Comrades 2020

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  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited June 21

    McH - see you at The Hilton!

    Baldstan (and McH) Thomas went on a safari in his epic tale above :)

  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭
    McHilly - Hluhluwe is a great place, but it pales compared to Kruger.  If you're going to go somewhere, make theffort to go to Kruger - one of the world's greatest wildlife reserves
  • Mc HillyMc Hilly ✭✭✭
    Great race report Thomas!
  • Slow DuckSlow Duck ✭✭✭
    Great report Thomas, I enjoyed reading it. You showed a lot of character to persevere against all the stuff thrown at you. Chapeau!

    I don’t know if you realised but your photo of two Japanese runners leaving the expo - the one in yellow is my “new friend” Nao Kazami - who finished third!

  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    Great report Thomas and a fantastic time especially given everything you went through during the race. I'm already looking forward to the salted potatoes...
  • thomasclowesthomasclowes ✭✭✭
    Mc Hilly said:
    Hotel now booked (got a great deal at Hilton, but not refundable, so really hope Comrades doesn’t go back on “second Sunday in June” !
    Only booked for fri to mon, but seriously considering adding something on, any comments on Hluhluwe Imfolozi  v Kruger for safari? Or anyone any experience of seeing/volunteer work with Penguins at the Cape? 
    16 week training plan for qualifier at beginning of October just started! Where does resting fit in?
    I was told that Comrades time is the wrong time of year for Penguins on the cape.

    I thought Hluhluwe was great. I’ve not been to Kruger but I’ve been told by lots of people that it is TOO busy.. as in your just go and line up behind the hoards of cars surrounding the animals. I prefer the drive, search, and peace approach.

    Look forward to reading your race report Thomas as it looks from your recent posts you had an 'interesting' debut race!
    I've officially retired from Comrades although in an Andy Murray kind of way, since my hip has improved, I'm already having thoughts about the 100th edition in 2025..... :#.  Great to see a few newbies taking their first steps towards Comrades 2020. All I can say to you guys is don't even hesitate, it's a truly great life experience, not just another Ultra.

    You could say that :P
    Sorry to hear of your forced hiatus. I do agree that Comrades is a life experience.
    1owrez said:
    Great read Thomas, I felt your frustration all the way, even before you said it I thought that was a lot of salt tablets. You are running in a space I can't approach, but I always "trust to the tables", water, coke, banana, orange, shortbread biscuits, crackers, salty potatoes... funny you thought they were being hidden, down my end of the course they were offered out freely on massive platters. 8:30 is an amazing time, if you end up in this for the green then I am sure you will run your perfect up run one day.

    Thanks Roger ! I’m impressed that people managed to read the whole thing. Think it is the longest thing I’ve ever written apart from my dissertation :P

    meh I’m running against my own ego but I definitely stand by the sentiment that lining up at a Comrade start line is ballsy and impressive. Everyone has different stories. I don’t know.. it may sound weird but that race changed me. My body and mind is still like “what the hell happened”.

    As for green.. we will se after numbers 2,3, and 4 :P

    Mc Hilly
    said:
    Great race report Thomas!
    Thanks ! 

    Slow Duck
    said:
    Great report Thomas, I enjoyed reading it. You showed a lot of character to persevere against all the stuff thrown at you. Chapeau!

    I don’t know if you realised but your photo of two Japanese runners leaving the expo - the one in yellow is my “new friend” Nao Kazami - who finished third!

    Wow. That’s cool. I had no idea it was just random. I like the fact that the elites are ‘normal’ people who go to the expo and all that :)

    baldstan
    said:
    Great report Thomas and a fantastic time especially given everything you went through during the race. I'm already looking forward to the salted potatoes...
    Thanks ! It’s an awesome race. Only downside is the insane residual fatigue 2 weeks afte
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    Mmmmm salted potatoes
    Join me on the bench Terry
    If we end up being in better shape than we expect come spring there is always the transfer window. And flights aren't too bad if you don't mind going via Paris or Frankfurt.
  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭
    I thought Hluhluwe was great. I’ve not been to Kruger but I’ve been told by lots of people that it is TOO busy.. as in your just go and line up behind the hoards of cars surrounding the animals. I prefer the drive, search, and peace approach.

    No, that's completely incorrect.   Kruger itself - which is self drive - is a magnificent trip, but you need to rent a car.  Sometimes there will be several cars at a sighting, but "hoards" is absurd.   Greater Kruger Park includes the private reserves, and you will be in a landcover with a ranger and will see everything.  Budgets for every taste.  All the pictures I posted were taken in Thornybush Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger Park.
  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭
    Thomas - loved reading your report and top work for making to PM in a great time. You are definitely hooked!!!!

