Hollywood Athletics Club: 2024 Comrades Marathon Female Contenders

We take a look at the chances of Hollywood AC athletes Carla Molinaro's, Loveness Madziva's and Lethokuhle Letsoalo's chances ahead of the 2024 Comrades Marathon.

Carla Molinaro

An expert in the Ultra-marathon distance. The 39-year-old World 50k Champion will look to have a proper crack at the 2024 Comrades Marathon up run. She’s obtained Bill Rowan Medals on her two up runs so far. The first came in 2017 when she ran a time of 7:55:05 followed by an improved 7:51:10 in the 2019 edition of the race. But this year, she wants to upgrade to a Gold Medal. That would mean she is chasing back-to-back Golds having obtained one last year, following a down run time of 6:00:23. In her build-up to Comrades, Molinaro secured fifth spot in Two Oceans. Write her off at your own peril.

Loveness Madziva

Loveness Madziva is relatively new to the Comrades Marathon as she prepares for a second attempt, but she is no ultra-distance novice. Following a decision to start working with coach Mdu Khumalo, the 33-year-old Zimbabwean athlete has enjoyed a fruitful year so far. In February, she scooped the Runified 50k race title in Gqeberha in a time of 3:22:49. That performance was followed with another when she stunned the competitors on her way to cross the finish line in 3:38:00 for third spot in the Two Oceans Marathon. She would go on to nail a 3:22:38 the gruelling and hilly Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Ultra last month. A top-10 finish is well within her reach.

Lethokuhle Letsoalo

Lethokuhle Letsoalo’s Comrades story is as inspiring as they come. On her debut in 2016, she clocked 11:54:32 to earn Vic Clapham medal. Then she waited six years, implementing a proper strategy and working with a coach to shave over four hours off her time, finishing in 7:45:06 to earn a Bill Rowan Medal. Last year, she again lowered her time to 7:02:03 to earn an Isavel Roche-Kelly medal. The 41-year-old who hails from Ladysmith looks to continue improving with a solid up run debut. She could spring a big surprise come race day.

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