In 2010 the Comrades marathon in South Africa will be a very special event. It will be the 85th Comrades and will also be run shortly before the FIFA soccer world cup starts in South Africa. For these reasons the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) decided to make it a special year. Entries will be capped at 20000 and a special medal will be on offer.
I decided that this is a good year to make a very long overdue comeback to the race. I finished the race in 1997 and now, 13 years later, I plan to do it again. I also decided that this is the perfect time to start another overdue affair, a running blog.
I’ve been thinking about starting a running blog for some time now. I suppose it can be a good thing as this will act as a motivation tool as well. After all, I can’t blog about not training or not running or not going for my goals. So in that sense it can only be good. Where it can be bad is that I’ll most likely update the blog a lot more than I would my performance testing blog, which might suggest that I’m more passionate about running than performance testing, or work for that matter. And that is not true at all. I’m one of the lucky people that have a passion for what I do for a living.
So I’ve made the decision to start this running blog at last. Now where to start? I’m not going to blog about the past, but maybe as a start I can give a short history of my running and why I’m so passionate about it.
Running has been a part of my life since I can remember. I was not at school yet when my dad started running for a low blood pressure problem. He ran early every morning without fail for many, many years. Just for the blood pressure. He didn’t train for a race or anything like that. His dedication still inspires me today. The only race related memory I have of those days is that of listening to the radio commentary of the Comrades marathon in the 1970’s. I remember hearing names like Alan Robb, Graeme Frazer, Tony Abott and of course later Bruce Fordyce. I remember picturing the race in my mind while listening to the radio.
In 1981 my dad came home one evening with entry forms for the SABC TV road race. There was a half marathon and a 10km race. He decided the whole family would run. And that’s exactly what we did. Dad, my brother and I ran the 21,1km. Mom and my two sisters ran the 10km. That’s where my running career started. My first official race, the 1981 SABC TV 21,1km road race. I was in standard 10 (grade 12), my last year at school.
So here I am, many years later, 46 years old, training to run the Comrades marathon again after 13 years. I call this blog “Run Tall, Walk Tall”, a mantra I’ve been using for many years when I battle or go through a bad patch on a run. The next eight months will be primarily focused on the buildup to Comrades on 30 May 2010, when I’ll tackle the 89km run.