Zimbabwean Don Rukanda clocked his 100th marathon on Sunday during the Soweto Marathon. What made the day even more special was the fact that Don had clocked his 100th marathon before the age of 40 and family, friends and fans of Rukanda had a theme of his 100th marathon.
#100B440 or 100 Before 40. Popularly known as the Pink Tutu runner because of his marathon attire which is a pink tutu skirt. Sports Rifle 724 had an opportunity to speak with Don after his milestone achievement.
Sports Rifle 724: We understand you run for fun and to raise awareness tell us more about this.
Don Rukanda: Yes I do run for fun and cancer awareness and mostly to encourage everyone that running is beautiful and should never be one full time job, unless if you’re an elite or sponsored athlete. In 2009 I received my first pair of running shoes from a friend, sadly we lost her to cancer. We used to go for races together. Started at 5km, which later changed to 21.1km and now ultra marathons.
Sports Rifle 724: People have always asked why the pink tutu always?
Don Rukanda: Not always. I started wearing the pink tutu skirt three years ago. I think the tutu especially the pink one brings out the colour of my eyes and really gets the crowd going. Some call me sistaz whilst other’s prefer to call me Baby bae and the most common one is when you’re done please bring back my skirt. It’s all for a good cause and alerting people about cancer in tops.
Sports Rifle 724: Of the 100 races you have ran how many comrades and what was your personal best
Don Rukanda: I clocked my 4th Comrades this year and I finished the race with a personal best of 9:01:17. To add on the comrades I also have participated in 4 Two Oceans Marathon
Sports Rifle 724: Soon you will be 40 what are your plans, do you see yourself still running for fun and to raise awareness about cancer
Don Rukanda: We aren’t taking off the tutu and the counting start this weekend you all have to wait till January maybe.
Sports Rifle 724: What advice would you give to someone who also wish to reach a milestone of 100 marathon like you did?
Don Rukanda: You know what it’s a lovely journey, takes you places you never knew existed in the process you get to socialize and network with amazing people, and trust me the lessons learnt are worthy doing over and over again. The trick in long distance is to run slow and not race each marathon often at times athletes also forget to eat well and get adequate rest. Planning ahead is key it helps bring down expenses. Athletes should not be lonely go out clubbing with friends it helps too. Lastly just be yourself and remember a marathon is a marathon it will bite you sometimes during the run.