alsoran runners The Comrades Marathon

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The Comrades Marathon is a 90km ultra marathon that takes place annually in Kwazulu-Natal between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.  The route direction alternates each year with the Pietermaritzburg to Durban direction known as the down run and the Durban to Pietermaritzburg direction known as the up run.  The jury is still out as to which direction is easier with pros and cons for both.  Most Comrades runners have a preference.  In my case I find the up run kinder on the body and the down run having the more festive finish.

The run takes place annually in May and attracts a field of 12000 to 15000 runners.  Participants are required to run a qualifying standard marathon in under 5 hours within a specified qualifying period.  Runners have 12 hours in which to complete the event, although they are also required to pass through various points along the route within the specified cut off times, failing which, they are withdrawn from the race.  Participants are well looked after along the route with refreshment stations every 2 to 3km stocked with water, Coke, Energade as well as various edible snacks such as oranges, biscuits and chocolate.  The event attracts many spectators who line the streets along the way offering moral support and refreshments as well! 

The Comrades Marathon is known as the Ultimate Human Race as it attracts runners from all walks of life and all athletic abilities.  It is a great equaliser.  The event was first run in 1921 in honour of the fallen Comrades of World War one.  Besides the years 1941-1945 (2nd world war) when the event did not take place, it has taken place every year since.  This year, 2010 saw the 85rd running of the event.

There are many training programmes and a buffet of advice available on Comrades.  Running Comrades the ALSORAN way is based on my personal experiences over many years.  If you are overweight, unfit and a “slow coach”, this programme is for you!  What is required of you?  TRUST me and BELIEVE in yourself!  The hardest part of Comrades is getting to the start.  Comrades day itself is about going to fetch your medal.

Key words: Comrades Marathon, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu-Natal
Internal links: qualifier, Comrades, the ALSORAN way, buffet, believe in yourself, medal, up run, down run, cut off times, training programmes
External links: the Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008