Van Vuuren aiming for dream Cape Town Marathon debut

Melinda Jansen Van Vuuren believes she has a good chance of delivering a top performance on her Cape Town Marathon debut on the 15th of October.

Van Vuuren who missed most part of last year’s road running season due to pregnancy has launched a sensational comeback to the sport. In March, six months after giving birth her son, Van Vuuren produced a great performance clocking 3:04:48 to take second place during Durban City Marathon.

That encouraging run was followed by a strong and composed 03:41:28 run in N12 Ultra 50k where she bagged fifth position on a very challenging course against top athletes. Then running her second Comrades Marathon, van Vuuren managed to do the unthinkable by slicing 45 minutes and 28 seconds off her personal best, eventually finishing in 07:15:08. Recently, she also bagged a lifetime best over 10km finishing the  Hollywood Durban 10km in 37:44.

“I think I have surprised myself with how I have performed this year, especially having given birth in September last year. To get a podium finish in the Durban City Marathon motivated me enough because it was only six months after having a baby,” she said

“I think things came out very quickly for me. The plan was to qualify for the Comrades in that race which I managed. Then to run a very good time during Comrades made me happy. I didn’t expect to produce such a strong run and things are falling into place for me. I feel like I’ve never been in such good shape. I’m feeling strong and much better than before, I’m in good spirits as I’m building to run the Cape Town Marathon.”

Now the 27-year-old Hollywood Athletics Club runner, who is coached by former Comrades winner Ann Ashworth, has set herself a target to smash her standard marathon time of 2:52:46 set during the 2020 Dubai Marathon.

“My personal best time in the marathon has stood for quite some time now. I think I’m in a great position to run sub 02:50 in Cape Town. I feel it’s possible looking at the way I have been training and how I’ve been feeling. I think achieving that will put me in contention to finish in the top 10. I’m aiming for a good day out.”

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