    Have to agree with Dannirr re Kruger. I have been there a couple of times with a safari company that has a lovely lodge that is located close to crocodile bridge. I had very knowledgeable guides each day, the food each night was amazing and the animals we saw were simply out of this world. The guides knew where to take you for the best opportunity to see the animals plus of course when they saw other guides they chatted and then zoomed off to that location. At no point were we surrounded by cars. In fact, sometimes you didn't see anyone for hours on end!!!! Go there, you will love it...

    Mchilly - not sure about volunteering at the penguins at boulders beach, but this year there were hundreds to see. Also saw Great whites at Gansbaai. We did get lucky with the weather this time though.
  • thomasclowesthomasclowes ✭✭✭
    Dannirr said:
    I thought Hluhluwe was great. I’ve not been to Kruger but I’ve been told by lots of people that it is TOO busy.. as in your just go and line up behind the hoards of cars surrounding the animals. I prefer the drive, search, and peace approach.

    No, that's completely incorrect.   Kruger itself - which is self drive - is a magnificent trip, but you need to rent a car.  Sometimes there will be several cars at a sighting, but "hoards" is absurd.   Greater Kruger Park includes the private reserves, and you will be in a landcover with a ranger and will see everything.  Budgets for every taste.  All the pictures I posted were taken in Thornybush Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger Park.
    Happy to be corrected. I’ll have to go next year and check it out.marty74 said:
    Thomas - loved reading your report and top work for making to PM in a great time. You are definitely hooked!!!!

    Have to agree with Dannirr re Kruger. I have been there a couple of times with a safari company that has a lovely lodge that is located close to crocodile bridge. I had very knowledgeable guides each day, the food each night was amazing and the animals we saw were simply out of this world. The guides knew where to take you for the best opportunity to see the animals plus of course when they saw other guides they chatted and then zoomed off to that location. At no point were we surrounded by cars. In fact, sometimes you didn't see anyone for hours on end!!!! Go there, you will love it...

    Mchilly - not sure about volunteering at the penguins at boulders beach, but this year there were hundreds to see. Also saw Great whites at Gansbaai. We did get lucky with the weather this time though.
    You went to the Cape this year and saw the penguins? Yikes. I’m wrong about everything today :P

    Absolutely hooked. Not so much just the distance, race, or people but the combination. That race touched my soul.
  • Terry48Terry48 ✭✭✭
    Agree about Kruger Park.  We've been there many, many times over the years and never been disappointed, and Comrades time is the best time of year for game viewing - when the bush is less dense in the dry season.  Danirr, we had a few nights in Thorneybush last year and enjoyed spectacular game viewing.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited June 22
    I'm getting a bit confused here, in one breath you say "Kruger" and then in the next your hiding in a "thorny bush" or under an "alligator bridge". Have I got the wrong idea? If I want to go to see some animals in Chester, I go to the Zoo, its not called umpteen things with a choice of who shows you round which can affect how good the experience is? Sounds like this "Kruger" is some kind of conglomerate with the potential to have a bad experience if you don't choose the right people? I looked it up on a map - the actual space called "Kruger National Park" is flippin' massive 7.5 thousand square miles, that's a bit more than a zoo. So do you risk getting stuck in some traffic queue and not seeing anything if you make the wrong decision about where to go and who to guide you?
  • thomasclowesthomasclowes ✭✭✭
    1owrez said:
    I'm getting a bit confused here, in one breath you say "Kruger" and then in the next your hiding in a "thorny bush" or under an "alligator bridge". Have I got the wrong idea? If I want to go to see some animals in Chester, I go to the Zoo, its not called umpteen things with a choice of who shows you round which can affect how good the experience is? Sounds like this "Kruger" is some kind of conglomerate with the potential to have a bad experience if you don't choose the right people? I looked it up on a map - the actual space called "Kruger National Park" is flippin' massive 7.5 thousand square miles, that's a bit more than a zoo. So do you risk getting stuck in some traffic queue and not seeing anything if you make the wrong decision about where to go and who to guide you?
    If you want to see animals in Chester don’t you just hit the clubs on a Saturday night *jokes*

    yeh Kruger is quite big. Probs worth getting an Uber if you want to cross it.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Just saw Dannirr's more expansive comment above - so you can self-drive, and the experience is what you can make of it... I assume when you roll up to any of the official entry gates you pay some money and they hand you a (paper) guide? Are the roads all ashphalt with pulling in places where you can stop and view some stuff? Is it risky? Do you need to keep your doors and windows closed and locked? Safari parks in the UK are all manufactured places where the animals are all on top of you. In comical adverts cars stall and chimpanzees pull all the bright work off your car and urinate on your sunroof. 
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Ooo its Saturday Night tonight Thomas!

