Zinekele: It takes all of you to become a Comrade’s runner. It isn’t lack of better words that the organizers of the Comrades use this catch phrase for the go luck running the Comrades. The meticulous planning, immense discipline, focus, sheer gritty determination and perseverance might not be enough to even get you anywhere near Pietermaritzburg, also known as the City of Choice that sleeps easy on Sunday evenings. But I guess hardly many were sleeping easy on the Sunday of June 4, 2017, when the Gun goes off at 5.30 P.M to signal the final cutoff after 12 hours of toil and pain.
Now that the dust is settled, the oceans are calm and wine is out of the system I can finally recount the rollercoaster events that made The Two Oceans Ultra Marathon a lasting memory. There is nothing that I can say that that have not been said about this run. But at the risk of repeating it one too many times, the run indeed fits the tag the world most beautiful marathon. I will keep it simple. I ran the ultra and came home in 4.53 and really enjoyed the scenic route and will definitely go back. I would recommend the run to all Swaras and may it be up there in your bucket list. It’s worth every ounce of pain and every dime spent on it. That’s the official statement. I have read the accounts of all the other Swara participants and since they decided to be mainstream. I will take the opposite direction and go all tabloid.
Let me start by pointing that no one “fixed” me to do two marathons in less than one month. I had set a target of three marathons in this calendar year. After debuting in Kilimanjaro Marathon in March, I missed a sequence of marathons mid-year because of business and pleasure; that target was reduced to two. I settled for MTN Kampala for my second marathon. But on learning that there was a 4 weeks gap between Stanchart and MTN I decided to attempt both. I knew this was a near death wish but what the hell, I decided to go for it.
My club 42 debut was never supposed to be on the slopes of Kili but as fate would have it, the gods of the trails had conspired this to be it. Calf injury last October delayed the inevitable. Fast forward March 1 2015 at around 10.26 (EAT) I pick a hamper, peep inside; a medal, white Tshirt and a bottle. Is that all?? I ask myself as I look around to see whether anyone else shares my sentiments. I stagger outside the stadium where I had left a few familiar faces and sit down supporting myself to the wall of the stadium. Sorry I am a terrible liar, after I realized there is only one bottle of water I walked back picked a few more bottles of water, sorry as many as my feeble hands could carry and stuffed them in my “hand bag” only for a guy to pass by me sipping a beer (I haven’t indulged since boxing day in readiness for this) and I ask the attendant, what happened to my beer since I saw none. He points me to the tents where they are but not before letting me know that I will have to part with TZ shs.2,500.00 to enjoy the company of one. I mutter a curse word to myself and leave.