In less than a week and after 1’300 km of training, Uli and I are off to South Africa to run the best Ultra Marathon on the planet with my blind running partner Francois Jacobs from Centurion, South Africa.
First of all I like to thank to all of you who generously supported our efforts by donation to The Fred Hollows Foundation. I transfered over $5’000 to the Foundation, over 200 people will be able to see again, thank you!
The Comrades Marathon is the World’s oldest and largest Ultra marathon, run over a distance of 89 km (56 miles) between Pietermaritzburg (capital of Kwazulu – Natal Provence) and the coastal city of Durban, South Africa (www.comrades.com). The direction of the race alternates each year between the “up run” starting from Durban and the “down run” starting from Pietermaritzburg.
This year 2010 is a “down run”. 24’000 runners will make their way over a strenuous course which encapsulates the “Big Five”, the five hills to be traversed on the run. There is a 12 hour time limit to cover the 89 km’s. The “down run” is (sadly) known to be the tougher of the two direction due to the damage done to toes, feet, quads and knees as a result of the unavoidable action of having to running down hill for extended periods of time www.comrades.com/images/routeprofilemap.jpg
This will be the first time Francois ever ran more than 50 km or me guiding a blind runner over such a distance, together it will be quite a challenge to finish this race in time. As you know we dedicate our running to the Fred Hollows Foundation, which helps needlessly blind people to see again.
You can be part of our race by following the live link on the Comrades website which should show you our progress. My race number is 42197 and Francois is 58567. The start of the race is Sunday, 30 May at 1.30pm AEST and it will last a good 11 to 12 hours for the two of us.
Don’t forget to come back and check my blog – I am sure I will have time to update these pages while sipping a cocktail during my cruise along the Zambezi River after the race