from MTHULISI SIBANDA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – BY winning all six races in the 10km Spar Grand Prix series this year, Ethiopian Tadu Nare has not only etched herself into South African athletics folklore.
What makes her accomplishment the more renowned is the hardships she went through on her way to becoming the undisputed champion for 2021.
Besides the grueling competition offered by fellow hopefuls for the title, the 20-year-old from East Africa disclosed to CAJ News Africa the frustration of always having to contend with fatigue in every race, as a result of the flights in between races.
The distance between her home city, Awassa, and the capital Addis Ababa, where she gets her flight in order to connect to South Africa is 282,2km.
A flight from Addis Ababa to Johannesburg is 5 hours 30 minutes over the 5 100 kilometres between the two cities.
Nare flies back after the races.
The jam-packed Spar Grand Prix was held between August 22 and last Saturday in Maritzburg, Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Gqeberha in the sequence.
Nare had during the series went about her business on the track with no qualms, cracks emerged on her confidence, under the jet leg pressure on the days leading to the final race.
“I find it very tiring because I have to fly back to Addis Ababa after every race, because they (authorities ‘SA Home Affairs) will only give me a five-day visa. It would be better for my training if I could stay here (South Africa),” she said.
However, she again emerged victorious, winning the Gqeberha race in 32 minutes 33 seconds to complete a whitewash.
Speaking to CAJ News Africa where she returned shortly after, Nare reiterated how fatigue was an issue.
“I travelled every weekend for the race from Addis Ababa to South Africa. It was tiresome,” she said.
She nonetheless revealed the secret behind her clean sweep in defiance of a punishing schedule.
“The reason for my performance is that I did not stop training in the time of COVID-19 restrictions. In Ethiopia, it (pandemic) was not as deadly,” Nare explained.
South Africa, comparatively, banned outdoor activities for five weeks during the hard lockdown, Level 5, at the end of March 2020.
The Southern African country is enduring the worst outbreak of the COVID-19 with over 2,9 million, including 88 346 deaths at the time of going to press.
Comparatively, Ethiopia has slightly more than 355 000 cases and 6 026 deaths.
Nare insisted that while races were not allowed during the hard lockdown in her country, she could still maintain her sharpness because training was permitted.
She disclosed her training regime.
“My training programme is very hard. I do a lot of speed and long run,” Nare told CAJ News Africa
After a tiring schedule in South Africa, the athlete is now having some deserved rest, with her next race on November 7 in her home country.
– CAJ News