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2014 Comrades Ultra Marathon

01/06/2014

DRC was represented on the start line of the 2014 Comrades Marathon by Craig Malcolmson who made the long trip to South Africa for the 89th running of the 'Ultimate Human race'. Craig joined around 17,000 other runners from all parts of the world for this years down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban 89k (56mile)...

The test of endurance starts with the traditional cock-crow which signals the start of the race at 5.30am with the runners then having 12 hours to complete the course and cross the finish line before the 5.30pm cut off.

A down run has to be respected as in the first two thirds of the race runners ascend and descend 4,500ft before the long descent to the finish in Durban at the Sahara Cricket stadium, where they are greeted by fantastic crowds willing them to the finish line as they lap the outer skirt of the pitch.

With high temperatures forecast for the day, (in the event it reached 32 degrees in the early afternoon), Craig set out with a target of sub 10 hours for the run. After reaching halfway (28 miles) in 4:23, Craig was beginning to feel the pace a bit tough and so backed off to run at a more conservative pace for the second half.

Amazingly since there were only 7 represented, yet again Craig found other fellow Scots en-route. One in particular made his day as Dumfries exile Jock Ferguson accompanied him for at least 40k before they became split up.

At the 70k point the last climb of the race, Cowies hill is reached and runners know that the last 19k is virtually down or flat. Craig found this to be the toughest part of the day as his legs were empty and he was running on pure adrenaline. He finally made the finishing line in 9:49:43 and 3732th place from 12,000 finishers in the allocated time.

Craig wished to extend a big thanks to his adoptive running club in South Africa, Hartbeespoort Marathon Club who as usual looked after him so well for the duration of his trip.

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