Comrades 2014

As one journey ends, a new one begins...

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06/08/2013 at 21:28

Thanks folks - Barcelona now signed up. Arse and ears in the right locations . I'm planning on an April marathon as well, but not sure which one yet, so I want to have one in the bag nice and early and not have to worry about it. 

08/08/2013 at 10:20

I'm also heading out to Barca in March.  Been before and love the city but will try and see the Camp Nou this time.

After a raceless two months, I've finalised my Autumn schedule now as well.  This is where I'll be turning up:  Thames Meander, Bacchus, Vilnius, Chester, Leicester, Dublin, Pisa.  I'd like to go back to Abbo as it fits in nicely with seeing my girlfriends family but I'm waiting for a returned entry.  November is empty although I'd have rather gone to Athens than Vilnius and Pisa if they had an on-line payment system that would work for me. Speaks volumes on their continuing predicament...

I still need to think about other Spring events.  I know there is Malta in February and Gran Canaria/Marrakech in January but I don't think I can afford more trips abroad.  Maybe Gloucester or Northampton but this risks the snowy weather we get at some point in Jan/Feb. Isn't there also a 50k race that people did this year? I thought the Thames Trot was 50k but it seems I got the units wrong.  50 miles would be too much for me at that point.

The 3-in-3 seemed to work well for me this year but April is a bit trickier to plan for 2014.  I blinked and missed the Brighton entry fill up and London, Rotterdam and Paris are all on the same day.  Madrid is the 27th April but I would like to see what UK ones there are other than Manchester and MK which I did this year.  The Richmond Park marathon and Edinburgh will be too late in May. Anyone else have any plans yet or know of any races that'll be missed off the calendars until it is too late to enter them?

08/08/2013 at 11:51

There was a rumour that Paris and London were going to be on the same day, but it's been confirmed that Paris will be on the 6th and London on the 13th. Paris entries open on 16th September, if you're interested.

08/08/2013 at 13:55

I'm aiming to use London as my qualifier. Have to hope I will be in good shape to run that in a decent time.

08/08/2013 at 13:57

Ally: There's the London Ultra in mid-January, that's a 50K. Permanently waymarked course, so easy to train on. I ran it for my first ultra, last year. Got the miles on my legs nicely before I settled to speedwork for my first marathon...

08/08/2013 at 15:03

Cheers RR, I might well be tempted back to Par-ee in that case.  I never do well in London so it'll be good to use that one as an excuse.  Triumphant Arch was stunning in the sunrise this year.

Thanks Debra, I think thats the one I remember.  I will check that out.


09/08/2013 at 22:29

Thinking of Malta one end and Halstead the other but not sure about the middle!

Last year I did a long (non club!) run at the start of May taking in the Abingdon anniversary parkrun, then doing hilly 5ish mile out-and-back sections from the loos and aid station (aka my house) until I'd done over 50k. If anyone wants to join me this year they're very welcome (well join as in 'wave as seen pass each other's given we're all different paces). But obviously that wouldn't take much arranging! 

On a related note - union jack vests? Advice?

09/08/2013 at 22:47

I've got Bournemouth, Yorkshire and Brighton marathons in my calendar so far...

12/08/2013 at 00:53

Hi all, 

planning to go comrades but on my own, a bit scarey as I've never been there, it's a big tick off the to do list, got a few marathons lined up for training but I'm tied as to how many as i plan to do my 100th marathon locally in Taunton, well kinda local Im in Devon. After that London (maybe) Boston and may do Manchester or Milton Keynes again As prep for this. I don't plan on running further as I don't think I'd recover for the 56 miles. I've done a few ironman and hilly shorter ultras but this will be new territory. 

any advice on where to stay and whens best to go would be appreciated. 

13/08/2013 at 15:44

Just catching up on here - really because I have now booked my hotel in Durban...YIKES !  Will book flight ealy September. I know somer folk on here wait to do it all later but I have a feeling next year will be I know as this year was my first Comrades...but the downhill seemed to be the most favoured route.

Muzza - I stayed in Durban City Lodge as did quite a few others on here. It is very close to the Expo - within walking distance if you can walk with someone. The finish for the Down is also just across the road so that would be just brilliant.

This year I travelled out on the Weds before, arriving on Thurs and left Tues after. I am planning on flying out a day later this year to Durban but still leaving on the Tuesday. I don't think I need the extra day before but it was good for a first timer a syou can then do the Expo thing and chill.

I am doing New Forest and Beachy Head and am hoping NF will be my one to get a decent time at - well - decent for me - I want a sub 4 to get into Pen D again...that will be the best I can do. If I don't get it I will have to wait until Brighton next year as that will be my next marathon for reasons I won't bore you with...and I don't really want to leave it that long so pressure is on for NF which was just initially going to be a Day Out.

Anyone doing Thames Meander - I shall be marshalling somewhere en route. I see Ally is going who I did briefly meet in SA this year - he even let me hold his silver medal ! I may well put on my Comrades cap or at least the T shirt so anyone can shout at me.

My training next year will pretty much follow what I did this year, although I might drop the Crawley track and go for Halstead instead.

Not long to go now to registration. Very exciting.