  • Mc HillyMc Hilly ✭✭✭
    Lowrez, SA safari is nothing like your local Knowsley safari park! (Is it still there? I thought it was great when I last went, in the 70s!)
    i think I’ll add on a Kruga trip next year, shall investigate options nearer the time
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    I need to know(sley) the Kruger rules McH - don't want to step out of me Uber with me brand new iPhone Galaxy Huawei 736 videoing a kangaroo eating a duck billed platypus and a wallaby sneaks up behind me and pokes me in the jugular - PS wasn't that dead "leopard" actually a cheetah?
  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭
    Exactly lowrez. I went with guides just because it was easier and i wasn't prepared to hire a car. But yes, you can just rock up to the relevant gate, pay your money, then buy a guide book which provides you with a map of Kruger and you can drive where you want to. Certain areas provide better sightings of the big 5, or wild dogs or birds. The main roads are all asphalt and every so often they have lodges to buy refreshments etc. If you go off the beaten track they are dirt roads and these are the ones where you may see no one for ages.

    The vehicle we traveled in was one of those open sided safari truck mobiles with higher seats at the back for better viewing angles. The animals came close but i never felt at any time they were going to jump in. You just need to make sure you have a means of escape should something start to go wrong.

    Ask if anyone wants the link to the lodge i stayed at.
  • Debra BourneDebra Bourne ✭✭✭
    I've booked the Belaire from Thursday to Sunday nights - I still prefer trail to road but I really missed Comrades this year. I should hit my 100 marathons/ultras towards the end of this year (88 since SDW100). I'm thinking about getting some coaching from the start of 2020 and seeing whether I can improve my speed for marathon & Comrades - that sub-10 medal would be really nice!
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited June 22
    In New Zealand, searching for elephants and giraffe, my hire car was not allowed to drive off sealed roads, so if that's the same in SA, searching for kiwis and tuatara, I will go with a tour organisation instead of self driving. Then I can sip pina coladas too :)
  • thomasclowesthomasclowes ✭✭✭
    1owrez said:
    In New Zealand, searching for elephants and giraffe, my hire car was not allowed to drive off sealed roads, so if that's the same in SA, searching for kiwis and tuatara, I will go with a tour organisation instead of self driving. Then I can sip pina coladas too :)
    I assume that the private lodges are much more cost effective if you fill them.

    Perhaps a 2020 group trip to Kruger?
  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭
    There is a big selection of private lodges, ranging from about 250 pounds per person per day (all inclusive) to about 3000 pounds per person per day.  Be sure when you choose a lodge that you are in a Big 5 reserve, and that it is officially within the Greater Kruger Park.  If anyone is really interested, I'll be happy to advise.
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    Debra I recall SlowDuck getting presented with his 100 club t-shirt, badge and gun at breakfast after Comrades one year as he made sure *it* was his 100th (of course). Which event are you targeting for yours?
  • thomasclowesthomasclowes ✭✭✭
    Dannirr said:
    There is a big selection of private lodges, ranging from about 250 pounds per person per day (all inclusive) to about 3000 pounds per person per day.  Be sure when you choose a lodge that you are in a Big 5 reserve, and that it is officially within the Greater Kruger Park.  If anyone is really interested, I'll be happy to advise.
    So it doesn’t work in a way where by you can rent a whole lodge between you and get it cheaper? Or are those prices factoring that in?

    What do you get for 3 grand a day?!
  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭
    For 3 grand a day you get exclusivity and absolute privacy.  We may not value that, but the movie star and business tycoon people do.   
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited June 23
    Private Lodge? Does that mean an "independent trader" licensed to have people stay and show them around? Is all this officially licensed and are there standards to adhere to? I don't want to pay £250 per day and I end up in a tin shed with an alcoholic landlord who keeps some animals chained up at the bottom of the garden and I accidentally get eaten by one of them when I go for that all important close-up.  
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    I'd worry if you could do it your way Thomas? Are you thinking like going on holiday in Benidorm? You rent a villa with a load of lads, get the beer in, and there are no other controls? I'd be terrified if it was like that, - the wild animals would be loving it, waiting for the next lunch to turn up.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited June 23

    Ain't it weird - I suppose because there are no killer beasts on the loose in the UK I thought there might be more controls, but, of course, there aren't, you probably can do it Benidorm style if you want?

    ---

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    ---

    You signs the indemnity, and in you go, and if you're a pillock, then natural selection will take care of you...

  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Dang Thomas, you can't take your own alcohol in!

    --- Part 1 of 2

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  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    --- Part 2 of 2

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    SANParks Regulations
    & other useful information
    ParksRegulationsReservationAttachments_V3.2_23/07/2015 3
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