SONETTE NELL, OVERKRUIN ATHLETICS CLUB, PRETORIA
Goal: The elusive Bill Rowan medal (sub-9)
Start to 30km: I knew I could achieve my goal and physically I was ready. I felt very strong over this section.
30km to 60km: I still felt very strong and ready for what lay ahead.
60km to finish: I was mentally strong and a bit tired, but ready to finish.
What was the hardest part of the race?
I started too fast over the first half. I hung onto a sub-9 hour bus (there were two). The one I was in did not run at the correct pace for a sub-9 hour.
And the best part?
The start. It was the best experience ever! The athletes and the spectators were unbelievable! Another great part was when I finished, of course.
Were there times when you wanted to give up?
No, there was not one single second when I wanted to give up.
I never give up!
When did you realise that you were not going to achieve your goal?
At about 18km to go.
What factors lead to you not achieving your goal?
I started too fast in the first half, which lead to me not having a lot of energy left for the second part.
How did you feel crossing the finish line?
Wonderful! It is always the best feeling ever!
How did you feel physically after the race?
I think all of us who completed the Comrades felt stiff afterwards.
Were you disappointed?
Yes, I was. But now I know which mistakes I made.
Did this discourage you for future races?
No, not at all. It only made me stronger and I am ready for many more to come!
How long are you resting before training again?
I will rest for about four weeks before I slowly start training again.
Will you be back at Comrades in 2011?
Are you going to try for a Bill Rowan medal again?
Of course. That is my goal and I will achieve it!
Is there anything you will be doing differently in your training for next year’s Comrades?
Yes, I need to do more strength training and work harder in all areas to achieve my goal.
What are your next short-term and long-term goals?
To achieve all my goals now and in future, to work harder to reach the top where I want to be!