Comrades 2019



  • Latest from David Ross on the FB page:
    "Hi Comrades runners,

    "I have received this communication from the Comrades RD Rowyn James.

    "'As in previous comms to you I specifically stated that we DO NOT expect foreign athletes to now go joining clubs in order to get the letter. Comrades never made this rule, it was forced on us by the National Federation 3 weeks ago hence it not being part of the initial entry process. We are working to find an amicable solution to the problem created by the National Federations clear misinterpretation of the IAAF Rule, however we are at the mercy of the National Federation, key thing here is we still have over 6 weeks to achieve that – AND WE WILL – so foreign entrants are please to remain patient and calm while we work towards achieving that.
    As soon as we have a clear directive (which I think you term as a pro forma) on how we will proceed with this clearance letter issue we will certainly communicate that with you, all the other ambassadors and all the international entrants too.

    "'To also re-iterate the point that John Sneddon has made in his post, as per the Comrades directive your clearance letter needs to be issued directly from the country of NATIONALITY NOT from your place of residency. So if you are a UK Citizen but residing abroad you will still need a clearance letter from your athletics body in the UK, if affiliated you can get this from England Athletics, Welsh Athletics, Scottish Athletics etc but if your are unaffiliated as per the explanation from Rowyn you will need to be patient and wait until CMA technical gets this signed off. All clearance letters can then be emailed to [email protected] and cc in [email protected] by 2nd May. As stated we are still waiting for the CMA to get a clear directive agreed for unaffiliated runners, you will all be informed by email when this has been agreed.'"

  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    I am a cautionary tale lowrez, as I shambled out on the club run tonight someone said, "I see you two have signed up for the marathon! Fantastic!"
    Do the fun stuff while you still can - I mean don't get me wrong, it's bloody annoying and please do complain like stink (in between training).
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Thanks for all the concern folks, I am in an e-mail chain currently with several people, sparked off by David Ross including some bloke called Rowyn, where a runner is insisting he has submitted a letter to Jared, also a cc, and been accepted to run. I have just replied all asking them to confirm their accepted status and provide a copy of the letter submitted so I can achieve the same feat. I am expecting either a rebuff because they are talking out of their rear, or being advised the letter was from their in-country IAAF affiliated governing body as a consequence of them having parted with a wad of cash.

    Riding this one out, it is making me think and rethink, which I would not have done if this debacle hadn't happened, about my participation this year. In between I continue to run long despite being clumsy and not always charging my watch.

  • lowrez: keep running! :)
  • Nothing clumsy about you Lowrez. We know it's a principle thing with you. Fight the good fight but run at the same time :)
  • Hello there, new on the forum but have been reading with intent about this fiasco with the Clearance Letter. I am living in Germany so have the added problem thatI do not belong to any UK clubs. This will be my first Comrades and I am sooo Looking forward to it.
    I grew up in South Africa and we used to watch the runners come past our house, my father has run it twice.

    @Lowrenz don't loose faith, keep running and hopefully this will be sorted out soon.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    The distribution I referred to above have just been sent this reply from me; Querty, as I will call him, passed the test through IAAF affiliation, so he was of no assistance really....

    Hi Qwerty,

    Thank you for the swift reply. I can see this is acceptance via IAAF affiliation, something I do not have. I wish you well at Comrades this year. 

    Over night I have been provided with some handed on FaceBook text; I don't tend to climb onto that platform very often so if it has become the defacto outlet for tracking this maybe I should make greater efforts to view things in there; I worry though about all the analytical spying, fake news and bunkum associated with the thing and would be unsure what is real and not.

    If the FaceBook deposition is true I am being advised to sit tight and assured that every effort is being invested in resolving the situation.

    I just wish that Comrades would make these statements directly to me on e-mail, as they do in their newsletters and the latest international communication (which by the way just continues with the hard line of IAAF or nothing perspective), or via the Comrades website. Hanging off the tails of other corporations looking for advertising revenues like FaceBook and Twitter and Instagram and Pintertest is all well and good if you are pushing out happy go lucky "look at us aren't we great" material but in my opinion they should not be being used as a channel to give serious communication concerning a situation such as this to worried dedicated Comrades runners who are wondering if they should commence substitution as a means to salvaging at least something from the efforts they have made this year in entry fee, flights, hotel, Race4Charity commitments etc.

