After waiting yet another two weeks from my last podiatrist appointment I've again set out running thirty minutes at a time in the trail. So far it seems that things are okay other than the predictable discomfort of not really running for six weeks.
Friday night around 11pm I tuned in to the Comrades Marathon website to watch the race live. I sat in awe for two hours. I don't know what it is but I can sit and watch that kind of stuff - marathons, ultras, Tour de France, Ironman - all day long on the tv/computer. I marvel at the skill these world-class athletes have. The commentators' verbal skills and knowledge of the athletes rivaled that of any I've ever heard. It was a little tough watching the runners knowing I could have been there although the chance of starting back at square one was the chance I didn't want to take. I woke up in the morning and immediately checked the winners' times and to watch the finishers coming through the line. Again it was hard not to imagine myself finishing and making a fool of myself in front of the camera to people back home. Technology - ain't it great! With an hour to go before the 12 hour cutoff there were still 7,000 runners to come in. The finishing line at this time looked like the start of the Vancouver Sunrun where 50,000 people are all moving towards the start line after the gun goes off. If people in North America think ultrarunners are crazy, ultra races must be as commonplace as the marathon in the rest of world. How else do you explain the number of runners who started the event? Another comment on the coverage: never once in all the time I was watching did the screen "freeze", "overload", "fail to load", or in any way, shape, or form inhibit people from watching. That sort of thing seems to happen a lot on other webcasts I've tried to see over the years especially for the Hawaii Ironman. If their webcast gets overloaded with hits from friends and family of 2000 athletes watching from home, how does the Comrades site do it for over 20,000??
In honour of the runners who did the race I took off on the bike and covered 92km in about 3 hours, almost 31km/h average speed. The winner of Comrades ran 89km in 5:29, over 16km/h. Amazing.