Maphuti Phaka was Born2Run
01 January 1970
You can also listen to these podcasts directly from the Old Mutual app, which is available here.
Brad Brown: You’re listening to Old Mutual Live awesome to have you with us once again on this thrice weekly podcast. My great pleasure to welcome our next guest onto the show today, she is incredibly diverse as a runner. I can’t wait to share some of her story with you today and it’s a huge welcome to Maphuti Phaka. Maphuti, welcome onto the podcast, thanks for joining us today.
Maphuti Phaka: Thank you for having me on.
BB: Maphuti, your story is quite interesting. As far as an athlete goes you can run pretty much anything and run it fast. We’ll talk about some of the things you’ve done, but you run with Born2Run Athletics. You’ve been with them a couple of years. They’ve been instrumental in some of your success haven’t they?
MP: Yes, thank you.
BB: Tell me a bit about how you got involved with Born2Run?
MP: Wow, the first time I met up with the owner of Born2Run, I met him somewhere, Tough One race. Then he was introduced to us, then he said he’s going to open the club, going to call it Born2Run. So I have interest for that, to go to join Born2Run. At that time, I used to run for Nedbank, but now I’m Born2Run.
An impressive running track record
BB: You started out as one of their development athletes, but you’ve made the step up to their elite squad this year. You’ve turned out to be one of their best athletes. You race steeple chase, I think you hold the record for central Gauteng for the 3 000m steep chase. So on the track you do quite a bit as well.
You’re also the central Gauteng 4km cross country champ in your age group, you’ve placed sixth at the Cross Country Champs, but you also run long things. You’ve run Comrades, you’ve also run the Hout Bay Ultra. Tell us a bit, often we talk about the short ones, if you’re running track it’s not good to run Comrades, but you look like you can run everything.
MP: Yes, I like running, running is in my blood. Actually I started running in primary school, so I’m always on the sport. That’s why I like running, always on the road.
BB: Maphuti, have you always been fast?
BB: I love that. Running track, obviously you enjoy it, you wouldn’t enjoy it if you didn’t do it. What’s your favourite track discipline? Do you enjoy just the straight running or are you a big fan of steeple chase?
A handy Comrades runner & trail dabbler
MP: Actually I’m a middle distance runner, so at the track I just like to go there to increase my speed. I’m actually a long distance runner.
BB: Comrades, you had a pretty good Comrades this year as well, tell us a little bit about that.
MP: Yes, I’ve got eight Comrades and I like it also.
BB: You’re too close to 10 to stop now.
MP: You know what, I was always going to run Comrades, I like running Brad. So I started to run Comrades in 2005.
BB: Your best result at Comrades to date, what time-wise are you looking at?
MP: My first Comrades I did the time of 7:28, that was my first. Then the rest I did, like this year I did 7:38 this year.
BB: Are you chasing those elusive Silvers, coming so close but just not able to get another one?
MP: Yes, I’m always in top 20, so it’s just a little bit to go inside the top 10.
BB: I mentioned the cross country, but you’ve been running quite a bit of trail as well and I mentioned the Hout Bay Ultra as well,.Tell us about your love for trail running?
MP: Wow, I come from Limpopo and with them, then is the one who encouraged me to go and run a trail run. That’s why I like cross country, somewhere somehow it’s difficult. Because like Hout Bay, it’s on the mountain, the Cape Town mountains, you run on top of that, so that’s why I like trail runs.
BB: You also ran AfricanX as well, it’s one thing running hard on one day, but running over three days, was that difficult?
MP: Yes, but if you are not strong, you can’t do it. But I’m strong enough, I know I can make it always.
Born2Run adopt an athlete programme
BB: Maphuti, we’ve spoken to the guys from Born2Run here on the show a few times and one of the things they told us was their Adopt an Athlete initiative. You’re a recipient, you’re part of that programme. But you’ve got a sponsor that helps you at the club. Tell us a little bit about Helen and how she’s helped you.
MP: Okay, she’s good, they support me always, all the time at the club. They give me some kit and shoes and everything I need, then they assist me.
BB: Brilliant. Maphuti, what are you training for right now, what’s your next big race?
MP: For now I’m training for Soweto.
BB: What’s the goal at Soweto?
MP: Top 10, I’m always running for top 10 at Soweto.
BB: It’s going to be an amazing race, we’re going to be there as Old Mutual Live, we look forward to meeting you and hopefully welcoming you home in the top 10 at the marathon. Maphuti, thank you so much for your time today.
MP: Thank you so much, thank you.
BB: Thanks for your time.
MP: Okay, thanks so much, bye.