May 31, 2018

#Asijiki: Your Comprehensive Guide to the 93rd Annual Comrades Marathon

Image source: Twitter 

The athletic calendar presents us once again, with the world’s most prestigious running event of all time.

The Comrades Marathon is one of the nation’s most prominent events in sports both nationally and internationally. This will be the 93rd year in which the Comrades legacy is continued. The big race is set to begin in Pietermaritzburg on the 10th of June at 05:30 am.

This is one of the most iconic events that we host in the country, where people from different ethnicities unite in the spirit of camaraderie.  It’s always amazing to see athletics fanatics, brands and people just come together to celebrate this event.

What’s Unique about this year’s Comrades?

The official distance of the 2018 Comrades Marathon is 90.184km, which is longer than the previous Down Run route. This year runners can also look forward to the race finishing at Moses Mabhida stadium, which is a new finish. This will be a grand finish to the race at Durban’s amazing stadium, which is a tourism site.                         

The excitement leading up to the day is always followed by worldwide media coverage. This year’s campaign for the race is called ‘Asijiki- No Turning back’, which refers to the perseverance and determination to complete the race.      

Comrade’s enthusiasts can obtain more details about the events such as entry requirements, routes and cut-off times and they can learn more about this on the Runner’s World website.          

#Comrades2018 : The Countdown Begin

Image source: Twitter 

As we get our hashtags ready and watch the Comrades live in various locations, it truly feels amazing to be part of the history-making experience. Whether you’re one of those participating in this year’s run or know someone participating, there is just enormous anticipation leading up to this day. Some of us will go out to support those running or set reminders to tune in when it begins.  However you choose to celebrate, there is definitely a sense of excitement surrounding the ultimate human race.  

For those volunteers, runners and sponsors who wish to participate, here are a few interesting facts and pointers about this year’s Comrades.

Stay Well-Nourished 

Making sure you are nutritionally prepared is vital to keep you energised during the run. Runners are advised to have sufficient water intake and nutrient-dense foods that will sustain them throughout the race.

If your body is not hydrated and you don’t have enough vitamins, the race becomes difficult to endure. You will have to work out your eating plan for the day, which is usually what’s prescribed for participants. This is also the reason why you’ll find runners being offered water, energy drinks as well as vitamin B rich foods. Foods such as potatoes, oranges and bananas have great nutritional value. This food will keep you energised, which is a great boost for the race. 

Training is Vital

The build-up to the marathon should involve a lot of exercises and running which will help your body adjust for the big run. Training is essential and it allows the body to get used to the physical and mental strength required.

You can choose to train in a group or have a personal trainer. As you train your muscles and prepare your body, you gain momentum and become physically fit.

Set Goals for your Run 

As a first time participant, you have to do all the research to find out all you need to know about the Comrades. You will have to be knowledgeable about the routes, from start to finish. You can look back to previous marathons to gain insight into the rhythm of the race.

If this isn’t your first time and you’re running a competitive race, you have to prepare for success. You will need to challenge yourself each day to reach exceptional heights in your physical ability. As you invest in training, you get your body and mind ready for the big day. It is crucial to also have an individual training plan, to cultivate your strength.

Having a vision is critical if you are in a competitive space. You will need to visualise what it’s going to take to get to each milestone. You should have a plan on how you will draw strength when you need to, eat and hydrate.

Health Care for the Race 

Image source: Twitter 

Runners planning to participate should take necessary medical precautions to find out if they’re fit for the race. If you have issues such as heart issues, high blood pressure, weight or diabetes, it would be wise to consult a doctor before signing up.  

According to Comrades, participants can expect 16 ambulances, 6 vehicles with life support, 4 paramedic motorbikes and one helicopter on standby. Runners can rest assured in the medical provisions at the Comrades. If runners get cramps or become sick, there will be paramedics in 8 different stations, ready to attend to them.  

Participants who get injured or collapse along the way should also have speedy medical aid to rely on. It has been advised that participants not continue running if there any warning signs that the body is not okay.

Defining your own Pace 

Although the run may be competitive, you need to be psychologically ready to run it at your own pace. You must be mentally ready to run side by side with participants and not allow this to become a distraction. 

You have to run at the speed that you’re capable of to meet the goals that you have. When you focus on your own path as a runner, it keeps you on track and you are not intimidated by runners ahead of you. The key is just to keep going. As you continue running, each goal becomes more tangible.

Supporters are your Strength 

Those participating in the marathon get live media coverage on the day. There is always an overwhelming crowd of supporters present. You will find people shouting in excitement and blurting out words of encouragement.

The cheers on the sidelines are hard to miss and they make the race the authentic experience that it has become. Comrade’s supporters make the event festive and fun. Runners are celebrated for their courage and draw strength from the warmth of strangers and bystanders on this day.

Soak in Every moment 

There might be a lot of pressure on you to excel as you participate in the race. This expectation can come from family, friends and even yourself to meet certain goals. It’s wonderful to be goal driven when you run the race, but remember to soak in the joy in every moment.

Don’t allow anxiety about winning to take over on the day. Instead, focus on doing your best and make sure that you have fun. Run the race with happiness in your heart. Be proud of yourself for being part of something so epic and memorable.

In this way, you will not only achieve the goal of reaching a certain distance but you will also celebrate yourself for trying.

Your Life will be changed 

Even if you don’t achieve medals, you are still a winner. Being part of the Comrades experience is something that you can be proud of. The Comrades changes your perspective and grows you as an individual. As someone who is bold enough to challenge yourself in full view of the nation, you can draw strength from it.

With this milestone under your belt, it can remind you that you are able to face anything, your strength as a person is revealed and this is a story that you can tell to your children  and grandchildren to come.


About the Author: Khanyie Dlamini Content Creator at Educor Holdings As a writer in the education sector I am passionate about nurturing people in their careers, wellness and personal growth. I focus on a variety of illuminating topics that are helpful to people’s growth and success. I hope to inspire people to feel motivated to live up to their full potential and know they can have an optimistic and prosperous life. My intention is to contribute to an empowered nation that makes great choices and positive change. Personally I enjoy the world of fashion and keeping up with the trends. I have great interest in digital trends and the impact of social media in today’s world. I enjoy learning from other creative people. I value having purposeful relationships with people who have great visions that align with my own.

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