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June 3, 2019

The lead up racing is done, the training is almost done save for a couple of moderately timed training runs, the logistical details are almost complete. It must be that time of year where Comrades looms large. Indeed with less than 24 days until race day sneaks upon us like a pig hunter stalks the beast, consideration to how to attack the days leading into the race and especially race day itself now needs to be considered. I have just about got the planning down to a fine art of what I intend to do in the preceding days, but a final decision on the finer details during the race may not be 100% set in concrete with the probability of plans changing on the fly.

I remember sitting in not quite the exact same location 2 years ago as I blogged prior to my first attempt at this race, doubling as my first ever trip away from Australia. Excitement and anticipation was high as it is now knowing that the big race is a week away and traveling to the Republic is almost a reality. This time however, apart from being a now wiser traveler, there’s more angst, nervousness and pressure surrounding this trip. Whilst I’m sure many will tell me not to think about a DNF this time around, the fact that I’m still waiting to cross the finish line to get that medal around the neck for the first time at the third time of asking means I’m actually glad I’m taking a connecting flight to Cape Town for a couple of days.

It will actually be nice to do the tourist thing in Cape Town rather than just getting down to business, holing myself in a motel room watching SuperSport (the Cricket World Cup will be nice to watch at night). I’ll at least be able to see some sights and tick Table Mountain off the bucket list, hopefully not spending too much energy in the process. Then it’s a short cross country hop to Durban on the Wednesday to go through a now familiar routine (Expo Thursday, Tour Friday, Pizza Friday Night, Parkrun and shopping Saturday Morning, early wake up before race day on Sunday). The specifics I’ll go into more detail later on when I’m in South Africa.

For those wanting to follow me on race day hopefully there will be a link available for streaming of the race, which until a few weeks ago was in doubt thanks to budgetary cuts to the national broadcaster (Aussies feel your pain!) so anyone can watch all the action. For those that can’t understandably hack the pace or the journey, my number 22190 is as it was in the last 2 attempts. Obtaining green number and permanently securing that number is a pipe dream at this stage, even with time on my side. I just want to finish once to begin with so I can show off some hardware alongside photographic memories.

For those of you in or heading towards Durban this week, I look forward to seeing you at the Pavilion Hotel, at the expo (yes the chip is on the shoe this year, no need to purchase another), on Bus 4 of the CMA tour, perhaps at North Beach Parkrun among the thousands who are having their last tune up, or in Pen G just after 4:40AM on race morning. Like the 126 other Australians on the start line I’m sure we’ll be made as welcome as ever.

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