Kaya FM sports editor and presenter Mosibodi Whitehead enjoys two passions, radio work and running, and this year he will be chasing his fourth consecutive Comrades medal.
Getting into radio was never ‘the plan’ for Mosibodi Whitehead, given that he studied a B.Sc at varsity, but when the 2010 Soccer World Cup came to SA and local radio stations needed more hands, he found himself on the air at Kaya FM. “It all happened by chance and I thought it would be good for an extra buck,” he says, but four years on he is still there, and loving every minute.
Similarly, going from being a soccer player at varsity to becoming a Comrades Marathon runner was not part of the original plan… “I had done no running since school, but during my studies I often used to sit at our house in Benoni, looking out the window, and see runners out training, and on the day the Slow Mag Marathon was held, I used to go out and cheer the runners on. So one day I decided it is something that I should do, too.”
He started by doing a few short training runs and a week later took part in his first 5km fun run, then started to train harder and gradually went up to 10s and 21s. However, he never even thought about doing Comrades until he went to visit his sister in Trinidad in 2010 and had a layover in New York. “I decided to do a race in the area and while sitting on a bus, I was listening to the enthusiastic American runners talking about ‘this race’ in South Africa called the Comrades Marathon, and how amazing it was.”
That was when Mosibodi decided to make the 2011 ‘Big C’ his goal, which meant he had to learn to juggle working hours with training. “It was nice that I had more time in the mornings to train, but in the evenings I would miss time trials,” he says. “When I finally did my first Comrades, I absolutely hated it! But just those last 10 steps made it all worth it – the sense of achievement is unbelievable – and that immediately had me planning the following year’s race.” Now, with three consecutive Comrades finishes to his name, Mosibodi’s goal for Comrades 2014 is to run it under 10 hours.
“My training has gone relatively well. I did a marathon in March as well as the Two Oceans, which was a lot tougher than I had anticipated. One thing that really keeps me going is my lovely wife Neiloe’s great cooking, and also rather having fresh legs than over-trained ones,” says Mosibodi. “Running has now become part of my lifestyle and something that I balance my daily activities with. I will be running forever!”
Tune into Kaya FM to listen to Mosibodi’s Sports Show at 8-9pm on Mondays and 6-9pm on Fridays.
RUNNING FOR SHOES
Mosibodi runs his races as part of Team #ShoesOnFeet for the Put Foot Foundation, as part of the Old Mutual More Than Yourself campaign, to raise money to pay for shoes for kids without school shoes. “My friend and I were running a race in Kempton Park and we saw some school children with no shoes on, and he said to me, since I am on air, I should try and do something about it. At the same time Old Mutual was running their campaign and I got involved.”
To get involved, go to www.putfootfoundation.org.