Here are some practical
considerations in no particular order.
water bottle at the start. Why? Well the
first couple of tables are a bit of a bun fight so it is easier just to
run through them. Carrying your own water will allow you to
do that. Run in the middle of the road when running through
these refreshment stations as they are positioned on both sides of the
road. That way, you should be able to run through them
without too much problem. Discard your bottle once the field
has spread out and revert to using the tables.
thing to consider at the water
tables. Avoid the
Don’t use them, they are probably a health
hazard. Just think about it! If you need to cool
down or wash your face, rather look for the hose pipe that they use to
fill these troughs and use that. When running through the
residential areas, many of the homeowners have their hose pipes out so
use that to cool yourself down.
stop at the physio
stations for a rub. You don’t have
the time to waste, and it makes it harder to get going again.
You shouldn’t be running with any strapping (you’re supposed to be
physically fit), but if you are, only stop at the physio station to be
re-strapped if the original strapping is coming loose.
is key to your run. Whatever you do on the day, do it
moving forward! Remember, every step you take is one step
closer to the finish. Don’t go back for anything!
take off your shoes:
don’t! Your feet generally swell during the
day. It s not a good idea to take your shoes off because it
may be difficult to put them on again. Make sure you sort out
any shoe problems like tight laces or little stones in your shoe, early
in the run. Remember tight laces can bruise the tendon on top
of the foot.
carrot on the stick:
you are going to use someone as the carrot, I would suggest you
follow a runner wearing a yellow number. They are doing their
10th run and should hopefully finish in time (but don’t count on it, both my husband Andy and my
friend Russ missed out on their 10th, and had to come back the following year to earn their green numbers).
Use a pacing chart.
I highly recommend Don Oliver’s pacing
charts. Make sure you study the chart
beforehand so that you
understand what Don is doing. Take note of his minutes per km
allowance, especially in the second half. Don’t stress if you
fall behind using Don’s chart. There is a good chance of
catching up in the second half. Comrades has enough
kilometres in which to fix things up.
running mantra you can recite, especially when the going gets
tough. I usually go with “STRONG
BODY”. If you are kept busy repeating a mantra,
you can’t be
saying things like “I’m so tired” or “I can’t do this”, which are
negative messages. If I get to a point where I am feeling
sorry for myself, I usually revert to the “SHUT UP AND RUN”
on a support crew. There is a good chance that
your support crew won’t be able to get to a particular point at a
particular time. Make sure you are carrying everything you
need on your person. See my page on being self-sufficient
I stay away from pace
setters but many runners have hopped
into a Comrades bus
and finished in time. There are a number
of reputable ‘bus drivers’ and it’s best to try and hook up with
them. “Vlam se bus” comes to mind! In past Comrades
runs, I have seen pace
setters sitting on the side of the raod, having
blown their own race. I have also run alongside busses that
are clearly running to fast, and as a result some runners are falling
off the bus. For an inexperienced runner, this could blow
their race on a mental level because they start thinking “Well, I’ve
fallen off the bus, what chance have I got of finishing in
time”. In most cases this is not true, but unfortunately the
inexperienced fallen runner doesn’t realise that the bus is going to
fast. Always back yourself above
lastly, don’t forget to smile for the camera! This is the
picture you’re going to show your grandchildren.
Key words: practical
considerations, water tables, water troughs,
physio stations, shoes, yellow number, deliberate forward motion,
Comrades busses, pace setters
Internal links: busses, pacing chart,
shut up and run,
be self sufficient,