Comrades 2014

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

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04/06/2013 at 09:46

Anyone thinking about 2014 yet?

04/06/2013 at 10:39


But it might wear off when common sense comes back online...

04/06/2013 at 11:36

I'm definitely there!

04/06/2013 at 11:40

I have unfinished business after the second half collapse. I did say I wanted Silver as plan A with plan B being any medal and am happy with the bronze but can do so much better on a cooler day.

We'll see! The down is a whole different challenge




04/06/2013 at 11:45

Budgeting wise, is TO roughly the same as Comrades?

04/06/2013 at 12:38

Andy, providing you're not in the "I hate downhills, me" subset of folk, the Down is easier. 

04/06/2013 at 12:47

I want to do this next year: I have a GFA place for VLM (was supposed to be this year, but plans changed), so I'm thinking about that and Comrades before returning to trail!

Will definitely be looking here for advice on travel, accommodation, budget etc. etc.

04/06/2013 at 13:42

I'm planning to run next year as well.

04/06/2013 at 13:45

I will definitely be there!!

04/06/2013 at 16:01

I have a score to settle with this race too. Sub 7 next year for sure. I'm blaming those horrendous conditions on Sunday for missing out by 10 mins 40 seconds this time around

04/06/2013 at 16:03

Well Douglas, I did think, "On the upside, perhaps I should go back in 2014 because I'll be able to see D MacT & Colin G get their Green Numbers" ! No, I did, really.

Debra - I reckon something like
flights etc- 750
accom    -  200
entry      - 120
plus say 50 for sundry odds and bobs. Call it £1200. Give or take a couple of 100 depending on how good you are at tight budgeting e.g. hostel dorm + buses + EgyptAir will be less, Hilton/Virgin, more.

There is a shuttle bus to / from DUR airport which is about 12 quid if I recall correctly, stops at all the hotels / hostels. Where you are staying or visiting ... or indeed the doorman at the Hilton ... will call you a reputable taxi ... from my hostel to the beach was about a fiver. In daylight you could walk it . Indeed Ode walked it at night after Comrades but he is quite tall and fast and used to staying out of trouble I suspect! 

With an unlocked phone you can buy a local SIM. 

I stayed in a hostel and mostly cooked my own grub from the SPAR over the road.

Food in general is a scratch cheaper than the UK.

That doesn't count the cost of any "training" marathons you might do, or extra massage / physio.

Have I forgotten anything...

04/06/2013 at 16:19

I fancy it but I reckon a thread is needed for newcomers as it's a bit of a task to get the organisation moving, does anyone provide an info service in the UK

04/06/2013 at 17:24

Well technically there is a Comrades Ambassador for the UK but TBH you're best off just asking here. It's really not too hard. You just need to use a credit card and the interwebs.

  1. Sign up online in September. You will want to buy a ChampionChip.
  2. Book flights to Durban
  3. Book accommodation in Durban
  4. Do training
  5. Do qualifying marathon
  6. Mail Mbali with your time
  7. Mail Mbali with other details: what course tour you want to go on (Fri or Sat?), what size tshirt you take, your qualifying time (you might have to do this twice if the system doesn't pick up your seeding after a couple of weeks ), if you want extra tickets for the course tour (can't remember if this is free, not a lot if not) or for the International area at the finish (tenner apiece includes food & drink)
  8. May: pack old clothes to wear at the start then discard. Other packing - you probably won't want more than 5 energy gels. 
  9. Fly to Durban
  10. Take shuttle bus to your hotel or hostel
  11. Thurs eve: go to Hilton (taxi or walk) for International runners drinkies
  12. Fri or Sat: go to Expo (next to Hilton!). Go straight to International Runners Registration (no queue) and get your number, your international area wristband(s) for the finish, your course tour wristbands, 
    buy bus tickets for DUR-PMB from Maharaja (stand at expo).
    Sit around near International Runners area enjoying free drinks, biscuits, shooting breeze with your pals. Venture out to expo food court for grub. You can drop your bag at the Expo if you want.
  13. Fri 8am or Sat 8am - take course tour bus from front of Hilton. This takes you up to PMB where you go round Comrades House (note there is another merchandise shop here, where I found socks which they had sold out of at the Expo). Course tour includes sandwiches & banana. Go back to your bus and the tour of the course proper commences.
  14. There will be stops at the Wall of Honour and the Ethembeni School and it ends at the stadium in Durban. Make your own way whereever from there.
  15. Sat eve - if you are not walking distance from the seafront (buses go from behind Holiday Inn iirc) then book a taxi.
  16. Sat night - you won't sleep - don't worry
  17. Grab a cardboard box to sit on later
  18. Sun morning - walk or taxi down to where the buses go from - you won't be the only runner where you're staying so just follow the ones who've done it before. Remember bus wristband!
  19. Someone remind me, is bag drop here?
  20. Get on bus
  21. Some unholy hour Sun morning - arrive PMB - follow SD if you can as he knows a quiet spot near some loos. Sit on your cardboard.
  22. Move into your pen in good time & sit on the cardboard.
  23. Don't sit sipping a drink for hours: the portaloos are OUTSIDE the pens...
  24. When gun goes, follow everyone else. 
  25. Don't trip over the enormous catseyes or discarded runner-cosies
  26. Portaloos : beware liquid poo on the seat in the dark (consider bushes instead!)
  27. Don't drink the water in the troughs
  28. Don't take NSAIDs
  29. Don't use earphones
  30. Don't worry
  31. Don't stop
  32. At finish make your way to International Runners Area (they showed you where this is on the course tour) (and get your bag if you dropped a bag)
  33. Watch final gun
  34. Make your way back to your bed
  35. Mon: remember to book shuttle bus pickup for whenever you're flying back (I managed it ON MY OWN so it is not that hard)
  36. breakfast/lunch/dinner at beach cafe with RWUK crowd
  37. Fly back
  38. Er that's it... ish
04/06/2013 at 17:37

I could be in for this or more than likely 2015.  If going to experience it would like to do it properly and not budget too little.

04/06/2013 at 17:57

Hello everyone. What a brutal day! Just want to thank every for their contributions, their advice and for sharing their experiences - on here and here (where I still am - Tekweni ain't no Hilton!) Special thanks' will be liberally distributed once I have caught up on the last few pages. 

Ill be back if it is down. I never want to experience that in totality again. In tim noakes, via marathontalk, parlance; I fear that my central governor will readjust and not stand for those miserable 34k again...

04/06/2013 at 18:49

Fido - that is awesome. How to do Comrades in 37 easy steps! Only new thing since your last trip is that you can drop off your tog bags on Saturday afternoon. Also get an international tog bag label as you can then collect them in the international area rather than the other side of the stadium.

04/06/2013 at 19:03

I am in .... every year I have unfinished business with this race and 2014 will be my 6th.  Although on Harrison Flats I was seriously asking myself why .....

The legs are still sore, but where else in the world can you run a race like this and get the support that we do as international runners.  Wearing the UK vests made such an impact as well .. will be up for another in 2014 (Fido you might need to add that to your list/budget).  I look forward to seeing you there next year too!

04/06/2013 at 19:42

I've been lurking a bit on this year's thread and now unlurking - definitely going to have a crack at this next year. Maybe I should print off the 38 point list and stick it to the fridge door? I like lists.

04/06/2013 at 21:08

Hi RR, be nice to see you there.

Can anyone give me an idea of how tough this is in comparison with, say, NDW50 or SDW 50?

04/06/2013 at 22:29

The toughest part has to be all hard road surfaces really, or so I'd imagine

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