RACE REPORT – COMRADES No23 by Beaumont Cooper

I’ve been told on a few occasions, that I do not respect the Comrades Marathon.

Some of my antics before, during and after the race may lead fellow runners into thinking that might be the case. If truth be told, I do respect the race…… I just don’t fear the race.

Two Oceans is a physical race….Comrades is a mental race.

If you can run Two Oceans 56km under 7 hours, then there is really no reason, why you cannot carry on and run another 34km in 5hrs.

Yes, you need to be injury free, but you also have to be mentally free.

So start by being a little mental…      ’Maak as of jy mal is, dan  doen jy alles’  !!

Comrades 2022 was so different from all my previous runs.We had not run for almost two years, we were all affected by the economy, we had limited quality training, and we were running after nearly a two month’s break since Oceans.

Personally, from my experience, I was suddenly feeling ‘man alone.’

No Bernie, Adrian, Nikki, Tommy, Andy, Brian, Russell, Bev, Peter, Keith etc. Just eight Fish Hoek starters.

And I only knew two, Keith Webster, and that other little girl Shani Hayward.

And here I was 68 years old, entering one more time.  What was I drinking ??

But, Two Oceans went okay, untl that little Shani ran past/over me on Chappies.

Four Hills was kinda tough……but then that little Shani came steaming past me again up Ou Kaaps.

So, after a little light bulb moment, that became my blueprint for Comrades 2022.

Stay behind Shani and Keep her in sight.

It worked, but only because she was not feeling too well, and I was able to use her pace for most of my race.

I had also made a promise to light a mental candle for all my fellow Comrades who had passed away over the years. So after every 8km, I said a few words for special people who helped make me the person I am today.

I know they all heard me………

Because, just like that, it was all over.

Well done to all my fellow Comrades who finished 2022.

We were not alone.

AND SPECIAL THANKS TO Shani who stepped up and made the post party one of the Best!

Thanks for looking after old Grandad before, during and after the run.

With the ‘GEES’ you showed at the West Coast Party, F.H.A.C is in good shape!!

Hopefully we can all run again next year.

See you in June 2023.


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