“Going for my 10th Comrades Marathon and aiming for that prestigious Green Number got all psyched up to run my best race. I guess such is the feeling of all aspirant Comrades Green Number achievers.
I had prepared to start training in January and had decided that this would be my final run and also the achievement of my Comrades Permanent Number. I had already done 9 successful runs previously so there was “no option to fail” as I wanted to get 10 out of 10.
Unfortunately, my training did not go well. I did about 680km in preparation from January till Race Day and realized that I was seriously undertrained. Thankfully, I was somehow mentally over-confident and feeling really good.
My wife’s position was that this was going to be my last race as it was “too much for her to handle”. I think it was the pressure that most Comrades runners’ families endure when they have a Comrades runner in their midst.
Having said that, I had only one last ‘throw of the dice’ to get my Green Number. I am a back-of-the-pack recreational runner and have been driven mostly by the spirit of Comrades in all of my races.
Come Race Day: It was at the Halfway mark when I realized that I was 15 minutes behind my plan to finish in 11h59. My family was at the 70km mark and when I saw my wife, she looked seriously worried and said: ‘You are one hour behind’. This upset me like nothing else and that is when I took off like a bomb.
I completed the race with 3 minutes to spare at an average speed of 7.12m/km. The only thing on my mind was: ‘I cannot fail. I need to achieve my Green Number’.
I learned that day that you cannot give up, no matter what! When the ‘chips are down’, dig deep and you can do it. Getting my Comrades Green Number was the most awesome feeling ever.”
This month’s winner of the Arnica Ice hamper is Logan Govender.