Comrades 2019



  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    As he turned the corner to push up the hill at the start of his run his left eye began to sting. "Damned sun cream" he muttered as he staggered on with one eye closed slowly rubbing around the area trying to ease whatever was the cause away and not antagonise his eye. The awkwardness dogged him for almost two miles during which time he giggled to himself off and on as he imagined the pirate he had become; he needed a patch for his eye, a hook for the hand making no progress in soothing his eye, a crutch for his dodgy left side wooden stump of a leg.

    As he rattled down the steep hill to the estuary he assured the cyclists climbing in the opposite direction that he would be running back up the hill later, none of them believed him. The sun shone brightly as he relaxed into mile two. A train rocked along the tracks beneath the road and for a moment he wished he was riding away with it from his current life to something more. The broad V of geese squawking and gliding effortlessly above snapped him back to reality as he swooped around the bend at the base of the hill keeping up pace and showing good form as he cruised past the usual conflagration of parked cars along the waterfront.

    The occupants all with different agendas in the crisp afternoon; binoculars out for the birds; bikes out for the fitness, sandwiches out for the lunch, boots out for the walks; tongues out for the kissing. He sped by them all and descended onto the causeway across the marshes. The wind became bitter reminding him that it was still winter as he surveyed the river estuary and the lovely views across to Wales. As he crested the rise leading to the boardwalk the red flag warned of army rifle range practice in progress. The sentinel box was manned to prevent anyone accidentally accessing the range.

    The wood of the boardwalk was wonderfully bouncy as ever, always a delight to scamper across giving a resilient boost to every step. Traffic noises phased in and out as he approached the edifice of the majestic suspension bridge. Dwarfed by it's colossal girth he scurried along the path like a little mouse weaving amongst it's foundations, an insignificant little creature in comparison to the behemoth of concrete and cables. Jettisoned into the industrial estate by the funnelling wind forced into blustery contortions by the vast structure he pranced onward into the beckoning aroma of freshly cooked biscuits issuing from the sprawling supermarket bakery factory. He weaved through the maze of articulated lorries queuing to load up with freshly baked breads and pies and savoury snacks. He wished he could stop and eat, and eat, and eat.

    The hunger pangs faded away as once again the conundrum of the sprawling Toyota plant crept over the horizon. Its vast swathes of decommissioned brown ground slowly being colonised by bristling hordes of solar panels, so much energy generation but no sign of activity except for the darkened windows of the security Rav silently tracking him on the opposite side of the security fencing. It reminded him of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... Mmm chocolate!

    As the Rav turned back unable to ghost him beyond the final perimeter the familiar pong of horses wafted across the path, there was always something different in the dirty grassless mire of overshadowed ground. Today a tiny Shetland pony struggled to stay healthy in the muddy triangle. The same grubby sign as usual hung at an angle warning "don't feed the animals", he wanted to feed and free this animal.

    Onward past the ever evolving ground clearance, huge tracts of land being prepared for more industrial units. Earth gathered in embryonic pyramidal formations scoured from the now flat landscape beyond. Every once in a while cyclists would whistle by, riders crouching low in their saddles on track for a new route record.

    The safe path abruptly ended issuing him onto the roadside pavement. Those articulated lorries laden with baked goods droning to market along roads he now needed to be aware of lest he join the hedgehogs and other innocent mammals they had crushed in their inexorable drive to supermarketdom. A mile of wariness brought him to the sanctuary of the narrow ginnel, freedom from heavy traffic, back into the sparsely populated industrial estate.

    Favourite safe roads for learner drivers. Broad pavements divided into lanes for cyclists and walkers, flat easy running with regular mini hurdles of crossing roads and kerbs ultimately bringing him back to the solar arrays of Toyota Land and the reverse journey back home.  Places quieter and desolate compared to his earlier transit. Biscuits all baked and shipped, only cold air to breathe along the empty roads, forceful winds to be battled against in conquering the base of the bridge and the Dee Estuary Path. Gunnery range now silent, no cars on the waterfront. The climb he committed to run back up taking a heavy toll on weary legs.

    And finally back to the house that contained the rest of his peculiar existence...

  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    So Rowyn James replies to Qwerty confirming what a grand letter of affiliation he has achieved and totally gnores me; the bloke hanging on a thread who wants assurance all is well, what a farce this is
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    JAR, really sorry you are not up to taking part this year. Honoured that you would direct funds toward one of my favoured charities. Despite Comrades being complete asses with me I would not want to deprive Community Chest Durban through my Race4Charity page of the donation you are offering.

