Comrades 2021



  • Terry48Terry48 ✭✭✭
    Lowrez, condolences - sorry to hear of your family losses.
    Take care of that injury and recover soon.
  • Slow DuckSlow Duck ✭✭✭
    Lowrez - sorry to hear your news...

    I’m still plodding along a bit aimlessly... I have some races in mind for the autumn but as travel and border restrictions stand, nothing booked...
  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    1owrez, sorry to hear that you've had to drop out of C2C. Hope easing off a bit does the trick and you'll get back on course for a full recovery. And I hope the gravestones are ready soon and you'll be able to get together with your family once they are in place.
    Snail and Debra, I think they said they should be making an announcement about NDW100 in the next week or so didn't they? I still want to go out and recce the section from the Medway Bridge to Detling as I'll probably be doing that in the night. Unfortunately I've picked up a groin strain (I think brought on by having a non-Covid coughing fit in the middle of a sprint session) which starts to hurt a few miles into any run, so I've not managed any long runs for a few weeks. Very envious of your 50K the other day, Debra.
    Becca, I remember hearing Rickey Gates interviewed on a podcast about his Every Single Street run in San Francisco. Is that what inspired you? Sounds a great personal lockdown challenge.
  • baldstan, sympathies - coughing-related injuries can be a pain.
  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭
    lowrez - my heart goes out to you and your family. Stay strong during this very difficult time. :'(
  • Mac3Mac3 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020
    Lowrez - so sorry to hear of your losses, one is hard enough to cope with.  I also hope you can find a fix for your injury.  Comrades is not Comrades without Lowrez. 
  • Debra/Baldstan - have you noticed that the NDW100 has disappeared off the front page of their website (although its still on the events list). Today is apparently the latest day to let us know whether its going ahead or not. Wish they'd just get on with it and tell us whats happening. They must know by now.
  • Snail: by now you've presumably seen the email saying NDW100 is ON. Must start checking my mandatory gear, giving my waterproof coat a wash and re-waterproof, thinking about nutrition and adding food into drop bags.
    I've just bought some new shoes with a bit more padding (compared to my usual minimalist footwear!) - Inov8 TerraUltra and Altra Superior 3.5. Will try one of them out on NDW this Sunday. I'm thinking I might do a 50K consisting of 15-16 miles onwards from Detling and back again (so I can drive down and back, and save Aidan from all the driving dropping me off then picking me up afterwards). It means I won't recce the final 5 miles, but that's mostly on road and hopefully will be well marked.

