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10 April 2019

A South African gardener who runs 20km to and from work every day, will be boarding a plane for the first time ever in his life, travelling 10 000km to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 28th.

Michael Ndlovu (52), who hails from Mandeni, on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, has dreamt of this moment all his life. Michael’s lifelong ambition to run an international marathon was made possible by his employer Urban Lime Properties, specialists in 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-breaking 414 000 people entered the ballot for this year’s race, with only around 40 000 highly sought after spots available. Most competitors are either world-class professional runners, age group runners or are backed by a charity, for which they raise funds. 
Michael is proud to be appropriately running for Fields in Trust, a British charity dedicated to preserving green areas for public use, something that both Michael and Urban Limefeel strongly about.

Beyond the challenge of training for the gruelling 42.2km marathon distance, Michael will also raise funds for Fields in Trust, through his GoFundMe 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 Limesaid “Michael runs at least 20km to and from work each and every day - his passion for running is an inspiration to us all. Urban Limeare 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 gruelling 89km Comrades Marathon for the last 20 years. In 2017 he placed top in his age category (50-55) with a personal best time of 06:49. He also represents KwaZulu-Natal in long distance running, but runs regardless of reward or recognition. “I will run until I die, running is my life. All I want is to become better, race after race,” says Michael. 
Predictions are that he will finish near the front of his non-professional, age 50+ category at the London Marathon, as he is aiming to cross the line in a speedy time of 2:37. 
Michael runs as a beacon of hope for Durban and South Africa, proving that if you are dedicated enough, dreams really do come true.

To support Michael and donate:

Images: Val Adamson


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