Comrades 2012

Can I mention 2012 now?


  • We might be able to get an invading army together!

  • Peter RPeter R ✭✭✭

    Thanks Slow Duck for starting the new thread ... next year will be my 4th (3rd down) and I am in for sure.  I think entry opens on 1 September and finishers this year do not need to do a qualifier (thats been the criteria for the last 2 years at least).

    Hernia fixed yesterday ... so taking a forced break now!

  • I am running out of excuses to do this race. It will be my 5th next year. I got the Bill Rowan I so dearly wanted, I have done 3 ups and 1 down. I doubt I have what it takes to get silver, so no reason to go back really.

    The thought of running a sub 3 marathon really motivates me and I may well work towards that goal.

    I won't make a definite decision before January though, which means I will enter in September (and will probably en up doing it again) but time will tell.
  • Just popped in to say hello and so I can follow your progress....not going back next year.....honest
  • I'm back!!

    Come on Keith, you know you want to.....image

  • I will be back. I have a score to settle with this race image

    First though, a few targets to shoot for in the second half of 2011. Target 1 is sub 80min half. Target 2 is sub 2:45 marathon. I may kill myself trying to get them but it will be good fun nonetheless.

  • Warren - Target 1 will be a breeze for you and Target 2 is well within your reach with a solid training period and race. For comparisons, to get a championship start at London you need either a 2:45 marathon or a 75 half.

    I'm very jealous of you all going back next year, I'm going to have to wait until 2013 or 2014. image

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭
    Well done for starting the thread SD. I reckon i will go back as well for that "extra" medal you earn for a back to back run. Not run since Comrades and don't intend to for the next few weeks. Foot aches a little and back of the knee still not 100%. Loads of time to plan my assault on those pesky hills though....
  • I'm in somewhat the same boat as Sportaloo. Have now done three Comrades, 2 Up, 1 Down, two bronze, one back to back, and now one Bill Rowan medal. Silver is far beyond my capability so as much as I love the race, running out of solid reasons to make the trek from USA.

    In the back of my mind I think I'm worried about doing 1 or 2 more, then being on the track where I simply must shoot for my green bib.

    My plan is to try and recover from the constant cold I've had since Comrades, then take stock later this summer. If my mate who I've done two with wants to make a run for a BR, what kind of person would I be if I didn't help himimage
  • A question. 

    I got 10.35 this year.

    Can I get the Bill Rowan next year and what will it realisticaly take?

  • jelly beanjelly bean ✭✭✭
    Hello Ben what's your best marathon, half and 10k times?
  • Ben I did 10:30-something at 2008 Up, 9:30-something at 2009 Down, and 8:57 this year. I don't really buy some of the generally-accepted guidelines for what your marathon time should equate to at Comrades. For example, on the Down Run 9hr00min pace band I have from 2009, it says it is for 3hr43min marathon qualifiers. I think, in general, that's far too generous.

    While there will be 4hr marathoners who get their Rowan, based on my experience I think you need to be in solid 3hr30min marathon shape going into Comrades. Your training must lots of hill running, especially downhill for 2012. Then figure a way to do that training and get to the start line healthy. If you can do these things and then run the race smartly, you'll get a Rowan. Key is taking it easy first half. That second half of the Down absolutely hammers your quads. Going down Fields, I recall weaving to try and keep the decline more gradual. Unlike the Up, where walking the tough hills is standard practice, in the Down it's embarrassing to walk downhill.
  • Jelly Bean-

    I don't really bother with such distances for the most part. 

    My only marathon was a trail marathon and I got 4.02.  I got 1.53 in a half marathon, but that was my first ever race, and I have never done one since.  I recently got 2.45 in the Ashby 20, which would imply that I could probably get sub 1.40 in a half marathon today.  My best and only time for a 10k is 46 minutes.

    So what do you make of that?


    Thanks for the advice. 