  • Yes just finished my zoom yoga and seen the email.  Off to read it all properly. Do you change your shoes or any clothing half way at all for something like this?
  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    Debra/Snail, I've just read through the Centurion email and pleased to hear they're hoping to go ahead. Spreading the start out over 2 hours makes sense (though not sure how well the aid stations will be able to supervise the staggered cut offs). If it's a warm day I'll probably carry an extra 500ml flask, on top of the mandatory litre, to be sure to have enough to get to the first aid station now that's not until nearly 15 miles in. Just need to recover from a few niggles that have started to appear. Went to recce the Cuxton to Detling section on Monday, but had to turn back half way with a nasty calf pain. Shame as it was a lovely day for a long run and the views on that section are fantastic.
    Debra, I've been running in the Inov8 Terra Ultra 260 on most of my long trail runs and have found them really comfortable, but then my regular road shoes (Kinvaras) aren't as minimalist as yours. To me the Inov8s feel ideal for the North Downs Way, where there are a lot of stony tracks to run along. If you're doing 50K out and back from Detling, then almost all of it after the first 5 miles will be on those stony tracks. It's also probably the least shaded section of the NDW if it's hot. If I was doing that bit again I might even park in Hollingbourne this time and go out and back east then out and back west so I could refill my water bottles in the middle (and have a pint outside The Dirty Habit when I'd finished!)
  • baldstan, thanks for that input regarding the Terra Ultra 260s. Definitely more protection than my Trailroc 235s (the old style from 2011/2012) and those in turn are more than my VivoBarefoot Neo Trail. Good to know about the lack of shade as well. I don't know Hollingbourne - is there a good place to park? Toilets? Good point about water refill. Pity I won't really feel I can have a pint before driving home - maybe a half...
    I agree about taking an extra 500ml for that first cut-off. Sympathies about the calf pain - hope it's improving (I recommend self-massage, although my husband has also been massaging a particular tight spot on my right calf, and that's really helped).
    Snail: I strongly recommend a change of socks and probably shoes at the half-way point. Your feet will swell, so if you have a pair of shoes that are 1/2 or a full size bigger, that's the time to use them. I'll certainly be making sure I can do that.
    ... and I've just remembered I need to decide on and buy a new headtorch. Suggestions?
  • I bought the Petal Swift Rl for the event. Haven't used it though have worn it once or twice. Need to check the settings to check which one will last. It's about 9 hours of nighttime if I remember. Don't have a backup one yet though so any suggestions for that welcome. Are either of you using a bladder or just taking bottles at the front? After the discussion for Mac's running vest, I'm not sure there's all that much space in mine for the full mandatory kit along with a full bladder.
  • Just had some new Nikes delivered, with pretty much my own design I couldn’t resist having that ‘wanted number’ on the heel! Haha
  • I'll have two bottles on the front and for the first bit a third in my hand.
    Lights: I'm trying to decide on one. My Silva Ninox 2 is reliable and waterproof, but burns through a set of AAAs in about 2 hours and isn't as bright as I'd like. My Silva Ninox 3 is brighter, still burns through batteries - and has failed to turn on on a couple of occasions for no apparent reason, so I really need a new one - and I discovered they won't work with rechargeable AAAs, which is irritating. The Petzl Swift RL does look good, but I'd certainly need to buy a spare battery, if not for NDW100 then for A100. Any other suggestions welcomed!
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Big oops from me - only dropped back in with a London rumour and have not read everything to catch up, but - the gravestones I am talking about are previous losses, not covid, dad, mum and wife, the last two last year... covid has frustrated the provision of gravestones for all 3 which I had been slowly pushing along... sorry if my description wasn't absolutely accurate, never the less it's not been an easy time...

    Back to running... This is one of those; a friend of mine knows someone really close to Brasher who confided in them that... to support the charities more than anything, they will run two London marathons next year, April and October, as, of course October this year has no chance of going ahead. So, is that rubbish, or is my friend of a friend really well connected and are they a right old gossip not caring of their friendship if Brasher did confide in them.

    Disappearing again... reorganising the house with return of my daughter, drilling through floors today to run network cables... jobs seem endless... hoping this weekend will have everything completed and I'll be back to surfacing more often here. Gravestone design drags on too - having flowers carved in to two - blimey, describing what you want and going through iterations remotely takes a loooong time...
  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    1owrez, good luck with getting all your jobs done. I'm always scared when I'm drilling through walls or floorboards that I'm going to hit a water pipe or a cable - probably watched too many episodes of "Some Mothers" when I was growing up, it was always happening to Frank Spencer. And interesting to hear the London Marathon gossip. A lot of charities will certainly be in need of the money by next year, if not already.
    Debra, there is a bit of street parking in front of the pub in Hollingbourne (which is right on the NDW), or the pub has a large car park (if you're going inside). The pub may also be the only place with a toilet and water. I looked around the pub car park for a stand pipe when I was coming back through there and didn't see one. The village church is about a quarter of a mile down the hill, but I didn't go down to check it out - even though there is an interesting story that it was rebuilt in the 14th century after the previous church was destroyed by an earthquake.
    For headtorches I've got an LEDLenser SEO5 as my main light which I've run in before (though not all night) and which felt ok. It's supposed to last 7 hours on 3 x AAA batteries. And as back up an LEDLenser Neo 6R, which has a rechargeable battery (and is claimed to last 6 hours), and can either be worn as a head torch or on the chest. I hope to try it out on my chest to see how that feels.
    Snail, I'm just going to take bottles in the front, and probably one in my hand for the first stage as Debra suggests. I find refilling a bladder too much hassle, and it also means I can have one bottle with Tailwind and the other just water.  
  • Southern SnailSouthern Snail ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020
    OK so the bladder can go. Will have a look at your backup torch Baldstan

