15 December 2014 | Comrades Marathon | 90km Durban to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
You want to run what? I find myself asking that question more often since we started running. Jacky and I have been discussing our race plans for 2015. When we first started running we wanted to do every race we could. Now as we move into our 4th consecutive year of endurance sports we do more training but aim for quality over quantity.
We had been looking at doing a marathon in Australia. It seems way more adventurous and enjoyable to plan our vacations around our race events. The problem with racing around the Pacific Rim is the humidity. Running the Singapore Marathon and even some local races in Korea have taught me to appreciate and have a healthy respect for training and racing in humid environments. Well fortunately for me Jacky solved all that. She managed to stumble across the Ultimate Human Race… The Comrades Marathon! Yep… It’s official we are going to the Ultimate Human race, the biggest and oldest Ultra Marathon on Earth! The Comrades Marathon race will be run on Sunday, 31 May 2015 starting at 05h30 and finishing at 17h30. The race is run from ‘gun to gun’. And we signed up to be there!
Comrades, (depending on who you talk to) is spoken of in revered tones and has an almost mythic/Zen quality associated with it for runners. The Marathon Talk podcast mentioned that all runners should experience at least one major marathon and a Comrade run in their lifetime. Wikipedia states the following:
The Comrades Marathon is an ultra-marathon of approximately 89 km (approx. 56 miles) which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon race. The direction of the race alternates each year between the “up” run (87 km) starting from Durban and the “down” run (89 km) starting from Pietermaritzburg.
The field is capped at 18,000 runners, and entrants hail from more than 60 countries. In every event since 1988, over 10,000 runners have reached the finish within the allowed 11 or 12 hours. With increased participation since the 80’s, the average finish times for both genders, and the average age of finishers have increased substantially.
Runners over the age of 20 qualify when they are able to complete an officially recognized marathon (42.2 km) in under five hours. During the event an athlete must also reach five cut-off points in specified times to complete the race. The spirit of the Comrades Marathon is said to be embodied by attributes of camaraderie, selflessness, dedication, perseverance and Ubuntu.
I found a lot of other information and training tips across the internet. The one thing that stood out to me most was this Top Ten Tip from Neil Scholes:
Be prepared to be inspired by the experience. The crowd support along the whole route, the local and national interest is unbelievable. It is a national institution.
We be also using The Ulitmate Comrades Marathon Resource Guide by talkfeed.co.za
So yeah… Now we start the training and the countdown is already at 166 days… OMG!
You are required to run a qualifying race within the qualifying times as per the qualifying table.
|42,2 km||sub 05:00:00|
|48 – 50 km||sub 06:00:00|
|52 – 54 km||sub 06:30:00|
|56 km||sub 07:00:00|
|60 km||sub 07:40:00|
|64 km||sub 08:20:00|
|80 km||sub 10:30:00|
|100 km||sub 13:30:00|
The 2015 Route will be from Durban to Pietermaritzburg (like shown on the map left to right)
|Gold||First 10 Men and Women|
|Wally Hayward||Position 11 to sub 6hrs 00min|
|Silver||6hrs 00min to sub 7hrs 30 min|
|Bill Rowan||7hrs 30min to sub 9hrs 00min|
|Bronze||9hrs 00min to sub 11hrs 00min|
|Vic Clapham||11hrs 00min to sub 12hrs 00min|
We are going for the COMRADES 2015 BRONZE MEDAL PROGRAMME by LINDSEY PARRY Official coach of the Comrades Marathon Association