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Comrades 2011

Huli Moliea

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Huli Moliea, 31265
Back to Back medalist!

Thanks so much for everything, the stories, the training, the information, it's all so useful. This started as me sending you my time, but I see the time is hidden somewhere in a story: 11:53:24

Yes, comrades done and dusted. I had a really tough run, this was my first up run and it was much tougher than I ever imagined, tougher than anything I have ever done before.

People told me that the up run is easier than the down run, as far as I'm concerned that is not true, the up run is much tougher. I have never climbed like that without a break, after one hill around the corner is another hill.

I had a terrible first half, passing halfway at 5:55:56, and then the long hill I didn't recognize attacked me, just as I thought the first half was the tougher half. At the top of the hill I asked a spectator if we still had to climb Inchanga and I was happy to be told this was Inchanga, that meant I had one hill with a name left, Polly Shortts.

I realised at that time that I was off the 12 hour pacing chart, which meant to me that I was going to miss my back-to-back medal. I decided that I was going to fight hard, even if I don't make it I'll have given a good fight. I cried right there as I was running because the back-to-medal meant so much to me, and if you knew me you'd know I don't do tears.

What could I do except just do my best? I asked myself why I put myself through the pain and I vowed that this was my last time, even if I missed out on my medal I wasn't coming back.

At about 17km to go the announcer said that the 12 hour bus had just passed and if we ran a little faster we could catch it. That gave a little hope, I ran as hard as I could. I caught up with some bus at 15 to go, but they were walking and I was running so I went past. Little Polly's and big Polly's same story as everyone else, but at the top of Polly's I realised that I may have a shot at finishing within cut-off, I had about an hour to run 8km after 80km but I was gonna go for it.

I made it to the stadium at 11:53:24; I didn't think it was going to happen. My back-to-back medal is what drove me to push hard, and I wanted it. When I got my first medal I was asking for my back-to-back medal, and that when that man put it around my neck I was so emotional. I will cherish my back-to-back medal the most because I had one shot at getting it, and I had to fight like I've never fought before to get it.

I am grateful to God for being able to run the comrades and finish within cut-off. I think I'll be back for the down run and another up run, I need to conquer the up run, really enjoy running it without pressure.

External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2011