa and has won many races at 42.2km and 50km. He is the 2012 Two Oceans Marathon. Some experts in the running business suggest that the Two Oceans win cost him his Comrades race.
Stephen is married to Erina and they have two young son, Mathen and Ethan. (They are the apples of daddy's eye)
Stephen lives in Zimbabwe and spends 6 months of the year in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, with his manager and friend, Craig Fry, where he completes his training for Comrades each year.
Image: A radiant Stephen Muzhingi, during one of his many visits to our home. This in March 2013 after signing up with Toyota SA Athletics Club, under the magnificent chairmanship of Lucas.
Very Important to Note
This lens is a tribute to Stephen Muzhingi, and documents portions of his journey to becoming the legend that he is today. Whilst I will continue to update the lens, the historical value of information (and imagery) already provided will remain. ALL images, unless otherwise stated are (c) myself, save for logos, which are owned by the relevant organizations.
Stephen and Craig, on signing the Totyota and FedGroup contracts! A new era for this sporting hero has begun ~ 2013
#MyJourney in Adidas ~ SM - stephen muzhingi after signing his lucrative contract with Adidas at Two Oceans 2013 Expo, with manager Craig Fry
Proud to be sponsored by FedGroup and Adidas - Running his first race for ToyotaSA Athletics Club
Two Oceans 2013 saw a disappointing 34th position for the legend, however at 12 km he was instructed to bail the race by his manager after sustaining a knee injury. "No, sir, I will finish the race. This is why I came here!" was his response. And finish the race he did, to roars and cheers of the crowd of thousands in the stadium at UCT.
Thank you FedGroup! - This Blue Chip South African company has taken a leap of faith and invested in the talent and determination of Muzhingi.
Adidas.... first to try out the Adiosboost, and new arrivals in South Africa, Adidas - First to try out the Adiosboost, and new arrivals in South Africa, Adidas
Philip Venter of Adidas SA interviews the Champ and discusses the new Adiosboost!
2012 Two OceansMarathon winner and 3 times Comrades Marathon winner, Toyota Running Club's Stephen Muzhingi (FedGroup) chats to Philip Venter of Adidas SA about the awesome brand new Adiosboost here at a bustling busy and seriously exciting Two Oceans Marathon Expo
A Dejected Stephen Muzhingi After Comrades Marathon 2012 - Our close friend, and hero to many, Stephen, looked broken and dejected after not winning 2012 Comrad
Running the New York Marathon for My Mother - Thousands upon thousands of applications are turned away each year for a coveted invitation to run the New York Ma
2011 saw Stephen having to forego a trip to Switzerland in September as a result of his mother's serious illness. Sadly she passed away a few weeks ago, leaving behind a devastated Stephen. Stephen was invited to run the New York Marathon on 06 November 2011, a lifelong dream of his - and intends to do so in honor and memory of his mother. Says Stephen "My family sacrificed a lot for me to get to where I am now, so it is sad that she won't be able to see me run my first race outside of Africa. But I will give my best for her."
It wasbe Stephen's first visit outside of the continent of Africa. He received the news of the invitation on 21 June 2011, after his manager, Craig Fry, had been negotiating with NYRR (New York Road Runners) since January. Stephen says that he has never had the speed to qualify for the coveted elite athlete invitation (to New York marathon) but after winning his 3rd consecutive Comrades Marathon this year confirms that he has a "...sub-2.20 marathon time but have never really raced a marathon properly, so this will be a true test for me. My aim is to run a 2.10 or faster, which I know I can do and all I can say is thank you to NYRR for the invitation and to Craig for making this happen for me."
Stephen completed the New York Marathon in position 29. His aim is to return for a win.
Connect with Stephen on Twitter and Facebook. A humble, but refreshingly ambitious man, Stephen has the most wonderful sense of humor, and simply relishes interacting with his friends, fans and supporters.
References: Scanned from Modern Athlete Magazine, October 2011 Edition- used with permission
An Introduction to Stephen Muzhingi
by Stephen Muzhingi
"I am Stephen Muzhingi, the current three times Champion of the Comrades Marathon, The worlds Greatest Ultra Marathon averaging 89km each year. The Comrades is run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, in South Africa, and alternates each year, one year starting in Durban and finishing in Pietermaritzburg, and the next year the other way around.
I am born and bred in Zimbabwe, and live there with my wife and 2 year old son, as well as spend 6 months a year in Durban where I prepare for Comrades with my Coach.