    Also what long sleeve base layer or fleece top do you both use? Need to go and buy more trainers.
    Why do I need a cup? Is that just for something hot or if I want something other than is in my flasks?
  • Snail: Cup: you need a cup for drinks - and a more rigid cup for hot drinks. You don't want to try to have a hot drink in one of the flimsy collapsible cups. And a hot drink can be very nice at 3am!
    Long sleeve top: the emergency one I carry is a thermal top (underlayer type) - if you have a long-sleeved running top for winter use that would be fine. It should be packed inside a waterproof bag (a sealable freezer bag is fine) and kept at the bottom of your bag with your foil blanket (which they don't measure, the size given is to stop some idiot cutting one down to 6 inches by 12...). Unless it's going to be VERY warm overnight, you may want to have another one to actually put on during the night - you can have that in your Knockholt Pound drop bag to save carrying it the first 50 miles.
    Might also want long trousers of some sort available from there onwards in case the nettles are very bad (N.B. someone has cut the grass going down the field on the diversion just after Knockholt Pound towards the road - much better!)
    I highly recomment a first aid kit. In my experience kinesiology tape with a bit of tissue or a dressing under it sticks better on knees and palms while running than plasters do. Take stuff to allow for falling and skinning both knees and both palms, and for developing blisters. If you know you're prone to blister in a given spot, then either keep it lubed with glide stick or similar, or put a bit of kinesiology tape on (no stretch) before you start. Also consider a tiny tube of hydrocortizone cream, in case of insect bites driving you nuts.

  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    Funny you should mention hydrocortizone cream Debra, got stung by a bee the other day (picked up an old blanket in the garage not realising the bees were nesting in it and lucky to get away with just one sting) and realised I didn't have any, so now added to my shopping list.
    Snail, I've got a Contra long sleeved base layer I planned to carry. Hadn't thought to have a second one in my drop bag, but now Debra's mentioned it seems a really good idea.
  • baldstan, sympathies. I had some insect (or possibly a spider, I suppose) fall down inside my running top on one of my recces - bit me three times and the bites hurt initially and later started itching.
  • Ooh reminds me of my son years ago. Ran through a wasps nest. Ended up with 165 stings on his body plus loads more on his head. Spent the night in hospital on morphine  :'(

    I've just realised the top I bought at Comrades a few years ago is a run-in one and fleece and lightweight so thats sorted.

    I have a first aid kit and blanket that I have used for endurancelife events so will look at adding a few things to it.

    Going to run from Newlands corner on Sunday for 10/15 then turn round and run back.

    Cup and second torch ordered.
  • Snail: horrible for your son. Worst I've had was about 40 red ant bites on one ankle - hurt like crazy for a few hours.
    I've just ordered a £65 new head torch - then worked out what the problem was with my old one. Oh well, I can carry that one as a backup (turned out the battery compartment covering turns slightly too far - if I fully close it then back it off 1-2 mm the light comes on fine... which explains why it was an intermittent fault and of course most likely to happen when I was careful to make sure the cover was on securely!
    Now thinking about buying a cloth facemask, that will hopefully be more comfortable than my buff-and-two-hairbands no-sew version.
  • This morning I took part in the England Athletics 5K National Championships (virtual). A clubmate who has been running c. 21:25 (to my 21:37) joined me. I ran 21:20 - which is >81% age grade - and he ran a season's best 21:16, so he was happy as well. I'm 52 and running my fastest ever times - significantly faster than 8 years ago. Adding speed work and strength training, regularly, alongside a decent amount of long slow distance work, really does make a difference.
  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    Well done Debra. That must put you near the top of your age category nationally. Great result. Hope your club does well. Mine hasn't mentioned it to us, or maybe they've only told the fast runners...
    Snail, that sounds terrible for your son (and for you), I don't want to think about how much that must have hurt. When my sister-in-law was stung by a scorpion in Spain a few years ago the local hospital gave her a really strong painkiller - when she got back home she went to see her GP who said that in the UK that painkiller was only used for horses.
    Hope you don't have any problem parking at Newlands Corner. When I was there last month on a Sunday morning about 9.30am it was packed out, not just with the regular walkers and bikers, there was even an impromptu Caterham car rally, but on the plus side the cafe was open for takeaway.
  • Southern SnailSouthern Snail ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020
    Debra - well done on the 5k result. You've certainly put a lot of hard work in to get there.

