90KM DOWN RUN

MY COMRADES STORY BY TIKHO NOV

“In April 2018, I tied up my very first running shoes, the Nike Pegasus 34 at the invitation of my friend Kuvha. We went jogging for 3km which knocked me down for 2 weeks. Two months later, I found myself glued to the television set in June 2018, watching the Comrades Marathon the entire day. It was then that something told me I could do it. However, referencing my previous first and only run, I could not agree. 

 

Kuvha invited me to join South Infinity Run Crew (SIRC). I boldly joined them in September and picked up an injury that cost me the rest of the year. Ignorantly I ran the FNB 10km whilst injured and the Soweto half marathon, also whilst injured. The club had some members participating in The Ultimate Human Race - who ultimately invited me to participate. 

 

On the 2nd of March 2019, I got a substitute entry and Comrades Training began. Many told me it was impossible. Apparently, you needed at least a full year’s training.

 

I took time to read and also to train. Having qualified with my first marathon, the Johnson Crane Marathon, I managed to build stamina, speed and endurance that took me to Durban’s starting line on Sunday, 9 June 2019. I did not trust my training, but I trusted Coach Parry’s online sessions and Bruce Fordyce’s comments and tips on the race. All I had in mind was to see and experience for myself. 

 

I literally knew every feature of the route. How many steps to walk up Fields Hill and I also kept in mind Aunty Polly Shortts who was waiting 8km before the finish line.

 

My race started out good but 38km into the ultramarathon, cramps set in. I called my wife to tell her I was done and would try again next year. At the halfway point I met up with her and she whispered, “EVEN IF YOU WALK IT, YOU WILL MAKE IT!” and the theme “SIZONQOBA” resonated. I took off up Inchanga, enjoyed every single massage point, drank all the coke, ate potatoes, bananas and meat handed to me by strangers. 

 

The journey seemed to be one of a thousand miles until the bus led by Jeff arrived and I joined in just after Polly Shortts. The vibe of the bus took me to the finish line before I knew it. I don’t easily cry but when I saw the finish line, tears rolled down my cheeks and I knew I had “TRIUMPHED.”

 

The winner of this month’s Arnica Ice hamper is Tikho Nov.


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