Whilst researching running expeditions I was advised to get in touch with Dave Chamberlain as he was currently running around The World. As I was chatting to Dave he asked if I was free in May and would I fancy running from Cape Town to Comrades? Without really thinking about it or asking what I was getting involved in, I said yes!
Turns out I had signed myself up to something quite ridiculous. We were going to attempt to run 90km a day for 20 days and on the final day compete in the Comrades Ultra Marathon. I was so bloody scared of what I had signed up to do but also intrigued to see how far my body could go. A few people that I told about this trip told me that there was no way that I could do it and asked why I was even bothering to try. This made me think; I know I can do 90km in one go. I have done it before and I know I can probably do it twice, but can I do it 20 times?
6 of us in total had signed up for this challenge and having never met these guys before I went out to South Africa to join them on a crazy run.
We started this adventure in Cape Town and wound our way through the wine farms over insane passes, across the desert through remote farms and finished at the seaside in Durban 20 days later!
We all went through a battle of physical and mental emotions over the project. After day 6 all of us were broken in some way shape or form and had to set new goals. I had torn my right quad and had shooting pains going up my shins. My new goal was to run as much as I could with still getting to the Comrades Start line. My parents were coming out to watch from the UK and I didn’t think they would be too impressed if I couldn’t run the race. After battling through 19 days I got to the start line and when the gun went off I just ran as fast as I could. I didn’t look at my watch, I had no idea how fast I was running or what position I was in. 6hrs and 50mins later I crossed the finish line in Durban and turns out I had been running quite fast as I finished 9th and earned a coveted gold medal!
Long road to Comrades was the best, worst, most painful, fun, exhausting and awesome experience that I have ever had. There is something special about pushing your mind and body to new limits with some amazing people and coming out the other side alive! I am happy to say that I have made some very special friends and I am so happy that I got to share the experience with these guys!
P.s. One thing I learnt from this adventure was to not pee next to a bee hive…