I can't believe it's here already and I'm writing this from South Africa. A few months ago as I was planning this trip with my girlfriend and friends Colin + Kristin, it seemed so distant and forever away. And yet here I am writing from about 10,000 miles away about to embark on my longest road race yet of about 56 miles from Durban to Pietermaritzburg tomorrow morning.
After driving the course yesterday in a bus filled with other international runners, I can tell you that this course is no joke. Almost zero flat running and lots of unforgiving climbs including the "Big 5" which ends up at over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. Add to it that it is entirely on the man-made hard stuff and I can tell you that this race will chew me up and spit me out.
But from what I've heard, it will also be an experience like no other. Spectators pack this point-to-point run encouraging all runners all the way to the finish. And if that isn't enough, there will be many experienced Comrades runners I will no doubt encounter to aid us novices as well.
While I could definitely be better trained for this run (and that is of no fault other than my own), I should be able to crack the 12 hour cutoff limit and hopefully come in under 10-11 hours. It will not be easy. There will be a lot of walking. There will be a lot of self-pity. There will be a lot of self-doubt. But I will rely on the energy of the spectators and other runners to carry me to the finish. It will no doubt be a singular, amazing experience. And I can't wait to run it wearing our colors and with a smile on my face as long as my body will tolerate.
Me, Kristin + Colin at the course tour yesterday.
Wish us luck!