    As you can see I can complain for England - I am affiliated with the appropriate governing body for this here, but I doubt that accreditation will assist me in my quest to be allowed to set foot on the Comrades course this year.

    All the best, and thanks for your input,
    1owrez - Currently Comrades Number 10878 (but for how much longer) Owner of a 22 minute negative split gained on his back to back in 2016 after foolishly breaching half way with only 11 seconds to spare and finishing in 11:57:58 , the most wonderful moment of his life (and he is including his marriage and arrival of his first born on that list). Collector of hundreds of thousands of rand in the Race4Charity. Please Comrades rescue him from this purgatory.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Welcome kitebeast - sorry you have arrived when I am kicking off big-style with the "Comrades Board" - we will get this sorted - how is your training going :) have you got any events you will run prior to Comrades? Let us know and we will add them to the list - a list I have not updated for a while now because of all the other shenanigans going on, take a look a few pages back :)
  • Hi thanks for the welcome, don't worry about kicking off, i think you feel the same as us all.
    I ran the Frankfurt Half Marathon on the 10.03.19 in 1:31:40, that is my last fast run before Comrades. Training is going well and I have a few training races in April. 7th April I will run the Bonn Marathon and on the 14th April I will run a 6 hour run, this is on a short circuit 2.4km so it may become a bit boring after the first few laps. I will take a look at the list.
  • In other news Lowrez, my Comrades top from last year has reappeared :) I'd put it in Mr SS's stash and he rarely goes beyond the top layer of running tops. So thank you again soooo much for the kind offer of yours but you won't need to remember it for the London marathon meet up :)
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Great stuff SS - my son sometimes "acquires" my running tops; Brisbane Marathon, Tokyo Olympics 1964 (I hasten to assure you I am not that old, it was purchased in London in 2012 at the "nostalgia" store), and now Comrades 2018 :) Are you sure Mr SS isn't hiding a tendency that I have "come out" on these past few years :*
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Kitebeast, are those "trail" laps? If so Debra will be most impressed; she is an aficionado of such events :)

  • Kitebeast - welcome. Where is your timed run?
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    My OH is membership secretary of our local club and has just received a panicked rejoin request from a Comrades runner in search of the easy way out viz an EA number ;) 
    Certainly at ours we have no objection to people signing up and turning up once a year or never! It's the ones who run in a team race where you MUST be currently affiliated but haven't renewed in time (leading to a DQ for whole team) that are an actual problem, and that's just people being people (subtype: disorganized).
  • lowrez: " she is an aficionado of such events" - not really, as I wouldn't say that I prefer them to other types of events. I really like the SVN events/community specifically (and the medals!) and I don't -dislike- lapped courses* - they allow organisers to put on events without needing huge amounts of time to mark courses (and remove the markings afterwards), get multiple aid stations set up and marshalled, and so on - which means they can put on more events. And they minimise logistics and navigation for the runners.
    However, I still love point-to-point or single circuit courses on proper trails in really scenic surroundings.

    *within reason. I've not yet tried a track marathon or track 6-hour or similar and I'm not at all sure I want to!

  • Hi the Bonn Marathon is close to Cologne, Germany, I am looking at running under 4 hours for it. 
    The 6 hour run is through a forest and then onto a track to monitor how many laps we do. 
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    @Debra Bourne I did do a track mara once, I quite liked it. Facilities always at hand, you can see the whole race unfold, never on your Tod, and the view changes every 100 metres ;)
    Did get a blister tho.
  • jkissanejkissane ✭✭✭
    Been a while since I posted anything, hope training is going well for everyone. After a good finish to '18, I seemed to be sick for most of Jan & Feb :( Missed the year's first marathon at the end of Jan but did struggle through a 50k in Feb. Given the dismal state of my training, I wasn't looking forward to running the Tokyo marathon a few weeks back but it wasn't too bad & finished in 3:24. Maybe the fact it was Irish type weather (i.e. lashing rain from start to finish!) helped me a bit :) After that had two weeks holidays touring around with zero running.

