UNCP’s Ndhlovu Sets New Myrtle Beach Half Marathon Record
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – UNCP cross country and track and field athlete, Pardon Ndhlovu, set a new Myrtle Beach Half Marathon race record on Saturday as he was the top finisher with a time of 1:07.57 in the 13.1 mile run.
Ndhlovu, a Zimbabwe native, crossed the finish line with his arms in the air and his fingers pointing to the sky as he completed the distance in record breaking time. The junior eclipsed the precious course time of 1:08.21 sent in 2004 and matched in 2007.
"I think I've found where I belong," said Ndhlovu, who has primarily focused on 5K races in the past. "I think I'm better at longer distances than shorter distances. I think I've found where I belong, and I'm going to concentrate on where I am right now with the longer distances. This is a stepping stone for me."
He didn't have much company over the second half of the race, he said, and was followed across the finish line a minute and a half later. This is the first half marathon he has competed in since 2003 when he lived in Zimbabwe.
Using the weekend break from competition, he was able to use the training that he had been doing to prepare for track meets to get ready for the race. "With the training that I was doing so far, I just thought I would try something longer and see how I would fare," he said. "So this was an attempt to see how it goes, and it went pretty well actually."
UNCP head cross country coach Gary Aycock said, "His time was unexpected for the level he was training at prior to the race. I knew he had the potential to break the race record which was his goal, and this race gives me the confidence that he will have an outstanding track season. He could be an NCAA automatic qualifier in the 10,000m run if he keeps up the work that he has already done, and I am proud of him for his effort and determination."
The Charlotte Observer and Myrtle Beach Online contributed to the story.