MASERU — Eleven years ago, Teboho Sello ran for fame and money.
He never cared as long as he appeared on South African national television during the races.
Today, the 33-year-old thanks God he never won major races during this time because he could have spent the prizes carelessly.
But as he takes off for the Comrades Marathon on Saturday, his approach is totally different.
Now he has two children and their mother, Manthati, to look after.
He has his feet firmly on the ground.
Gone are the days when he used to spend recklessly.
Fame is the last thing on his mind.
Sello believes he can win the 86.1 km Comrades Marathon which takes place on Saturday in Durban, South Africa.
The winner will take home M250 000 in prize money.
Sello said since the arrival of his children he has become more focused on his career.
“Since they arrived in this world and in my life, I have totally changed the way I used to perceive things, including my talent and career,” Sello told the Lesotho Times on Monday.
“I used to run for fame and money, not saving or taking my talent seriously and I thank God the winnings started coming in numbers after their arrival in my life,” he said.
Sello started collecting accolades in 2007, five years after his first child’s arrival.
He is one of the many local athletes who have been making names for themselves both locally and internationally.
The star is part of the local athletes dubbed ‘a serious bunch of Lesotho athletes’ by the South African media because they do not aim to break records.
Instead, they concentrate on winning the prize money.
They gained this name by winning almost every South African marathon from Soweto, Comrades, Two Oceans, City to City and Johannesburg City just to mention a few.
Sello — together with other local athletes Mpesela Ntlotšoeu, Tsotang Maine and Andreas Mosoeu — will be battling it out at the 86.1 km Comrades Marathon on Saturday.
His family greatly inspires him.
“I know they (Sello and Nthati) and their mother will be definitely watching. They never miss any of my competitions.
“They even join and support me during some of my trainings. They are my biggest fans and inspire me to keep running and winning even during the toughest races.
“Having them has made me work even harder because there are now people I must provide for,’ Sello said.
Sello who has been staying at Ha Mohale, Mantšoanyane and Thaba-Tseka for his Comrades Marathon preparations has covered a distance of 702km in 59 hours 30 minutes.
If the distance and his average speed of 12km per hour during training is anything to go by, then he stands a bigger chance of raising Lesotho’s flag higher and winning the Comrades marathon on Saturday.
“This will be my first time competing in the Comrades Marathon but I can assure my supporters that I am bringing home something big,” Sello said.
“I have already done my part of training intensively and what is remaining of them (supporters) is to do their duty of kneeling and praying for a victory,” he said.
He added that he chose to stay and train in these places because of their high altitude weather.
“The training in these places is different to Maseru’s because of the weather, there is no traffic and less contamination of the air,” Sello said.
“We need to understand that when preparing for an ultra-marathon, one must avoid things like these because they increase the chances of one getting sick with flu and tuberculosis,” he said.