What Does It Take To Get A Permanent Number

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By Lisa Gibbon

What a day! In the enthusiastic days running up to Comrades, I tend to conveniently forget just how hard this race is.¬†Awesome, inspiring, wonderful…….but HARD.

The journey was made so much easier this year though, with the yellow number on my back – the support from runners and spectators alike was just lovely! I got an impromptu hug from a total stranger, wishing me luck, ice chips from an elderly gentleman, encouraging words from Vlam, and best of all, had my husband Brian by my side for most of the way. And then, the cherry on top, getting my green number from Alan Robb – wow……

So what does it take to get a permanent number?

  • 58 marathons,
  • 80 half marathons,
  • about 90 assorted other distances,
  • 9000 – odd kilometers,
  • about 1200 hours of training,
  • 22 pairs of running shoes (2 per year, and then I lost 2 pairs)
  • countless socks (I never seems to have socks, no matter how many pairs I buy!)
  • a fortune in Physio and podiatrist bills,
  • willing seconds,
  • 2 running clubs,
  • and an endlessly supportive family who put up with my preoccupation with running, my many absences, my afternoon naps after long runs, fetching me after marathons, and of course the surplus of Italian meals to fuel my running.

A huge thanks to Brian for never, not once, complaining about my running; for always being supportive, and for eventually becoming my running partner – like they say in the classics, if you can’t beat them……

To Ash, my daughter, who has taken over from dad and now seconds us both, poor child, thanks poppet, maybe we can tackle this special monster together one year! And the rest of the family – sorry that I’m never on TV even though you’ve watched all day, and for the worry when the timing SMS’s are delayed…..just knowing you’re out there rooting for me keeps me going.

To all who finished, SO well done, and to those poor souls who didn’t, commiserations – better luck next time.

See you all in 2013. I’m looking forward to it already.

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