    Speaking of substitution; this now seems the only positive action I can take in this debacle; I've read up on it but can't figure absolutely what to do; do I need to find an international runner to hand my place to? Or can I just tell Comrades I am jibbing out and they will pair me up with same who is currently cap in hand with them?
  • JNR, sympathies, but glad you're making progress. Regarding transfer, have you let David Ross know? If you're not on the Comrades FB group I can post on there that I know someone with a place available, if you like.
    Hi Debra,  if you're on the group that would be great.   I have joined it in the past but I'm shocking at checking facebook - some time ago I stopped all notifications (except birthdays) and it's been bliss ever since!   

    I'll message you my email address and my phone number if they want to get in touch!

  • Hi Lowrez - from what I can tell you have to sub an international place with another international runner, SA with SA and Rest of Africa with another ROA.
    I hope once they sort out the affiliation details you'll consider coming back to this fine race!   

    Thanks Becca and Terry for the kind words... I wish I could be there and make a go of it but its not to be

    Sure CMA thinks I'm avoiding the up-run,  I only show up every alternate year.  It also means my goal of getting my green number for the 100th running on the race is now finely balanced. 

  • Mac3Mac3 ✭✭✭
    JAR  - I add my sympathies that you cannot take part this year, hope to see you in 2020 all being well.  I really hope you can shake off those niggles.  I've been 'hiding behind the curtain' due to a troublesome achilles tendon strain and know that depressing feeling.  Assuming I'll make the start (and finish line) I'll also need to run every year for the Green Number on the 100th. PS the Up Run is not so bad!
  • jkissanejkissane ✭✭✭
    Now that's some good news :smile:


    28 March 2019

    Dear X,

    Please be advised that the CMA notification circulated to all foreign runners on 1 March 2019 is hereby withdrawn as unauthorised by the CMA Board. 

    It therefore has no force and effect and should be ignored.

    It is reiterated that the Comrades Marathon is run under the rules of IAAF and Athletics South Africa, and that the following IAAF Rule 4.2 and ASA Rule 9.2 are applicable to international runners.

    IAAF Rule 4.2: Requirements to Compete in International Competitions

    Members may require that no athlete or Club affiliated to the Member may take part in an International Competition in a foreign Country or Territory without the Member’s written approval.  In such case, no Member hosting a competition shall allow any foreign athlete or Club of the Member in question to take part without evidence of such permit certifying that the athletes or Club is eligible and permitted to compete in the Country or Territory concerned.  Members shall notify the IAAF of all such permit requirements.  To facilitate compliance with this Rule, the IAAF shall maintain on its website a list of Members with such requirements.

    There are only 3 National Federations listed by IAAF as having such requirements:

    ASA Rule 9.2:

    In terms of IAAF rule 4.2 foreign athletes affiliated to Members so listed must provide a clearance permit to ASA to compete in any event in South Africa.  However, due to the current IAAF focus on doping and suspension of national federations, Athletics South Africa requires ALL foreign Elite/Professional athletes as defined in Rule 7 to provide a clearance permit from their home federation before that athlete may be entered in South Africa.

    We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that has been caused and look forward to welcoming you to the 94th Comrades Marathon on 9th June.
  • * waits for low rez's response with anticipation *

    I was waiting until April 1st to join a club and get this all sorted. Happy that I now won't have to :)
  • Mac3Mac3 ✭✭✭
    Isn't Lowrez Cuban ?!  I have clearance letters from England / Netherlands Athletics, might get those framed now!
  • Bike ItBike It ✭✭✭
    I think they should have waited for 1st April before sending out that letter....
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    I've been sat with my mouth zipped for the last 48 with assurances by Rowyn that a resolution was close, nice to see it drop :)
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Seriously I have a box of these waiting for a special occasion 

  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    The above closed dialogue helped me realise what a daft apeth I was considering not running - I plan my whole year around this event, you can't find a stretch of proper road this long with this level of support on it any where else. And the fact that its so ridiculously difficult is just the icing in the cake. Thanks to everyone who helped me through this :)

    Love your comment Bike IT :D
  • Dammit Lowrez - Now you've got to run up those hills!
  • Jkissane - Glad you're feeling better. Well done at Tokyo. Still a very good time. 

