A Durban gardener from Mandeni on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal is fast running towards the opportunity of a lifetime. Michael Ndlovu, 52, is from a small rural town with big dreams that will cometrue in April as he boards a plane for the first time, on a 10000km journey to take part inthe39thVirgin Money London Marathon in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 28th April 2019.
Michael's lifelong ambition to run an international marathon was made possible by his employer Urban Lime Properties, specialistsin commercial property urban-regeneration. The company, which employs Michael as a Groundsman on their Florida Road properties, was founded in London in 1990 and started in Cape Town in 2006 and Durban in 2014.
To run in the London Marathon is extremely competitive. A record 386,050 runners applied for just38,000 highly sought after spots this year. All competitors are either world-class professional runners or arebacked by a charity, for which they raise funds.Michael is proud to be appropriately running forFields in Trust,a British charity dedicated to preserving green areas for public use, something that both Michael and Urban Lime feel strongly about.
Beyond the challenge of training for the gruelling 26.2-mile marathon, Michael will also raise funds for Fields in Trust, through hisGoFundMe online page. Donations from the local and international community will be matched, Rand for Rand and Pound for Pound by his sponsors Urban Lime.
Jonny Friedman, CEO of Urban Lime said,"Michaelruns at least 20km to and from work each and every day - his passion for running is an inspiration to us all.Urban Lime is very proud to have Michael represent Durban and South Africa in one of the most elite marathons in the world."
Michael has an impressive track record, competing in the local Comrades Marathon for the last 20 yearsand in 2017 placed top in his age 50+ category with a personal best time of 06:49:41. He also represents KwaZulu Natal in long distance running, but runs regardless of reward or recognition. Michael says, "I will run until I die, running is my life. All I want is to become better, race after race."
Predictions are that he will finish near the front of his non-professional, age 50+ category.Michael runs as a beacon of hope for Durban and South Africa, proving that if you are dedicated enough, dreams really do come true.