In signing up for my Wordpress Blog, I hope to be able to share with the general public, a piece of me, and who I am and what it takes to do what I do. From the hardships growing up in poverty, and what I have had to do to get to the top of the Running World, to the highs, of winning races, and what this has done to my life to the lows of bailing from races that I should have won.
The sacrifices that a professional athlete has to make and how this effects my life and that of my family, not only of my wife but my extended family, all of whom play a huge part of my life, and because of their continued support of me and my running, allows me to become a Champion. Without this support system I would be nothing, just an average "joe" Sunday runner. But I have been fortunate to have an awesome support system and thank my family every day for what they give up to help me do what I do.
I hope you will enjoy what I will have to say ..... and I look forward to sharing me with you, and hopefully we can all achieve what we set our minds to, and together we will all be winners.
All the best
PHOTOGRAPH CREDIT : AL NICOLL
In support of fellow countryman, Munya Jari, after Jari smashed the Maritzburg Marathon record in 2.22.04 in 2013, Muzhingi was
"Don't have a habit of want, want, want and fail to deliver." ~
Stephen Muzhingi 2010
Duel Debate Module
Stephen was invited to take part in the New York Marathon (42km) in November 2011. Could he have won it?
What does his manager, Craig Fry say? eh? c'mon...
Growing up in Zimbabwe was tough on young Stephen, who ran because his uncle, Essau Magwaza, was a Champion Marathon Runner in his day, so running was in the genes. Transport to and from school was not possible, so he ran approximately 20km a day. As time went on, running 20km a day became easier for him, as it became the norm to do this trip. This probably laid the foundation for Stephen to become a Marathon Runner
He ran his first Marathon when he was 16 years old and finished the race but can't remember the exact finishing time. He says it wasn't fast, he was still very young. It was then that he thought he may have a talent for this running thing, but didn't really take it too seriously.
The seed had been planted.
In May 2004 Stephen went to South Africa where he met up with his current Coach, Cliff. He says he was not particularly fast, with a Personal Best marathon time of 2H48. He was a little overweight at the time, and his nickname with the Zimbabwean athletes was, (translated from Shona) "Fat Rat." But that didn't bother Stephen as he had a goal in mind - and that was to win the Comrades Marathon one day.
In 2005 he entered the City to City Marathon, which is a 50km race between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and while he thought he was ready for this race and could win it, he bailed. The race started and he ran comfortably with the thought that the front guys were going too fast and would tire out and he would catch them.
"At the 25km point I was so far off the pace, and the front runners were not slowing down. I was struggling and could not see me making another 25km. Cliff pulled me off the road and out the race. I climbed into the car and felt terrible that we had travelled so far and I was now disappointing so many people, as I wasn't even able to finish the race, let alone win it. I bailed!!!!!"
Driving back to Durban for 6 hours with the Coach was going to be tough!
Stephen's coach was, according to Stephen, disappointed in his performance but assured Stephen that he WOULD win the Comrades Marathon within the next 4 years - Stephen had to learn to be patient and disciplined to get the desired result.
Stephen had nothing to lose and everything to gain. He agreed to do what the coach recommended and how he wanted the training to be done.
Stephen @ Comrades 2010
A Photo Video of Zimbabwe's Stephen Muzhingi running and winning his second consecutive Ultimate Human Race, Comrades Marathon 2010. This was Stephen's 6th Comrades Marathon. Stephen had won 4 Gold Medals at this stage (Top 10) and 2 Silver Medals (Sub 7H30).
Music Credit: "The Story" by Brandi Carlile
After winning his 3rd consecutive Comrades Marathon Stephen took a 3 week break for rest and recovery as the immediate plans are to run a marathon in Switzerland in September where he hopes to run a PB time of sub 2h19.
Stephen's plans include running the Township to Township Race in October/November or if he receives any international race invitations he would like to attend those events, but from December 2011 preparations begin for him to attempt to win his 4th consecutive Comrades Marathon in 2012.
One of his personal goals is to be the Comrades Marathon record holder, so 2012 is an important year for him and he hopes to eclipse the magic 5 hour 20 mark set by Leonid Shvetsov.
Connect with Stephen on Twitter and Facebook. A humble, but refreshingly ambitious man, Stephen has the most wonderful sense of humour, and simply relishes interacting with his friends, fans and supporters.
Subscribe to Stephen's Wordpress Blog
Signing Autographs at Special Guest Assembly at Laddsworth Primary School, held in his honour 31 May 2011
Cooling Off ~!! - Comrades 2009
Muzhingi, Loyal Friend - Here with fellow Zimbabwean Collen Makaza, and his great friend, Aiden.
