Comrades 2013

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

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13/02/2013 at 21:48

Great stuff all on the nutrition tips - I think I may carry lots of gels in a couple of small bottles on a race belt then switch to solids such as potatoes or bananas once I get to give them a go. Guess I need to do a long run and take some with me or loop back home half way to see how I tolerate them

Have done flat coke a few times on triathlons and worked great - seem to be able to tolerate this when not able to face more gels - but this was only 6 hours, not up to 11 or 12

Off to Club La Santa tomorrow for half term break with family - hoping to get some long runs in there - happy days!


13/02/2013 at 22:35

Stevan - the cola comes in open top plastic bottles and the water in sachets. I grab one in each hand and mix in my mouth to taste! 

14/02/2013 at 13:04

Hi All, Some good training going on as usual, well done for those that qualified over the last weekend. Sorry to hear some are pulling out due to work etc. It is really hard trying to fit in all this training around full time jobs, shift work and family etc!

I have a question. I usually run with an SIS belt with gels etc in the elastic belt with a few bit and pieces in the little pouch at the back, but I recon this is too small for an all day effort. I will be getting stocked up along the way with gels etc but what belts do you all use for your longer runs, or previous Comrades runs? Can anyone recommend a belt?

RIP Reeva Steenkamp.

14/02/2013 at 13:47

Slow Duck - thanks for the info (I was envisaging opened cans fizzing all over the place !) - will practice with something similar when training.

14/02/2013 at 13:57

Safer - I was thinking along the same lines (general kit to 'wear'). As a novice Comrades runner, I'm torn between wearing / carrying very little or nothing (and relying on what is on course) and wanting to have my own stuff (or in case of gels, needing to). I haven't really tried the gel belts.

On the longest run I do currently / have done in training (30 miles), I would have a nathan waist belt (very comfortable (10k size one is fine) which would have enough room for the gels needed for a marathon or half a Comrades) and then a Spry minimalist vest (which could carry other foodstuffs, phone, money, etc..). Weight wise, not a lot.

Even this seems a little over the top to me (as Comrades runners in photos seem to have very little on - almost look like 10k runners in their garb )


14/02/2013 at 16:18

I've been thinking the same - for marathons I have only ever used a gel belt which I find comfortable and can carry the gels I need for 42k.  For Comrades training I have been using a camelbak (which I love) to enable me to carry enough water/energy gels/emergency clothing with this cold/wet weather), but had noticed that in Comrades the most people carry is a waist pouch (due to great aid stations/heat/distance???).  So I was thinking of getting a waist pouch for Comrades (like these as the list of things to carry seems to get longer and longer (gels, pace-chart, painkillers, mints/ginger as anti-nausea, suncream, toilet paper, phone/camera as may aswell make the most of being out there when I've got to walk).  So I'm currently planning on finding a suitable waist pouch at the Paris marathon expo (I'm running, but as it's a long training run, spending time on feet at the expo shouldn't matter) or London marathon expo (I'm not running, but went along a couple of years ago even though not running and it was very useful) and then getting used to it throughout May.  

14/02/2013 at 16:29

I used the SIS belt you have and will again this year. As it hold 8 its more than enough and has already been said most seem to swithch to "proper" food for the second half anyway

Been a total idiot today ran for 2 hours as per my plan started slow but slowly got quicker although never last weeks pace. Result last 2 miles hard work and legs vert tired. I think a "mini taper" for next week

14/02/2013 at 21:29

I use what used to be called an Inchanga belt...

The only liquid that I carry is a sportsdrink to get me through the first few water stations... the first one as you come off the N-road is in the dark, the race hasn't really thinned out and the best thing to do is to run down the middle of the road away from all the chaos.

Once you're into the race the water tables are approximately 1 mile apart.

16/02/2013 at 10:18

Hi Carmen, Hopefully see you at Bramley tomorrow. I will be wearing my club shirt with two other members so you may spot a group hanging around together!! The shirt has some black, red and white on it and of course i have my two comrades patches stitched on the back. My number is 1186.

Martin - not signed up for MK yet myself either...was going to wait until i had run my next marathon on 8th march and see how i felt. But in saying that no doubt i will come home after the run and promptly sign up for it though!!

Hopefully everyone can take advantage of the nicer weather this weekend for their long runs. I have a new pair of trail shoes so am going to adventure off road around some lakes in a bit.

16/02/2013 at 11:26

HI All,

SD, Martin, Emily, Stevan, Thanks for all the tips regarding bum bags, gel belts and carrying stuff. I'm still in two minds on what to do. Fortunately my folks live along the route in Hillcrest so I can grab resupplies there and I have a friend in Bothas Hill who lives on the route so I am leaning towards carrying just the essentials and pick up stuff along the way. Anyway still plenty of time to decide.