  • jelly beanjelly bean ✭✭✭
    I agree with Larry on the 3.30 marathon.  I ran 3.28 back in September and finished in 9.21 - 9.11 if you take  off the 10 mins lost in the portaloo on fields hill.  I also did two sessions per week in the gym working on the legs, core and lower back.  I started in January but on reflection several months earlier would have been better.
  • jelly beanjelly bean ✭✭✭
    What I make of that is that you're probably not far off.  The 20 suggests a better marathon than 4.02 possibly around 3.40 if you trained specificly for the marathon.  How hard did you run to do the 2.45 20m?
  • Not tempted to go back right now (presumably if you are ever THAT desperate for a b2b medal you change your name and suck up the extra 2 races you will therefore need to get a green number) but who knows. It is not so much the race but it's just a hell of a long way to go and of the order of a thousand quid in travel expenses, and, you know, maybe I'm not just that sucked in to the collect-the-tokens stuff (different colour medal, extra medal, & so on). But never say never. It would be nice to overcome my gut issues and get a bronze -

     - in fact I would be interested here and now to hear any tips on dealing with that.

    I think it's a big leap from marathon running to Comrades (where folk like me are walking maybe about half the way and not running all the fast the rest of the time). Presumably (I should do the maths some time) a LOT more of your energy comes from fat and so the big mistake a lot of us make, perhaps, is not to scale down the gels/drink intake to be in line with the reduced rate of glycogen depletion...?

    The other main issue I had was the horrible early start - I was thinking maybe I should have just spent most of my pre-race time in SA trying to sleep and not worrying about trying to acclimatize to the early start, but what do I know...?

  • Not sure btw there is a big correlation between marathon time (or other shorter times) and Comrades time - or rather there is certainly an enormous amount of variability because stuff just kicked off.

    We could probably draw up a table of thread members mara vs comrades times, but the short version is that Carmen beat the Yelling/Williams pair by 4 minutes!

     SlowDuck - I keep on forgetting to ask - when the cutoff was 11 hours, who did the 11 hour bus then & what was it like?

  • jelly bean-

    I went pretty flat out in the Ashby 20, but I did not taper for the event, and effectively treated it as my long run that week. 

    The Leicester marathon is on my doorstep in October, and would be well suited to getting a better seeding/testing your theories. 

  • Slotwin (assuming she has come over here from the 2011 thread) - for shin splints you could try sports massage. Might hurt like billy-oh but a good masseur/se can work wonders.

    Still in Seattle here - it's half past 2 in the afternoon and there is a brief lull in the frenetic activity. Day started with 8am conf. call and I worked through lunch so nice to have a bit of down time (have just caught up with OH via a google talk video call, isn't modern technology wonderful).

    Oh blimey - is it Father's Day on Sunday?!

  • jelly beanjelly bean ✭✭✭

    Well Ben as an experiment you could try training for Leicester to see what that produced.  A sub 3.40 marathon would give you a C seeding - most of the BR's come from B and C I believe.  Long runs wouldn't be more than 20 miles though, running ultras here and there wouldn't help your marathon prep if your aim is to run the fastest marathon you can.  Ideally you would run a half flat out and then use the resulting time as the basis for your marathon schedule.  For example if you ran  1.38 -39 a sub 3.30 is feasible a 1.45 would put you closer to 3.40.

    If you look at the training schedules on the Comrades website they also give the times you would need to achieve at 5k - Marathon in order to achieve the various medals - nothings gauranteed of course.

    Another usefull site is which has a usefull calculator.  If you input a race time up to marathon it will produce a table of times for other distances.

    Personally for me to improve I think I would need to do more gym work as well as running.

  • jelly beanjelly bean ✭✭✭
    Fido - I don't think the marathon talk guys were taking it too seriously, I beat them by 87mins but they were able to run the last 5k in 20mins!  Er.....I wasn't.
  • From the sound of it Martin Yelling had a knee problem (and then scurried the last 10 or so km to beat the 11 hour cutoff hopped up on random painkillers blagged from passers-by!).

    But it still goes to show that really nothing is guaranteed!

