Prepare Your Fans!

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By Taryn Townsend

One of the key elements about getting through the Ultimate Human Race is focus and being mentally prepared for the challenge that lies ahead.

Something that I will never forget that I have used each year, which I’m sure I read in a Runner’s World magazine:  visualise the finish, see the clock at the end of the finishing straight, visualise your finishing time.  As long as you can see that, your vision will become a reality.

An important point that might be overlooked is the fact that, not only do you need to prepare yourself mentally, but I would suggest, especially if this will be your first Comrades, preparing your supporters!  “For what,” I hear you asking yourself.  Well, even though they are not putting in the “hard miles” it can become quite stressful waiting for your loved ones at the finish line.  They feel your pain, your anguish, your heartache.

Make sure you chat to them about where they will be on the route (if they intend going through to some hotspots), where you will meet them at the finish.  After 86km’s, the last thing you want to be doing is playing cat and mouse with your family!

Before race day, chat to your family about your plan of action for race day, make sure everyone knows what time you want to leave for the start, whether they need to drop you off or if they should come up to the start area with you.  It is also very important to discuss your finishing time with them to give them a general idea of what time you will be entering the stadium.

A fantastic initiative by Comrades was the introduction of the “Track your runner,” which sends 5 smses to a selected number of where you are on route.  I would highly recommend this service as your loved ones will always be in the loop, especially if you don’t carry your cellphone or they are not going to see you on the route.  It costs R10, but it might save them a few grey hairs.

Your supporters should enjoy the day too.  Whether they visit a hotspot or go directly to the finish, the mood is festive and the drones of other people really look forward to the day and go all out to show their support!

Trust me, from the start, after halfway, with 20kms to go, with 10kms or with 1km to go, the runners thrive on all the support and even the phrase:  “You’re looking great, keep going!”  will keep them going to the end!  Thank you!

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One Response to Prepare Your Fans!

  1. Shaun Wewege May 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Support helps! I found that drunk adults and small kids have the best cheers.

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