Comrades Marathon

UPDATE: Apparently the foreign athlete cap was also reached this morning so I actually managed to just get it!

Comrades is the largest and most popular ultra marathon in the world. It is held in South Africa and is around 90KM long. It is a point-to-point race and it alternates each year between an up race and a down race. That is, a net elevation gain or net elevation loss.

This has been on my radar for a while and I finally pulled the trigger. Yesterday I registered for the June 14, 2020 edition. A down year. Registration only just opened on October 28 and as of this morning, all 25,000 slots for South Africans have filled up. There are still slots for foreign athlete but that is expected to also close soon.

In the past, I never actually registered due to a few factors:

1) I was concerned about the running load. In the past, any time I build up my running distances, I would suffer an injury
2) I didn’t want to do an up run and so I’m limited to registering only on alternate years
3) The cost of flying there with the family

Wile doing my Ironman training, I am running less volume, but still doing long runs. I did a 2.5 hrs run last weekend and I have a 3 hr run this weekend. So far (knock on wood), I have managed to remain injury free. My left Achilles which is my achilles hasn’t been an issue. So I’m thinking that if I keep the build up gradual, the volume should be manageable. I looked at some training plans and the longest run doesn’t appear to exceed 3 hours. I may have to do two long runs on back-to-back days, but I think I can manage a 3-hr run. My body is accustomed to do ing two back-to-back long workouts, although one of those is a long bike ride.

With 2020 being a down run, the timing seemed to be perfect. I’m already in great shape due to my Ironman training and after a short break, I can move right into the Comrades training in January. I’ll be able to start with a good fitness base.

The cost is still a concern, but we’ll treat this like any other big vacation and enjoy traveling to a continent that we have yet to visit.

I’m at the point where I’m not getting any younger. If I am to run Comrades, the time is now.

I plan to still swim and bike, but they may end up bring relegated to perhaps once a week. I can do those on recovery days and hope that it is enough to at least maintain a certain level of fitness in those sports.