  • Ben - Of course you can. You just have to want it bad enough to do the work required to get it.

    Jelly Bean - If you look at the last split for the MT guys, they are nowhere near 20min 5k pace. I think that everybody feels like they are flying from the top of Polly's to the finish, but the reality is very different.

  • Ben - I think Larry and JB has it spot on.

    This what I had to do (Please keep in mind that I am completely useless at anything over marathon distance)

    2008 - 9:17 (up) 2000km from Jan 1st Best marathon - 3:27
    2010 - 9:09 (down) 1450km from Jan 1st Best marathon - 3:25
    2011 - 8:38 (up) 2000km from Jan 1st Best marathon 3:08

    Regardless of total mileage for Jan 1st, I felt I had to be able to run a sub 3:30 hilly marathon without taper / recovery. This was more important to me than the 3:08 marathon. Running sub 10 minute pace at Comrades feels a bit like walking (especially in the first half) if you can cruise a marathon at sub 8 minute pace.

    Fast marathon time on a flat course does not mean much. The silver guys are normally sub 3 mara runners regardless of the course difficulty. BR guys are mostly sub 3:30 marathon runners regardless of the course difficulty.

    One thing to keep in mind, a large percentage of BR's go to failed silvers.
  • Stevie - Cross post, important point, yes you have to want it too!

    Another thing, everyone is different and some guys do sub 9 with a 3:45 marathon and 1200km from January (bastards). You have to find what works best for you.
  • Ben

    Agree with Stevie that a lot depends on how much you want it and how much effort you put in...but the stats don't totally lie either. Havent seen them from 2011 yet but they should be available any day but for 2010 ...

    A seeded runners (sub 3:00) 38% got Bill Rowans
    B Seeded (sub 3:20) 65% got Bill Rowans
    C Seeded ( sub 3:40) 41% got Bill Rowans
    D Seeded runners (sub 4:00) 7% got Bill Rowans
    Rest less than 1% got Bill Rowans  

    Assuming that there were some runners in the wrong pens then being able to run a sub 3:40 marathon seems the best indication of ability to get a BR.  So at some level testing yourself over a standard marathon should give you an indication of your BR potential.


  • I'm here Fido, packing for my next trip (well, clearly NOT packing since I am on here). Anyway, thanks to you and Sam for tips. I had 2 massages before I left Durban, and none since, so perhaps best get some more - although difficult when I am on the road as much as I have been since returning.

    Pete: glad op went well, another 17k for you soon then image.

    JB: I availed myself of those portaloos too. Sure hope it wasn't you who was responsible for the odour in the one I used, pheweeee! As if eh?

    Sporta: You mean you aren't tempted to come back and actually meet us all next year? Surely that has got to be worth SOMETHING? image.

    I'm in the 'will I, won't I' camp re: 2012. Part of me wants to experience the down, part of me thinks my body won't be so kind to me a second time. I had no real physical or mental issues during the run (only afterwards!) -partly cos I wasn't pushing myself - but cannot believe that I'll get away with that twice. Anyway, whilst the jury is out and I try and dream up a plausible excuse to use on my family for weekend absenteeism AGAIN, then I shall continue to hang around here and lob in my viewsimage.

  • Fido - nothing to do with Comrades - Father's day is 19th.
  • Slow DuckSlow Duck ✭✭✭
    Fido - I don't recall there being a bus when the cut-off was 11 hours - there again I may have been behind it as my finish times were 10:52 and 10:56... In 1999 we didn't have seeding pens so it was a case of first-come start at the front!

    Ben - I agree with JB, Sportaloo and Keith that for a realistic shot at Bill Rowan you need to be running sub 3:30 marathons. If I can get my marathon time down below 3:30 I may try for a Bill Rowan next year, as I'm much happier on the Downs...
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    Are downs easier/faster? I was planning 2013 as I want to get a sub 3:15 marathon first (3:29 at the moment) but I aim to do that at Portsmouth in December. I want to get a BR but thought an extra year would be sensible....
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