Thinking of running a marathon? - It's not as difficult as one might think... correct nutrition, training, apparel, support are all ingredients to help you on y
Comrades 2009 - 32Gi chatting to winner Stephen Muzhingi
The 32Gi Team took the time to chat to Stephen Muzhingi before the Comrades Marathon this year. Stephen was already determined to win the race and he landed up achieving his goal of winning the 85th 89km Comrades Marathon in a time of 5 hours 29 minutes. Well done Stephen - Fuelled by 32Gi
Interacting with friends and supporters - Stephen is hands on with input and works really hard on his social media sites. He is passionate about people.
Muzhingi, Dedicated Family Man and Doting Father
The World "Runs" With Stephen~!!
Even though Zimbabwean, Stephen has touched the hearts and lives of many in South Africa, and all who know him love his wickedly witty sense of humour, his humble and modest demeanour, his loyalty to friends, passion to his sport and his dedication to his family. When Stephen is running, the whole world is there with him - every step of the way.
Newspaper Clipping Stephen Muzhingi running with his hero, Kotov, 2007
After Comrades 2011 with son Mathen and myself
Stephen is Proudly Sponsored by 32Gi, Energy Drink
Who Is This Man? - Bakers Inn Advertisement
Stephen Muzhingi is Zimbabwe's country's forgotten comrade, despite back-to-back victories in the Comrades Marathon. Directed and Produced by Kudakwashe Musasiwa
Absolutely Driven By Emotion & Elation
With fans after winning Comrades 2011
2009 Comrades - The Moment
History of Comrades Marathon
The Comrades was run for the first time on 24 May 1921 (Empire Day), and with the exception of a break during World War II, has been run every year since. The 2010 event was the 85th race. To date, over 300,000 runners have completed the race.
The race was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. Clapham, who had endured a 2,700-kilometer route march through sweltering German East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants. The constitution of the race states that one of its primary aims is to "celebrate mankind's spirit over adversity".
From 1962 to 1994 the race was run on Republic Day, 31 May. After this public holiday was scrapped in 1995 by the post-apartheid South African government, the race date was changed to Youth Day on 16 June. In 2007, the race organisers (controversially) bowed to political pressure from the ANC Youth League, who felt that the race diverted attention from the significance of Youth Day, and changed the race date to Sunday 17 June for 2007 and 15 June for 2008. In 2009 and 2010 the date was changed (to 24 May and 30 May respectively) to accommodate football's Confederations Cup (2009) and World Cup (2010) in South Africa.
The 75th anniversary of the Comrades Marathon in 2000 was the largest ever staged, with a massive field of 23,961. An extra hour was allowed for bronze medal finishers to celebrate the milestone. Identical twin sisters Oelysa and Elena Nurgileva won a combined eight Comrades titles from 2003-2011, while three-time champion Stephen Muzhingi became the first non-South African winner from Africa in 2009. Stephen Muzhingi also became the first athlete to win three races in a row (2009, 2010 and 2011) since Bruce Fordyce won three in a row in the eighties (1981, 1982 and 1983). Russian runner Leonid Shvetsov set both down and up course records in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
The Coveted GREEN NUMBER
Muzhingi is a long-distance runner for Formula 1 Bluff Meats International club. He is the back-to-back champion of the Comrades Marathon (2009, 2010). He won the 2010 Comrades Marathon with a time of 05:29:01 - 5minutes slower than his first win in 2009. He is the first non-South African to win the Comrades and the first black man in the history of Comrades to win the up-run. In 2011, he became the first man in 23 years to win the Comrades Marathon three successive times and only the 3rd person in the 86 year history of the race to achieve 3 successive wins.
Year DirectionAgeRace NoClub Time MedalOverall Pos
2005Down 2955925 Zimbabwe 06:40:37Silver123
2006Up 3055925 Harmony Int 06:24:26Silver53
2007Down 3155925 Zimbabwe 05:40:11Gold7
2008Up 3255925 Formula 1 AC05:39:40Gold 3
2009Down 3355925 Formula 1 AC 05:23:27Gold1
2010Down 3455925 Formula 1 AC 05:29:01Gold1
2011Up 3555925 Formula 1 AC 05:32:46Gold1
A permanent Green Number is awarded for winning the race three times or completing 10 races.
This lens has been SquidAngel blessed.
Last updated on April 8, 2013
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