Good luck to all runing this weekend, 30km for me on Sunday morning, looking forward to some warmer weather. Yeeee Haaaaaa.

17/02/2013 at 00:54
Oh yes, last weekend's halfmarathon chip time was 1:38.55! Sounds so much better than 1:39.05. Only 10 seconds but what a difference. Aren't runners a strange bunch?

20 miles today and 14 minutes quicker than last time I did the same route. Compton 40 could be interesting.
17/02/2013 at 21:29
I agree on race belts. Minimal is best. No need to carry more than a few gels and jelly beans.

Brighton half today was horrible. A cold didn't help, but 5 mins down on last week. And remembered why I will never do the marathon again. That damn camber for miles. Reminds me of... Oh crap !! 45 miles next week. Would be good to have beaten the cold by then but somehow I doubt it.
17/02/2013 at 21:47

Hans - I know what you mean about those extra few seconds! Sounds like your training is going the right way. 

It was good to run in the sunshine this morning. 56km at a slower 8 min/mile pace with 2 ascents of Box Hill. Legs were actually not too shattered by the end and if I wasn't so keen to get back home and stuff my face with food I definitely could have gone on for a fair bit more.

So the developments on the redundancy front couldn't have gone better. I will be leaving the UK on the 23rd of March to head back to family and friends in SA, so will be able to spend 2 months getting used to the hills of KZN again before the race. My work have agreed to allow me to serve out 4 months of my notice working remotely from SA so for 4 months I will be able to get up and not worry about a commute and walk downstairs to my home office. I really will have no excuses now if I'm not in great shape for Comrades.

Hopefully the other weekend racers had a better experience than Kevin, although 5 mins down with a cold isn't too bad.

17/02/2013 at 21:59
Wow Warren, quality time training on the actual course. Can I put you down for top 10 finish? Best of luck for the changes.

Listened to the Marathontalk podcast comrades episode (#73) on my runs today. A must for the newbies but stirring stuff for this B2B. The audio of the start gave me goosebumps and my bawling of Shosholoza was startling to some.

Run well.
18/02/2013 at 12:01

Great news Warren, jealous of you being able to train on the course for a couple of months.

I ran the London Ultra 50k yesterday. Very nice day out in the sunshine, just taking it easy and chatting to a friend and others I met on the way. It's amazing how much more quickly the time passes when you're with company, as I normally do all my running on my own.

SD - I saw Dave Ross after the race and he mentioned that he was getting t-shirts done for this years race. I told him I'd be up for one, but as we didn't have each others contact details I said I'd sort it through you, I hope you don't mind. So please if he does manage to get them done, put my name down or pass on my contact details to him. Thanks.

18/02/2013 at 12:49

Some nice long distances going on this weekend.  

I use the regular SIS gel belt with 8 gels and 2 bars plus my phone for a few pics. I felt a bit sick after all the sugery stuff I had a long the way and ended up chucking my excess on 45th Cutting.

21miles on Sunday for me and I'm happy my training is going in the right direction.  After I did last Sunday's LSR on Monday, I ended up with a 70+ mile week for the first time.  But it's completly unsustainable for me, particulalry when I start to introduce speedwork so it back to the more normal 50 mile weeks for me.


Godd to see a happy ending for you Warren.

18/02/2013 at 15:32

Portsmouth half for me yesterday - plus 6 miles add on. Beautiful sunshine but that meant lots of people promenading on the promenade which was interesting for the 950 plus runners to negotiate. Gorgeous views over the Solent and lots of big ships to check out....I do like a run with something to look at other than someones bottom in front of me.

18/02/2013 at 16:54

PH - Having followed Nell McAndrew round for about 5/6 miles in one race, I don't entirely agree with your statement

18/02/2013 at 20:55

Hi all,

Great to follow you all as I prepare for my first. A couple of practical questions for anyone with experience.

- How do you get back to the start line at the end of the race, or do your recommend staying in Pietermaritzburg for a night or two?

- Can spectators easily see runners at multiple points? Any websites that talk about Comrades from a follower's perpective?

Any of you planing any of the following events in March? Steyning Stinger, FInchley 20, or Sussex Coastal trail end of March?


18/02/2013 at 21:38

Thomas - you can buy tickets at the Expo for a coach from the finish venue back to Durban (around R80 ish).

Stevie - I've messaged you Dave's e-mail address.

Edited: 18/02/2013 at 21:38
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