Comrades Marathon: the bigger picture
In a few days’ time (six more measly sleeps) I’ll be running the 87km Comrades Marathon and aside from nerves and terror, there’s a bit of excitement too. It’s a day of lots of pain and hardship, but there’s a whole lotta good in it too, and sometimes, it makes me understand the world a lot better.
I like to think of Comrades as a metaphor for life. There are uphills (those difficult stretches that are hard mentally and physically), downhills (easier patches to traverse), moments of strength, times where you want to give up, and instances of elation and demotivation.
There are sweet things along the way (like jelly babies and biscuits), beautiful sights to take in, and the privilege that you’re healthy and able enough to take part in the race. You get happy, you want to quit, you get sad, you laugh, you smile, you cry, you wanna quit some more, and you persevere. And you meet some great people. Sometimes you feel like talking, other times you want to shut down and withdraw into your cocoon. You realise how strong and tenacious you are, and how others around you are fighting their own pain and battles, and are as equally strong as you are.
And there is huge support and a will from thousands of strangers for you to finish, and to succeed. And It’s a day and journey that stand for something even bigger than the long road from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. It’s like a long episode of Life in one meaningful and gruelling and very rewarding day. And I hope to share it with you in some form one day, and wish too that you’ll learn as much from it as I have.