Meet Teboho Noosi, the professional distance runner with more than just a long list of accolades to his name. Teboho also has a story to tell, which all starts with his early years in the highlands of Lesotho where he spent his days as a shepherd.
To further his education when he was just a youngster, Teboho sold his own small flock of sheep to go to school. Sadly, within a few years, Teboho and his siblings lost both of their parents. Teboho took it upon himself to drop out of school to selflessly look after his siblings.
Fast-forward to 2009, his talent as a runner was noticed, and in no time, he being mentored by a group of elite runners. He now dedicates himself to his sport and today, is one of South Africa’s leading distance runners.
When did you start taking on long distance running, and when did you realise that you were good at it?
I started taking on long distance running in 2009 and I realised a year later – in 2011 - that I'm good at running.
When did you enter your first race and how did you feel before the start of that first race?
My first race was in 2011 at Mokhotlong High Altitude Summer Marathon. I took part in a half marathon race where I paced sixth Before that race I was very fearful and under a lot of pressure because it was the first time I had to compete with known athletes.
How do you feel before a race and how do you feel while you are running?
These days, before I start a race, I no longer have much of fear and doubt because I'm getting used to it. During the race, I focus and I’m determined to win, no matter what!
What has been your favourite/most memorable race so far – and why?
My favourite race is Soweto Marathon because it takes place in an area similar to where I train, so that works in my advantage. As a matter of fact, in 2018, I took part in that race and fortunately I came fourth and I was excited. I still believe and hope that I will perform much better and make it into the Top Three.
What is the best advice that you’ve ever received that continues to inspire you today? The best advice that I’ve ever been given was not to give up and always stay true, focused and loyal to my training program. These are my pillars of strength: Kenneth Hlasa, my coach, and well-experienced athlete, Lebenya Nkoka.
For any aspiring runners: what advice would you give them?
To anyone who is willing to be a runner or an athlete, my advice is that you should start now, have a mentor and consult with people who are well-experienced. The other thing is to stop doubting yourself and be willing to be guided by your mentors.