    JAR - really sorry to hear about the niggles and that you've made the decision to pull out. Keep working at them Hope you're up to more running soon

    Seren - really sorry you've got so much stress on. Go and run anywhere you enjoy be it roads or trails and just enjoy SA when you get there.

    Mac - hope you sort the achilles out soon. Take it steady.

    There seems to be a few injuries rumbling about :(
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    At 11:50+ for all my completions SS I have never run up any hills :D I've always been so out of shape I have had to nurse my bones up them to survive... OK last year I was gunning for sub 11 and I did run up some minor slopes in the first half, only to crash heavily... 
  • lowrez, I am so happy that this has been sorted and that you will be running Comrades! :smiley:
    Mac3: hope that tendon gets sorted soon
    Meanwhile, my running is presently about 90 seconds per mile slower than normal, as my breathing is still not right (due to the cold that started a week ago just as the chest muscles stopped hurting). Overnight heart rate isn't back down to where it should be either. However, I am still going to run the Croydon Half on Sunday, as I want one of the lovely medals that I had designed. After that, Boston (Lincs). And I will consider myself lucky that I have built up fitness to the point where I can still go and run these races (if slower than I wanted) even with eight weeks of respiratory infections.
    lowrez - I do hope you will be at Boston?
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Thanks Debra, yes Boston bound - I took up the offer of Uni accommodation so will arrive the day before - should be a great training run - not looking for any sort of time just an easy completion so I am pretty sure it will be 5hrs plus. Hope you recover prior to kick-off.
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Let's hope that that is this year's lowrez Comrades drama done.  I'm glad it was sorted out.
  • lowrez: Great. Looking forward to seeing you there. Yes, I hope I'll be recovered by then as well!
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Forgot to say good luck for Croydon, Debra.  That medal is very nice.  Hopefully, Boston is long enough after this to enable a good recovery.
  • Hi Becca, thanks. I'm really, really hoping that my chest/cardiorespiratory system will have recovered by the time I go to run Boston (my heart rate has only dipped below 50 overnight once in the past 8 weeks (night before last); normally it's down to about 41-44). On the bright side, I suppose, there's no way I will be able to run fast enough this Sunday for my legs to get tired!
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    In other news, I left the EU today even if the UK didn't. I actually voted remain, but the people have spoken and I am on board with the process unlike the politicians...

  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Good luck de-choking the engines in Croydon Debra.

    And good luck to Max and Mc Hilly too on The Silkin Way!

    I'm sure there is lots more drama to come yet Becca :D

  • Good luck to all running this weekend.

    Cool to have designed your own medal.

    And a very cool suit Lowrez. Thats quite amazing. Where do you get them all?
  • Glad you are back with us lowrez! Not sure Comrades would be Comrades without you.
    McHilly, was that you talking to my South African Comrades buddy before the (Silkin Way 50K) race today? How did you get on? I'm still coming back down to earth after my first podium race finish since the early 1980's! Don't tell anyone, but I should have been 4th not 3rd as the guy who came 4th got so lost on the way back that he gave away his massive lead and dropped down from 1st to 4th by the time he got to the finish. After setting off sensibly my competitive nature got the better of me and I kept chasing whoever I could see in front of me from mile 10 to mile 20. After that I was in no mans land so ran the last 10 miles on my own with no-one in sight at all (got a bit lost myself  :)) very pleased that I held my pace for a 4:09. Along with a 2:32 for the Ashby20 last week I feel like things are coming together nicely. Queue the inevitable injury... :#
  • Mc HillyMc Hilly ✭✭✭
    Hi MM2,, yes that was me before the start, it was great to see a couple of Comrades caps! Fantastic to hear about your podium place, congrats! My run didn’t feel so great, I decided to take it easy and just treat it as a long slow run, was a bit surprised how tough I found it compared to a much faster marathon a few weeks ago..... I guess it’s just the impact of having my highest planned mileage month!

    great to hear you’ll be joining us Lowrez!
  • There were some nasty little inclines on the way back that certainly had my legs complaining McH, I think it was tougher than it seemed. All good miles for Comrades! Upping the mileage always makes the long runs tougher, but that's the nature of the beast 
  • McHilly/Max - Well done on the Silkin Way. Sounds like good Comrades training and fantastic to have a podium finish Max. Very well done  :)

    Good luck today Debra. Hope the chest is still improving
Sign In or Register to comment.