Comrades 2013

For all Comrades, south Africa 2013 runners & those wanting to know more

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22/08/2012 at 16:45

Dub Runner - I remember going through 56k in the 40 miler (the Compton 40) I did last year and thinking OMG I am tired enough NOW why-oh-why did I not pick TO as my first target ultra?

If you do TO this year and Comrades next year, you'll be starting Comrades with the Down Run. Now it is a personal thing but if, like me, you like downhills (amazing that some people don't) that sounds like not a bad plan!

Hello Nicola, you've done more Comrades than a lot of us including me so do pile in! There are a lot of details to be covered in 54-56 (depending on direction) miles!

28/08/2012 at 14:11

First post on this forum as a potential Comrades 2013 first timer - all the logistics/travel etc advice has been fantastic so thank you.

Haven't run an ultra yet but hope to 'warm up' doing the Thames Trot 50 miler in February followed by Rotterdam and London marathons on consecutive weekends in April.  Will have run 3 maras in 2012 (2:49 in Rotterdam, 2:51 in Edinburgh and Berlin to come) so I'm hoping my base training is decent enough to build on for ultras.  Conscious I need to build in a lot more hill work from the end of this year though.

28/08/2012 at 20:56

Welcome baljc. Sounds like you have a pretty good base and pace there, plus you should have an A seeding tied up in Berlin. With the right preparation and a good day a Silver medial should be a tough but realistic goal.

The 50 miler in Feb sounds perfect but are you planning to race either of the April marathons? Using them as long training runs would work great but you might want to listen to Bruce Fordyce's opinions on going hard at April marathons before Comrades!

29/08/2012 at 08:38

Thanks 57.5 - I will probably go hard in one but use the other as a training run (hopefully the second).  However I'm just starting my ultra journey so I wil have learned much more by next April so may have completely re-thought strategy.  Thanks for the Bruce Fordyce tip - will all go into my knowledge bank for use come the new year!

29/08/2012 at 13:48

baljc - I think that specific advice is in the Talk Ultra podcast Comrades Special, Episode 8, ( but I may be wrong. 2012 was my first ultra year and I tried to soak up as much advice as I could so sometimes I forget the source of the useful bits. I did run a hard marathon in April and don't think it affected me, it was the lack of downhill training that screwed things up a bit!


29/08/2012 at 13:58

Does anyone know how the back-to-back medal works?  ie: is this only awarded if you successfully complete the up & down runs on your first two attempts?

I took part in the 2012 event this year, my 1st attempt (AMAZING!), & am considering returning in 2013.  Would this be my one & only chance of being awarded the back-to-back, or can I potentially attempt this in the future (of course, I'd need to complete both the up & down in successive years).

I guess I am half way there to getting this medal, and if it's a case of 'now or never', then now is what it'll have to be!  I couldn't find this info on the race website unless I've missed it somewhere.

29/08/2012 at 15:28

Just wondering about the entries which open this weekend, can you enter online using a credit card or do you have to download a form & post it in?

This is my first time trying a distance longer than a marathon so want to enter as soon as I can to make sure I'm commited 100% 


29/08/2012 at 15:36
Durbs - it's your only chance. Mine too.

JK - foreigners can certainly use cards. Not sure about SAfrs though.
29/08/2012 at 16:51

Wonderful, thanks Kevin... I will be online at midnight Friday hitting the refresh button in anticipation of entries opening

(note: entries don't fill up THAT quickly, my comments are only a reflection of ones excitement)

29/08/2012 at 21:55

Durbs - I'd join you online at midnight but I've got to be up early on Saturday for my long run

I think SA's an hour ahead anyway, so you might be able to get on at 11pm.

Something people might find useful... I've phoned around and found a policy that pays out (allegedly) if I get injured and don't make the start line.

It's £69 for a year's cover, and pays the cost of cancelled flights and accomodation, as well as covering me if I become injured during the run itself.

I'm not going to promote the company it's with, but it's a household name so I guess most places would do it. I had to specifically ask for the cover to be included. Bizarrely the guy said I wouldn't be covered for the cost of injuring another runner during the event.


30/08/2012 at 06:28

Thanks Kevin, no excuse left in that case, I'll just have to sign up at the weekend 

30/08/2012 at 10:10

This is all very exciting and I shall be poised at 11.00 on Friday night to register.