    Trying to figure out this letter of permission thing at the moment. Athletics Ireland have already said no to me as I'm not a member so going to sit tight for a few weeks to see what happens. Fall back plan is to join a local running club I guess.

    Next test is the Conn Ultra for me in mid-April, if I manage to finish the 63k then will be reasonably condifent of managing to finish Comrades.
  • Hi All, sorry to say I've been off the forum for quite some time now and I don't have time to catch up yet but hope you're all training hard and keeping injury free.   

    I had to take time away from running to join a gym to address longstanding niggles and ongoing mobility issues.  I'm happy to report I'm making progress on both fronts but there's zero chance I'll cover the training mileage in time to give Comrades a reasonable go this year.  

    Anyway if any of you know someone who needs/wants a transfer we have a few weeks left and I regrettably now have a spot available - I'll let it go for a donation of any amount to Lowrez's charity of choice.  


  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Sorry to hear that you won't be returning for the race this year, Jon but well done on taking a tough decision.   I hope that your gym and mobility work continues to bring improvements.
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Forgot to say well done, JK, on a great run in Tokyo in the circumstances.  I might have seen you on one of the out and back sections but you were about an hour ahead of me.  I hope you get the permission letter sorted.

    I sent the letter to the two email addresses but have only had a response from one.  The other doesn't seem to be checking his emails since I'm not the only one.  
  • 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.
  • Terry48Terry48 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Jon, so sorry to hear of your niggles and the need to forgo Comrades.  I had hoped to catch up with you in Durban where, once again, I'll be a spectator/supporter.
    I hope you continue a good recovery and quick return to normal.
  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭
    becca - glad its not just me then who hasn't had a response from one of the people we have to email....

    great running everyone, nice to see everyone "jogging" marathons currently :)

  • Terry, do you know yet whether you'll be around at all for Boston? I do hope I'll be able to say hi, since I won't be seeing in Durban to see you in June.
  • Terry48Terry48 ✭✭✭
    Debra, I shall not be around on the 14th.  I originally considered either the half, or just coming along to see you and a few others there.
    What has intervened is that I shall be in Scotland a few days earlier to collect a grandson back to us for his school holiday, in advance of the whole family coming here for Easter.  I'll only arrive back home during Sunday 14th!  So, family first in this instance.  (Just as well because even a half is a challenge these days! Cambridge was just under 3 hrs)
    I hope your training is going well and hope to catch up on another occasion.
  • evening all.. life is stressful here with one thing and another.. lovely guy in Welsh athletics sent me a emailed letter but comparing it to the English athletic one i dont think it will suffice so emailed him a copy of the EA one asking him if he could kindly do one like that... I am at a bit of a low and cant be bothered with Comrades at the moment .. i hate running on road and I'm struggling to even run 10 miles..too much going on in life.. I will go for my 16 day holiday and i will be on the start line but not sure where I will give up on route.. looking forward more to my 3 parkruns there
  • Debra BourneDebra Bourne ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Hi Terry, sorry I won't be seeing you in Boston - safe driving! Hopefully, as you say, we will meet up elsewhere. My training is pretty much non-existent at the moment - chest muscles finally stopped hurting following the awful coughing - just in time for a new cold to start.
    seren nos, good luck with sorting things out with Welsh athletics. I suggest you concentrate on running on trails at the moment if you can - stick your shoes on, go out and enjoy running/hiking the trails. Which parkruns are you aiming to do in South Africa? I really enjoyed Thousand Hills last year (but it was really tough a week after Comrades).
  • I'll be running the Croydon Half Marathon next Sunday, despite the lack of training etc., because I had our new medals designed and they are really nice and I want one!
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    Croydon is a bit far otherwise I would be REALLY tempted! #tramsFTW
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