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COMRADES 2019: BACK AT THE SITE OF BUSINESS

June 6, 2019

Well I’ve arrived safely and without any incident (save for a slight issue with a shirt pocket in a strange location on my shirt on the body scan leaving Perth, nothing inside so no issue). The details of how I managed to get here will be posted in a video I’m currently in the process of editing and should be ready to go in the next couple of days. Yes getting here will tire out those who cannot stand flying or being on the road for so long just to get to the final destination (even though the final destination for me is the finish line at Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg) but perhaps it will show the lengths some people will go to just to get to the start line.

cityfrombase

Part of the City of Cape Town from the base of the Table Mountain Cable Car, a mere 300m above sea level compared to the over 1000m at the top.

Glad I took a couple of days in Cape Town, even though Tuesday was virtually a wash out and avoiding the stream on the top floor of the double decker tour bus provided more entertainment than the tour due to the inclement weather. I heeded the advice of the cab driver in CPT and instead of waiting until Tuesday as planned I headed almost immediately for Table Mountain after landing on Monday afternoon (helped by the business class upgrade and the hour’s kip on the retractable flat bed). It can actually be a little hairy if you’re on the outer edge of the cable car heading up at such a speed (700m in 8 minutes), but you get an indication of the spectacular 360 degree views. Sure I’ve been at higher altitudes before with Mt.Wellington in Hobart about 200m higher above sea level, but that doesn’t offer the 360 degree views nor does it offer the cable car to make it world famous. I even got a telescopic view of the infamous Robben Island where Mandela among others were imprisoned for many years, perhaps one day I’ll get to see it myself

I also now know how KFC tastes in South Africa, with the answer being not a whole lot compared to Australia. That said their burger range was a little spicier than I felt I could handle and I avoided as such. Similarly Burger King (Hungry Jacks) was also similar, although I reckon instead of a second slice of cheese they used a cheesy sauce on their double stacker which actually tasted nice. In hindsight if I had the cash I probably would have sampled the Italian restaurant next door, but knowing I’ll have enough Italian cuisine over the next couple of days perhaps it was for the best.

Biggest concern physically has been a slight case of the lurgy rendering my voice rather useless, particularly yesterday with the change of weather. Thankfully it seems to be on the mend, so at this stage there’s going to be no physical impediment to me towing the start line from the G pen. Feels like a sense of familiarity heading to that pen again, having started there the last 2 years. Maybe it’s an omen of 3rd time lucky in more ways than one?!

Tomorrow (Thursday) sees a crowded schedule, with the always busy kit pickup in the morning. Hopefully I’ll be able to save a copy of the necessary E-Mail on the phone given I once again didn’t purchase a local sim card to get data, or better yet find facilities before 10AM (even more hopeful that the motel could help me) that allow printing of E-Mails to take place. At least this year the chip is already tied onto the shoe, so there shouldn’t be a need to spend any more on getting yet another timing chip. Cash however will be required for two of my 3 purchases that I will be making at the expo which in no particular order will be:

  • A Bus ticket back to Durban after crossing the finish line. I actually think the bus after finishing in PMB has better atmosphere and is more relaxed than the bus heading up for a Down run start.
  • A new pair of sunglasses. I was always going to purchase a new pair but sitting on my old pair on the bus to Brisbane and breaking my old pair ensured this is now a necessity. However this usually isn’t much more than a R150 purchase (about $14.50 in Australia, depending on who you exchange currency with).
  • Lunch which hopefully like 2 years ago will be a nice plate of Spag Bol. Yes there’s still an international hospitality area but there’s only so many times you can raid the biscuit tin with the coffee in the Styrofoam cup.

Following that at 2PM will be the Internationals run which is just a easy 5-6km from the Hilton which is across the road from the expo. If last year was a guide there were about 30 of us that wandered in, ran steadily down to the beachfront before clocking in at their own leisure. It’s always good to see if I can remember anyone, or if anyone can recognise me without zinc cream.

Perhaps it’s time to retire for the night with the cricket still on with the busy schedule! I know the next few days would continue the build up to the big day on Sunday.

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