Thursday, 5 June 2014

NOT running Comrades

In order to perform to the best of your abilities, you need to be on top of your game. Most people know that if you want to run a good race, you need to be physically prepared - ie properly trained, tapered and injury-free. What a lot of people forget is the mental preparation - the focus, the commitment, the desire, and the quiet self-belief that comes from a good build-up.

This is true for any event, but I think that mental strength is especially important for an event such as Comrades. The events in Seville earlier in the year rather knocked me for six when it came to busy race starts, and the Comrades start had many similarities with Seville. The elite men and women start at the very front, with the "fast men" right behind. The fact that Comrades also has "hotspots" (cash prizes for the first man and woman to reach certain distances on the course) means that more people go off really hard, despite the length of the race. From memory (I ran the "down" race 2 years ago), there are also many catseyes in the roads leading out of Pietermaritzburg, and the fact that it is still dark when the race commences (5:30am) meant that I was even more petrified of being tripped/knocked down again than usual.

Chilling at Ephesus
Finishing 4th in a previous Comrades
Having finished in 4th place in both 2012 and 2013, I know how hard the race can be, and so for the reasons mentioned above, I decided to withdraw from the 2014 event rather than run an unsatisfactory race that I wasn't satisfied with, which I would see as letting both myself and Nedbank down. As race day approached, I wasn't sure if I'd made the right decision, but I did have other things to look forward to - ie a holiday with my Aussie relatives, whom I love dearly and don't see often enough.
Ephesus with my Rellies

In the Grand Bazaar

I firmly believe in living my life by the motto that you only regret the things that you don't do, not those that you do - and while I did have some regrets over NOT running Comrades (especially when I saw the results - as I'd have love to have been there to help celebrate my friend Ellie's awesome victory - breaking the 11 year winning streak of the Russian twins), I had a great holiday seeing a new place with some amazing people, and know that I can come back to Comrades in the future with more of a hunger and desire to run it well!!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you missed it, but understand why now. Congrats on your selection for Scotland! Enjoy!