Justin Maree, 25269
was very much intimidated by the this year’s run as my first comrades
(UP) run in 2002 did not end well. That year I started cramping
just after halfway and cramped all the way to the end, I missed the
11:00 cut off by 4 minutes and back then there was no extra hour so was
completely crushed but said I would one day come back and conquer the
ultimate Human Race.
I came back last year and ran the down
which was an absolutely amazing experience, I finished the race in
10:49 and had the best run of the year with not one cramp to speak of.
2011 arrived and I was all rearing to go and achieve me my goal of
running a back to back comrades, I ran PB’s in most of my marathons as
well as the Two Oceans so my confidence was very high, maybe a bit too
I had three plans that I was going to look at and I would look at these at halfway and then access what
The plan of action was going to be for the second half of the race, it would either be a Bill Rowan, a sub 10 or a sub 11.
race started well, was feeling really good and as I had taken a two
week break because of a calf strain. I couldn’t wait to get
going. I must admit that the experience from 2002 was sitting on my
shoulders and every now and again I would re-visit that experience in
my head but kept on blocking all the negatives and focused on the
positives and then it happened, I was about 30km’s into the race when
the energy in my legs just seemed to disappear, I had no idea what was
going on as I had never experienced this before and it wasn’t like I
was running really fast in the beginning stages of the race but I just
ran out of steam! My mind was racing, 60 odd km’s to go feeling
the way I was, was not going to be fun and then my worst fears
literately join me, the cramps arrived and flash backs reappeared from
2002. I had to dig really deep and keep on moving and not just sit on
the side of the road and give up which is what I really felt like
I had a quick team talk with myself and decided that the
best thing to do was move forward. I had to encourage myself that
this race (the UP) would not get me down again, I had trained too hard
and sacrificed too much for “It” to break me, I started to laugh every
time a cramp struck instead of cursing. And used your advice, (I
usually run with an i-pod and sunnies) but took both these off and
“stole” energy from every single person I made eye contact with and
soaked up all the positive energy I heard around me.
managed to get into PMB and I finished the run in 10:30:00, not the
most pleasurable day out in the sun but worth every single minute of it
when I crossed the finish line.
I just want to thank you and Don for all the support and knowledge you both have shared with me, it was invaluable.
External links: Official Comrades Marathon