Friday, August 01, 2014

Why Run the 90th Comrades...

By Frank

It's been 2 months since the Comrades Marathon 2014, and now we are just another month away before registration opens on 1 September 2014 for next year's edition. And to make things even more interesting and perhaps more memorable when the day comes, the Comrades Marathon 2015 will mark the 90th edition of this great run.

The 90th edition of The Ultimate Human Race will take place on 31 May 2015. It will be an "Up' run after many speculations that it will be a "Down" due to the anniversary factor. Therefore, it will be run from Durban to Pietermartizburg with an official distance of 87.96KM.

While most of my friends do prefer the "Down" run, I personally favour the "Up" run instead for it's my strength. Not being light weight or what so ever, but my legs and running style are more accustom to it. I don't generally run faster, but I am able to last longer on it compared to the opposite direction where I am needed to take extra care of my legs when descending.  However not to be confused with the word "Up", the run does consist of a lot of descends too and it will be a rolling affair. Not forgetting the climb at Inchanga and the notorious Polly Shortts.

So what is so special about the 90th edition? Honestly speaking, I do not have the details just yet. I've receive no marketing materials yet but knowing that it is the Comrades Marathon which is already special and with its rich history, the 90th edition is going to be a blast. With 18,000 caps each year, we may see an increase to over 20,000 this time. A run being a run, there is nothing much it can be done but perhaps special performances and extra cheers and supports along the race course will be implemented to commemorate this anniversary run. Then there will be definitely other specials events prior and after the race itself like perhaps a bigger expo, pasta parties, after parties and so on.

The 90th edition will also mark the third year I am taking the role of the international ambassador for my home country, Malaysia. Though my ambassadorship for the past 2 years has been a roller coaster ride especially where I had to witness 2 very close friends of mine not able finish the race, I still somehow manage to pick up my pieces and pull it through to share the story of this amazing run. Personally I do feel the amazing sense of achievement whenever I see my fellow countrymen stand on the start line of the race each year, and even though my 2 close friends did not finish their respective race, I am still VERY PROUD of them for taking up the challenge. They tried, and I know they did and that certainly shows the true Comrades spirit within them. I do not know if they will attempt the race again next year as I leave it to their own hands, but for sure, I do hope they will and that I will be there (I hope) to guide them together with coach yet again.

Anyhow, although it may sound too fast, but myself and Chee Kong are already planning our itinerary for next year's trip. We do have a few plans in mind but nothing is firm yet. But at least the mains are being finalized as I wrote this entry.

Therefore, get your credit card ready, mark down the date and time of 1 September 2015, 6am local Malaysian time and head on to when the registration opens for the 90th edition for the Comrades Marathon. Will we see a double digit figure from Team Malaysia standing on the race start line on 2015? I do hope so. And to those who have been asking and showing interest (you know who you are), think no further for I personally think that you are ready for this!

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