Weedy - plz give us a clue as to who the company is....I hate trawling the internet for stuff like that. I will be forever indebted to you if you give us a clue.

Do folk tend to book accommodation straight away and flights ?? Daft question really but I'm just wondering on what the availability is like nearer the time, and I'm talking accommodation as I am going to book flight pretty much straight away. I can imagine Durban gets absolutely rammed with running folk and don't want to get involved in a bun fight over a hotel room !!

30/08/2012 at 10:29

Possum hopper - It's the AA

The only reason I didn't name them was because I'm not going to reccomend anyone else uses them as I don't know for certain they're going to pay out.

I hope I'll not have to claim, but if I do, there's nothing to say they won't find a loophole and refuse to pay out. If I claim and they pay out, I'd happily reccomend them.

I wouldn't want anyone else getting injured and blaming me because they've been saddled with a £1,000-plus bill that the company won't pay out on.

Re accomodation and flights... It'll be my first Comrades, but a few people have suggested keeping an eye out on deals for flights. Accomodation-wise, I'm planning to get fixed up as soon as I book the flights as it might work out cheaper flying a day earlier or later than planned. I figure that if you book accomdation first, you're trying yourself down slightly to having to fly on certain dates. You could book the room for more nights than you plan to be there, then cancel once you're fixed with flights, but it's messing the hotel about, which is a bit unfair on them.

30/08/2012 at 14:49

Many thanks Weedy - you have saved me hours of irritating internet trawling when I could be out running.

I'm going to go the whole hog this weekend and get it all booked so I can stop worrying about that side at least, and focus on worrying about actually doing the training and then the run.



30/08/2012 at 20:17

Hi all,

Another newbie joining here.... planning to take part in 2013.

Fantastic advice on the forum so far - thanks everyone.



30/08/2012 at 21:00
I tend to book my accommodation first then wait around until I find some bargain flights. But that is because I've found arriving Thursday, leaving Tuesday works best for me. (I did spend longer on my first two trips though...)

Nice to see so many new faces - looking forward to sharing the Comrades journey with you all!
31/08/2012 at 09:13

It suddenly occurred to me in the middle of the night that my Garmin probaly won't be able to cope with a run of almost 12 hours........I think an old fashioned watch will have to be called upon !

31/08/2012 at 10:12

Welcome to the newbies .. some familiar topics on here such as flights, hotels, garmins etc etc.  I noticed on the Comrades website that registration opens on Saturday morning at 8am SA time .. so no need to miss out on some valuable sleep waiting for it to open tonight.

DurbsDolly, not sure if anyone answered you re the Back to Back.  you only get one shot at it .. so this year it is!  I got mine when they have back to back down runs a couple of years ago!

General election here today in Angola .. so no work!  Leg is responding to physio so hoping to be back on the roads again in a couple of weeks!  cant wait but the rest has done me the world of good!

31/08/2012 at 11:31

Another one on the injury bench here, again! This time it's my back. I'm still a year short of being a V35 and it seems my body has already decided to fall apart. Like P47 though, I think the rest is good for me, even though it has written off my Autumn racing calendar. I'm hopeful of being able to start running again next week, but any hope of a PB at Abingdon has long gone so I'll probably just run it for fun without any time expectations. From memory silver guarantees an A seed for the next year anyway, so hopefully that is still the case and I won't have to worry about seeding.

I've been doing a bit of cycling to try and stay fit. It has reminded me just how much I prefer running to cycling!

Welcome to all the folks for whom 2013 will be the first Comrades experience. I'm pretty sure the bigger challenge will not be finishing the race itself, but resisting the temptation to go back and do it again. I wouldn't be too worried about being quick on the draw for entries. They normally take a good 6 - 8 weeks to sell out.

31/08/2012 at 13:00

Warren - best way to do it (Abo) - the last few miles up the road from the town centre are not desperately exciting, and there are some uneven bits of pavement - wouldn't fancy having to go eyeballs-out up that stretch.

Funnily enough I was not all that keen to go back after my first Comrades (throwing up at 60k put me off, funny that) but this year I am going to have to put all my credit cards in the freezer - have got my B2B now and don't want to get on the green number treadmill, but will probably go back for a big-number race e.g. 90th (would that be the 2015 UP run?).


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