My Fourth Comrades Lesson

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By Lisa Nevitt
Image by Sue Ullyett

Five minutes; all it took to submit my qualifying marathon time. I surveyed the mangled lumps that I’ve come to know as my own feet. A couple of nails are purple and an army of painful blisters – scrap that, barnacles –  have set up camp in the most uncomfortable crevices between my toes.

Let me tell you, it hasn’t taken ‘all of five minutes’ to achieve the seeding I wanted. Try four gruelling marathons; the energy it took to swear like a trooper in the last 10km of each and every one. Yet, I couldn’t help but smile at my toes; even emit a little chuckle. I didn’t see any imperfections, rather two little running soldiers, triumphant yet buggered beyond all recognition.

Submitting my qualifying time has taken the pressure off and I feel that I can start to reap the rewards of running anew. Last weekend, we completed a 46km run over Chapman’s Peak and Constantia Nek. Not only was this an opportunity to test out pace, fuel and endurance for the ultras, but I couldn’t help noticing the astonishing scenery.

The harbour town of Kalk Bay and its salty sea air, a patchwork of brightly coloured huts at Muizenberg and leafy Noordhoek. How the seasons change from one place to the next, from sunshine to the pummelling South Easter. As our tired legs reached the summit of Chapman’s Peak Drive, we stopped to refuel. I lay on the wall, arms outstretched, remembering the victories of Two Oceans past.

Three kilometres to go and I began Constantia Nek’s upward climb. My legs had taken strain, my back ached and I was exhausted, yet I had thoroughly enjoyed myself. Heck, I’d just run a whopping 46km through some of the most stunning scenery in South Africa. This is the kind of run that can leave you buzzing for weeks.

The Lesson: Reap Running Rewards


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