13/08/2013 at 18:44

Possum hopper

I am also doing the new forest . I have already bought my champion chip for comrades do you know if i can use it for the new forest or do you have to use the one supplied ? 

13/08/2013 at 21:03

In UK races you neither buy nor rent chips,  you always use the one supplied and are meant to give it back or send it back straight after. Not like Germany or SA. 

Muzza - check out p1 of this thread

Anyone doing Enigma Gold on Saturday?  Hoping to get a qualifier (Yes, I have got that slow) and not get rained on too much. 

The ultrafest is just up the road from me so I'm popping in every day for inspiration. Funny to see people ambling round a track with spoon and bowl in hand! 


Hope SD is recovering from his latest mad excursion (!)

13/08/2013 at 21:58

Thanks possum hopper and fido2dogs. 

Plan to go thur and return the following thur/fri as I'd like to do a mini safari after, And be back for Dartmoor Discovery, dont like missing that race. I'm gonna look into city lodge, sounds perfect

No Enigma gold for me unfortunatly, not done much since dartmoor discovery and Outlaw tri but building up now for a plod around wolves and hopefully get some mojo going for Berlin. Abingdon, cornish, enigma Xmas double And next few in line. 

soon as I'm entered in sept I'm gonna book flights and hotel. Lets go mad!  

13/08/2013 at 23:18

Been looking Into flights, bit of a nightmare as cant seem to find anything direct. Although if I decide against the safari and just do the fly thur and return tues for 4 nights in city lodge is £900 Inc flights. The flights are 2 stops and takes 17 hrs to get there. Is this normal? Or are there better ways? 

13/08/2013 at 23:33

Thank you fido2dogs  I wasn't to sure as never had a chip timed race before and bought my champion chip from fr systems who also time the new forest marathon 

Edited: 13/08/2013 at 23:42
14/08/2013 at 00:17

Muzza - quickest options are Virgin, BA and SAA who fly direct to Jo'burg where you can get a connecting flight to Durban - so only one stop.  Another option with only one stop is with Emirates via Dubai - but you end up with two long flights so it will take longer.  Finally you have the two stop options (one in Europe and one at Jo'burg) with European carriers which take you to their flight hub e.g. Madrid with Iberia, Paris with Air France, Zurich with Swiss, Frankfurt with Lufthansa etc.

For prices, it's a matter of keeping an eye out for special offers which turn up fairly frequently and booking when you think you've found the best price for your option...

For Jo'burg stops I think it can be cheaper to buy the Jo'burg-Durban leg separately BUT that means that if your incoming flight gets delayed and you miss your flight you will have to pay for another flight. If it is booked as one itenerary, it will cost more but the airline will be obliged to book you onto another connecting flight for free... 

14/08/2013 at 08:22

Ally- If you are looking April wise, I have done Worcester, London and Stratford on consecutive weekends which should only cost a couple of tanks of petrol.  would imagine you are GFA/Champs but anyone not in London can do LLanelli on same day.

Fido- I've used Gloucester as qualifying for A seed so I don't think they really  worry for international runners.

Muzza- Having done Emirates and SAA would definitely recommend the direct route as per SD. Think I mentioned before that on Kayak for about 4 days last year was Iberia for £590. When I looked into it it was the BA flight so about £300 cheaper but I bottled it as wasn't sure.

14/08/2013 at 09:59

Hi Muzza - yep - what Fido said re chips.

I flew SA this year and it was tight at J'berg as the flight from London was delayed by an hour and with only a 2 hours stop over initially at J'berg it was quite frantic with that being squeezed to an hour as you have to re-claim your bags as first port of call, go through immigration, and re-check them in. My bags didn't go through initially and I wasn't allowed to board the connecting flight...but it all came good and was sorted. I wasn't overly concerned tho as I would have been put on next flight and not had to pay....if you'd paid seperately then yep, you'd have to pay for that new flight.

I have looked at other cheaper options for next year but am going SA again as they were good, direct enough and don't fancy paying almost £200 quid less but travelling for up to 35 hours !!

I can't quite believe I am planning on going back next year but it is a unique opportunity to try for that's great tho to have it to work towards and look forward to.

14/08/2013 at 18:18

Recovered from Shinsplints but now have a poorly foot. Couldn't run for a bus. V grumpy! Swim swim swim!

AOEH, the Gloucester marathon also has a 50km option, if the weather behaves of course.

14/08/2013 at 19:59

thanks everyone!! Some great advice here, appreciate it as a out of Europe newbie.  

Hans C, stay clear of Gloucester marathon/50k the way they treated us last year when they had to cancel was a disgrace, no cash refund, no communication nothing!  Bad weather wasn't there fault I know but the way they have gone about it is very bad, and there several thousand pounds quids in. 

the rough flight itinerary was fly 3pm wed, via Cairo and Johannesburg and arrive 10am on the thur, then return same way on tues 4.40pm and arrive home 9.30am wed. Plus 4 nights in the Hilton is £983 plus 8.5% cash back thorough quidco may leave a day earlier to get over it but this is the best I can find. Could save maybe £100 on a cheaper hotel but if you can't get out and about much I'd rather have a gym and decent restaurant/pub etc. doesnt seem to bad but I'm gonna keep looking. 

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