Comrades 2013

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

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12/06/2012 at 13:41

With regards the sew on badges, i have just emailed comrades to request one. Last year we got given them as we got our medal which was nice. Will wait with baited to see when it arrives.

And i am not sure if we spoke on the course. I remember speaking to someone wearing the GB vest since i had the same on, although at that stage still had a warm jumper on.

And yes, the b2b medal is very enticing indeed. Its difficult to say no to when you realise you only have one chance to get one.

12/06/2012 at 14:06

Martin - yes, we did speak. Later on a seam on that top had done quite a number on the inside of my right arm, so it may have a limited life as a Comrades top ! Was yours ok ?

I've been having nightmares about discarding my warm jacket, as the kid got a beetroot shot (harmless) and a pack of paracetamol and diarrhoea pills, as I optimistically decided early on that I was going to be fine. At the time I thought they would be useful, but then it occurred to me he might not be able to read. There weren't enough to do any real harm, but life could have been a bit uncomfortable for a few days....

12/06/2012 at 14:35

My top seemed to behave itself thankfully. And i wouldn't worry too much about the pills, he has probably traded them for something much more useful or indeed given to other runners who needed a pick me up!! As you say, someone somewhere probably had a few uncomfortable days!!

12/06/2012 at 14:50

Marty - I did look out for you on the JNB-> Dur plane but sadly did not spot you - my face recognition is a bit rubbish.


IMPORTANT POINT given that we had, this year,

  • one very new Dad
  • one very much about to be Dad (baby born day after return)
  • one baby born in March (say about 9 months after the taper for '11 Comrades)

perhaps people should be encouraged to plan ahead with this sort of eventuality in mind?

12/06/2012 at 15:04

Vixx76 - it is not so much about speed as it is about bloodyminded endurance (at both ends really - this year Gert Thys who is a pretty good marathoner made an arse of himself saying he would smash the record. Ended up blowing up spectacularly. Much to my delight an accountancy student from Limpopo who had taken 3 months unpaid leave to train for Comrades won it this year!!).

A 5hr marathon is 11:27 pace (call it 11:20 to allow for Garmin drift, eventualities).

A sub 12 hour Comrades finish is just over 12:30 pace (allowing for a few minutes to cross the line, go to the loo en route etc). But the course is much harder than almost any road marathon in the UK and typically when the South Africans qualify for Comrades they do it in the middle of actually training for it and at (often) hot hilly races. (They are mad, mad, I tell you).

Anyway! people who are not terribly fast BUT do not slow down much going up hills or after running a long way can do relatively well. Someone's marathon PB has only the loosest relationship to how they will do at Comrades. Speed means nothing as the iron of gut and/or will trundle past you at 20 kms to go

12/06/2012 at 18:08

Thanks Fido2Dogs. I'm not fast (especially at this point), but just have a reasonable ability to stay at a steady pace.  I'd be hoping to aim for something like 11:45:xx but if I can get my training up then I'd be more confident of that.  I live in two parts of the country depending on what part of the week it is, and the one place is hilly, so am training regularly round there when I can to build up my stamina again.

I do find it interesting when people come out and say daft things like that because usually it ends up as his did by the sound of it.  A bit like when I did NYC in 2006 - Lance Armstrong was banging on about how he was going to beat some other ex-TdF winner's New York Marathon time and it'd be easy. He didn't, and only just came in sub-3 time.  He was humble after that, and did acknowledge how tough he found it, but why big it up when karma seems to come along to trip you up?

I was well chuffed for the chap who won it!

12/06/2012 at 18:28

Vixx - there would also be a very large pace group, or what they call a bus, aiming for about 11.50 and using a sensible strategy on where to walk, so you would be in good company if you wanted to be.

12/06/2012 at 18:52

That would be a great idea - thank you for letting me know about that Kevin

12/06/2012 at 19:55

Vixx - it is the most amazing day and experience of your life. Go for it and you won't be dissapointed. Plus of course the people on this forum are just great for encouraging you through the hard times.

12/06/2012 at 20:00

Cheers marty74 - It looked amazing watching it on TV (on YouTube).  It has often been in my mind to do this one, and I will have to work hard for it, but it will be so worth it in the end I think.  Was this year your first? How was it?

(If anyone wants to tell me how their race went, I will be only too glad to read all about it!)

12/06/2012 at 20:06

Read the Comrades 2012 thread. Fantastic race reports. Someone should do a Comrades Book. I would buy it.

Badges- Thats tough I have mone from 2010 on my running vest and yes it gets a few comments

12/06/2012 at 20:23

It was my second although i do remember saying last year "never again!". But i am so glad i went back this year so have completed a run in both directions. Both days were amazing and will live long in my memory. I think one of the reasons its so special is because its a once a year race. There is no other. You make a mess of a marathon and you can try again in a few weeks time. Not for this. The amount of time you invest in training and sacrifices you make, makes crossing the finishing line all that sweeter.

Believe in yourself. Anyone with the right attitude can finish this race.

And martin, thats the only place your badge should be. Mine from last year is on my vest although the only comments i recieve about it is during marathons. Everyone who does the shorter stuff probably haven't even heard of the race.

12/06/2012 at 20:32

I knew about the race not long after I did my first marathon. I have a friend who lives in SA and she was trying to persuade me to do Comrades - but wanted me to do Two Oceans first!

I will go and read the Comrades 2012 thread then - thanks for the tips martin and marty

12/06/2012 at 20:38

oohh Two Oceans. If you haven't done that one stick that one on your "to do" list as well

Why are all the best races so far away???!!!

12/06/2012 at 20:40

I know marty! I have a list of races I want to do - and hardly any are in this neck of the woods.

12/06/2012 at 20:50

Can anyone tell me when registration will open for 2013 Comrades? 

12/06/2012 at 20:57

I think it opens in September...

Two Oceans is nice but if you had to pick one (either TO or Comrades), I would recommend Comrades...

12/06/2012 at 23:11

Really SD? I must get the photos off the phone...I might have a photo of one runner waiting for the buses early on race day this year who is clearly having a wonderful time and not at all pasting a sickly and unconvincing smile upon the mask of terror that is their true face...

Looking back I would be minded to suggest TO to start with (just because it is shorter, for one). Then upon returning for a novice Comrades run, at least it's not the first trip to SA so it takes some of the stress off.

BTW re logistics in Durban, there is a shuttle bus goes from the airport to most hotels /hostels. At least, it went both to Durban City Lodge last year and Gibela's backpacker hostel this year. About 8 quid one way, bargain, *and* I managed to ring up and book the return pickup *myself* which was a great triumph as I had many exciting times in SA due to my inability to pronounce things (particularly places) intelligibly.

SD, are the midweek flights to/from Comrades usually as empty as they were this year? (Very handy I thought, I got 2 seats to myself each way and so did get some sort of zed time in). 

13/06/2012 at 18:25

Fido - hahahaha! Yes I do tend to find the hours between getting up and the start gun going rather difficult on Comrades day... Mid-week flights are usually not too bad - I would say that I've had at least two seats to myself in the last couple of years...

13/06/2012 at 22:19

How far in advance do you recommend getting to SA for? A week before? A couple of days? 

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