My Comrades; Modern Athlete readers share their 2010 Comrades experience


Comrades 2010 was a highlight for many and a disappointment for others. Whether you won a silver medal or finished a second before the 12-hour cut off, one thing bound all of us on the 89.2km long road to Durban… and that was the incredible and unique experience of finishing one of the most gruelling ultra races in the world.

Zelna Black
Race Time: 11:35

I was one of those slightly undertrained and overweight athletes who pitched up at the start of Comrades on 30 May 2010. With a song in my heart, a year’s training, six weeks of ‘brain training’ at Maretha Claasen (the sport psychologist) and a secret special weapon I started the big C.

At 3km I tripped over a bag but I showered myself with positive affirmations, as I was trained! Then, 40km into the race I started feeling pain from the fall and I popped pain medication. As a novice I was warned that the last 30km were the real challenge, but for me it was from the 44 –50km mark. The song ‘Ek is ‘n dapper muis’ got me from Inchanga to Botha’s!

When I saw the 29km to go mark, I turned into a camel smelling water! It was amazing when the crowd shouted my name! Wow, this is what Comrades is about! At the 3km to go mark I had no legs left! Then I decided to use my last secret weapon! I am a runner (maybe a slow one), but I know how to power walk. Some spectators must have though I was a walker!

To my surprise I still felt like a gold medallist when I crossed the finish line in 11:35 (and not the sub 11hours that I planned). The good news is that this is my PB as I am a novice! I feel so proud. I am also proud of all the Irene runners who completed the Comrades. At the same time I salute everyone who missed the cut-off, but was still brave enough to finish. Well done Comrades!

I love my club. Thank you to everyone in the blue T-Shirts (and other loved ones) who cheered us on along the way. You all made a huge impact!