alsoran runners 2009 Experiences:
Kelly "K2" Richards

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Things I learned Running Comrades
Kelly “K2” Richards
2009 Comrades Marathon Bronze Medal Finisher

  1. Runners across the country or across the ocean are fun, friendly people who frequently describe themselves or their club as drinkers with a running problem.
  2. When one-person spontaneously lifts up their voice to sing "Shosholoza" an old Zulu mining song, and its title means, roughly, "Keep going.  Move faster on those mountains.” At the starting line thousands of others will join making a sound so lovely it will bring you to tears even when you don’t understand Zulu.  South African runners break out in song or chants throughout the entire race. 
  3. A point-to-point race ran in opposite directions every other year can actually be up-hill BOTH ways.   
  4. That if every single racer around you is doing something such as walking with their arms up in the air you should do it too, even if you don’t know why.  Eventually you’ll figure out they’re stretching and it feels good.
  5. Nothing beats running with your best friend. 
  6. South Africans are insane runners!  Some run Comrades year after year into the decades!  After the first time they actually know what they’re in for and they still come back to run it again.
  7. To finish with dignity as advised by Bruce Fordyce, the “Comrades King” and arguably the all-time greatest Ultra Runner, you must run the whole race with dignity.  Motivation to do so can come from a child who will never run but sits in his wheelchair and cheers wildly for those who can.  The most inspiring “high five” can come from a handless boy holding his elbow out ready to make contact with a runner. 
  8. Crème Soda is green.  Sandwiches are called bread rolls.  Oranges sprinkled with salt taste like a slice of heaven. 
  9. Cheers of well done, journey on and run strong are more fun to hear than great job and the most common lies we often hear while racing in the US - you’re almost there and looking good.
  10. If I can dream it then I can achieve it.  No goal, no matter how outrageous is out of reach as long as I’m willing to work hard and I have the support of all my friends at RAW who make the journey worth the trip.


External links: Official Comrades Marathon website



Copyright Nikki Campbell 2009
alsoran@webafrica.org.za