    Baldstan - Absolutely no problems with parking. I arrived at 6.20am and there was only 2 other cars there!!!! But it was definitely rammed when I got back. Loads of bikers.

    I ran from Newlands Corner to nearly Reigate on the NDW route. Went wrong just once I think near the beginning which involved going down a very steep hill only to have to walk back up it again. The steps up Boxhill are still killers. There were more signs and when I didn't know where to go there were people about that actually knew where they were!

    Also, despite the weather, I had in my running vest a jumper, coat, head torch, various spare chargers, first aid kit and a few other things. Wasn't as bad as I though but a bit of a backache today.
  • Debra BourneDebra Bourne ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020
    baldstan, that's not good enough for anywhere near top of age category nationally, alas. But I'm still very pleased with it. Don't think we have enough of our club running to make up teams, either. Oh well.
    Snail: glad you enjoyed your run from/to Newlands Corner - and well done finding people who knew where they were.
    I managed to find somewhere to park right on the NDW at Lenham, thanks to a suggestion on the Centurion FB page. Detling to Hollinbourne is horrible - but slightly less so than Hollingbourne to Detling, so let's be glad we're going west to east. And from Hollingbourne onwards it's pretty easy, really, and the further you go the easier the footing becomes underfoot, from rutted chalk-and-flint to tarmac and some really nice slightly soft woodland trail.
    Well done carrying the kit. It's good to get used to it. Sympathies for the backache. In my case it manifests as headache - worse I think because I did the driving there and back rather than Aidan dropping me off and picking me up.
    Some lovely views - and I saw a slow worm! Never seen one in the wild before, although I kept a pair when I was in my early teens (blame Enid Blyton).
  • Snail: please check your email! Two messages from me.
  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    Great spot Debra. No slow worms for me on the North Downs yesterday, but lots and lots of butterflies, including marbled whites that I've very rarely seen before. Thanks to your directions I followed the alternative path after Knockholt. The first bit is a little overgrown with nettles, but it's a much more even descent than the original path and definitely worth avoiding that section of road without any pavement, the cars were bombing along there yesterday.
  • Hi baldstan, yay for the butterflies! And glad you were able to use the alternative path. At least someone has strimmed down that field - first time I did it, on 14th June, there was no sign of a path and I had to go along the edge of the ploughed area, which wasn't much fun - two weeks later after it had been strimemd and I could stay on that strimmed route was definitely easier. And as you say, definitely nicer not to be on the edge of that road with no pavement!
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    You know I said one day I'd count me medals... I think its 44 at marathon or greater, what you can't see above is 11 companions to the 2008 London on the top line which are in a frame of the first 12 I ran, a further London from last year (but I know where that is) and, rather worryingly, seeing as I believe I have sorted through everything I own in the past month, my 2017 Comrades medal, although there is a long shot that it could be stashed elsewhere in the house or even at work... hang on - there are of course 7 more, now where is that carrier bag - oh blimey - how many carrier bags have I thrown out recently... when was last bin day??? So I am through the half century!

    Hope everything is going well. Still not fully sorted at home, lots of things upside down, but as you can see I have started to surface... better put the above stuff away and continue the saga!
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