Marathon Number 56

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By Lisa Gibbon

Saturday saw us doing Om die Dam, in perfect cool weather (to start with, anyway – it warmed up properly a few hours into the race). The race has become so popular that traffic was a bit of a mission – we left JHB 90 mins before the start, and still ended up being 10mins late. Note to self – again – leave much earlier next year.

One of the interesting things about this race is that there is a designated parking area in the nearby graveyard…..somewhat macabre, but it serves the purpose, I suppose. Last year we didn’t know it was a graveyard and almost drove the car into an open grave (empty, but open), and only realized this when we were almost 6 foot under. I must admit it feels pretty weird parking there, so this year we parked well away.

We started off slowly – even being 10mins late – this was always going to be just a training run – time on the legs – but by 5 km we had caught up with Vlam’s 6 hour bus. Feeling strong, we overtook him, and before we knew it, we were on Saartjiesnek. We were going like a train when my running partner’s wheels came off a little (or in hindsight maybe a lot, given that he ended up in the medical tent later with heat exhaustion…..not pretty…….) at 42km, and within a km or so, Vlam had caught us and encouraged us to join him. We tried, but sense of humour failure prevailed and we limped along to the end, where the beer was cold (and the medical tent was busy, hehe)

I was very happy to finish, and felt pretty good all the way. It was my 56th marathon, and I’m looking at how I can manage to make my tenth Comrades my 60th marathon. It will mean an extra marathon over and above what I’d planned, but there are lots or marathons to choose from.

Congrats to the organisers of Om die dam – as usual it was a beautifully organized run, with plenty of water, snacks, drinks – even boerewors and little milk tarts! I’ll be back next year. On time.

I know I’ve said this before, but now it’s really Comrades crunch time. Travel and work has kept me from training in the past 2 weeks, but no more. I shall make a SERIOUS, committed effort.

Till next time, happy training, only 10 or so weeks to go…….

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