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As Don Oliver says, trying to predict the weather on Comrades day is much like trying to predict your finish time.  You know what you’d like, but it’s not necessarily what you get!

Be aware that the down run start in Pietermaritzburg can be very cold.  The temperature often drops to about 2 C so it is advisable to wear a “throw away” long-sleeved top over your running vest.  It is also a good idea to wear a cap and some cheap cotton gloves.  Remember heat escapes through your extremities and head so covering these does help somewhat.  On a down run I have often kept my throw away on for at least 25km before discarding.

Regardless of early morning temperatures, make sure you use a good sunscreen lotion and apply generously.  During the run, if the opportunity arises, reapply the sunscreen.  I am very fair skinned so have to smear it on thick.  I also keep my cap on all day to keep the sun off my head.  I wear a very light weight cap (New Balance) which has lots of ventilation gaps.

From my own experiences, it can get fairly warm between about 11 am and 3.00pm, I’d guess between 24 and 26 C.  Itt can seem warmer because we are generating our own heat through the “exercise” we are doing.  The secret, well it’s no secret, is to manage the heat effectively.

Make sure you remain well hydrated but be mindful not to over-hydrate!  A simple way of keeping your outer body cool is to wet yourself at the refreshment stations.  I use a water sachet or two and just “spray” it over myself (works especially well if the water sachets are ice cold!)  Look out for hosepipes at the refreshment stations and on the grass verges of the residential areas you will run through.  These really help to keep one cool!

During the training months try doing some of your training during the heat of the day.  Even 30 minutes running in the heat is good “conditioning” training.


Keywords: weather, temperature, down run, sunscreen lotion,
Internal links: refreshment stations, conditioning,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website



Copyright Nikki Campbell 2009
alsoran@webafrica.org.za