This is a must for all Comrades
runners! Firstly, because you are required to register there, and
secondly, because visiting the Expo
helps you focus on what you are in Durban to do. You are
amongst fellow runners and supporters.
usually stroll around the Expo for a bit, and then head for the
food/drinks area where we make ourselves comfortable, drink some beer
and just enjoy the vibe. It is a great place to meet up with
your club mates before the event.
is open from Thursday 26
May to Saturday 28 May 2011. We have always
opted to visit the Expo
on the day it opens, which is the Thursday. Don’t get me
wrong, it’s not the only day we visit the Expo, but it is the
day we choose to register. Reason being, it is less crowded
so it is easier to walk around and visit all the stalls.
Another reason being that the Comrades
shop is still fully stocked so a great shopping
On arrival at the Expo we do registration
first. Don’t forget to bring along your confirmation
postcard, ID and championchip! At registration
will be given your race envelope, race goody bag and Comrades
shirt. It is a nice photo opportunity for novices (ie. taking
a picture of novice handing over card and receiving race envelope and
bag). Before you leave the Expo please check the contents of your
goody bag to ensure you have been given the correct race number.
If there is a problem you can have it sorted out. Now that
the business part of the visit has been
completed, it’s time to visit the Comrades
The Comrades shop is
located just outside the registration
area. Here you can buy all manner of branded Comrades
merchandise from clothing to wine and glasses. They usually
also have a nice selection of supporters gear as well as goodies for
the kids. Within the Comrades
shop is a “Green Number” shop for Green Number merchandise.
to buy? What to buy? I have loads of t-shirts,
shirts and sweat shirts so I usually end up buying a Comrades towel
each year. They are great! It may be a good idea to
buy a cheap “throw away” top and cotton
gloves as the start can sometimes be cold.
Conveniently positioned just
outside the Comrades shop
is an embroidery kiosk
where you can have your newly purchased Comrades gear personalized with
your number and/or name.
Should you require transport
from Durban to the start in Pietermaritzburg on a down run, or vice
versa on an up run, there is a bus service
that takes runners to the start and brings them back after the race. There is a ticket kiosk at
Expo where you can purchase your ticket.
It is worth taking some time to
browse through the Comrades
History display area. Here you can view a pictorial
history of the race as well as getting a look at the actual winner’s
A word of caution! Be careful
what you eat. Rather stick to familiar foods. One
is often tempted with the selection of food stalls. I have
had a bad experience in the past and it was scary stuff! This
is prime time for “jippo guts” a.k.a gastro.
daughters rave about the mini donuts that are on sale at the
Expo! Another popular stall is the Biltong shop.
There are many stalls offering
one or other energy supplements and drinks. Golden rule –
stick to what you know – the tried and trusted stuff. The
worst thing you can do is start trying new stuff on race day.
There are NO MIRACLE
PRODUCTS! Stock up on anything that you may have
forgotten to bring from home.
There is usually quite a large physio area where
you can go and have a rub down for free. Quite a handy
service if you have spent 16 hours plus driving to Durban!
An unpleasant truth is that you
must look after all your possessions. There is a criminal
element that target crowded Expos. They do well at blending
in with the crowd. You do not want your final preparations
marred by a negative experience. Please take care!
All in all,
visiting the Expo is the final step in your pre-race
preparations. Enjoy this positive experience knowing you are
about to play your part in the world’s Greatest Ultra
Expo, registration, Comrades shop, embroidery, Comrades history, physio
Links: green number, energy supplements, transport
External links: Official