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The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Comrades Marathon: Special Edition

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Comrades Marathon: Special Edition

The Ultimate Human Race...

if the South African organisers are to be believed and it’s certainly up there.

For starters, ignore the name; It’s not actually a marathon at all with the distance varying between 87 & 90 km in a point-to-point road race swapping direction each year between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

This means it alternates between being an uphill and downhill race with a net elevation difference of over 2,500 ft and plenty of bumps in-between.

What makes Comrades really special is the size of the field with 20,000 people each year taking on the challenge, significantly more than your average ultra!

I've lined up on the start line on 3 occasions for this fantastic race and the results have been great (2017 - 9th) , awesome (2018 - 3rd) and so bad that I decided to retire 🤣 (2019 - DNF) 

The 2018 race was a "downhill" year and I went into race with a fantastic block of training under my belt and ended up with one of my best ever performances averaging sub 6 minute miles for the 90km distance. My time of 5:35:26 was good enough to sneak on to the podium after passing 5 other athletes in the last 10K. As you can see.... I was rather happy!

2019 on the other hand proved to be the deciding factor in my decision to retire from "competitive" running. My build up to the race had been the polar opposite of 2018 and the six month build up was plagued with illness and niggles which not only meant I lacked any consistency with my training but I also found myself not enjoying my "hobby" for the first time. Six months is a long time to do something  every day that you are not really enjoying and when the end result was me pulling out of the race after 20 miles with a hamstring strain it was time to make some "life choices" as to whether I wanted to put myself through the process ever again... the answer ended up being no!

So this one race has given me my two most emotional moments in running at both ends of the spectrum, it has a special place in my heart and that's why I'm super excited to be getting up early this Sunday morning to watch the 2022 down run from my sofa 😀

In fact I'd go as far as saying that excitement levels are "off the scale" as this year friend and boss here at XMiles, Ant will be toeing the start line!

Ant's training has gone really well including 3 weeks of altitude training in France this last month and looks in great shape to have a strong Comrades on Sunday... he looks to have enjoyed himself as well!

So, I'm sure you are wondering, what nutrition strategy will the founder and CEO of XMiles be using for a 90K fast road race?!

You would hope that he knows what he's doing wouldn't you 😜

Well no need to wonder any further....

Pre Race 

  • "Beet it" shots for 9 days including race day... got to get the nitrates in!
  • Carb Loading - 3 days before race day 1 x 80g SiS beta fuel  (to top up his sensible carb based meals). Also one the morning of the race as part of his breakfast routine

Race Day

  • A selection of "chews"  to mix up the flavours and textures, always good to have some backups in case you fancy something a little different!

Post Race

  • He told me there was going to to be some SIS Rego consumed but I think it may look suspiciously like a pint of beer based on the fact that he will be taking some time off after this big target race!

So, keep an eye out for Ant on Sunday in the race results and if you are considering running a road ultra at any point in the future then I can’t recommend Comrades enough, it’s an experience not to be missed. And don’t forget, just like all marathons and ultra races; cautious starts and pacing your race well always lead to getting the best out of yourself!

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