Comrades Marathon: the bigger picture

May 23, 2011

Dear Max

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.

Love you,

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  • baciamille

    You’re amazing!

    May 23, 2011 at 7:39 am Reply
  • Celeste

    GOOD LUCK!!! What a beautiful post!

    May 23, 2011 at 8:58 am Reply
  • Kate

    I will be rooting for you and wishing you through the hard times – wishing you all the best and hope it goes well!

    May 23, 2011 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Kutlwano Makgwa

    Great…In your words..”In excitement and fear” we await the 29th May 2011 🙂

    May 23, 2011 at 10:28 am Reply
  • thebadjogger

    Good luck! Comrades is a crazy race for incredible people. Max is so lucky to have such an awesome and strong-willed Mom.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:40 am Reply
  • Sharon

    RESPECT SISTER!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm Reply
  • Jeanette Verster

    Very inspiring… I’m sure you’ll kick some ass 🙂 have fun on the road.

    May 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm Reply
  • sue stuart

    Wow, hope you do great!

    May 25, 2011 at 8:23 am Reply

    Loved this. Shed tears just thinking back on my runs. Will share all of these emotions with you T along the way. Hope to catch a few paces with you, and hope even more to find you between the 19000 runners. xx Have an awesome run. xx

    May 25, 2011 at 9:45 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks hun! Hope you’re having an amazing time at the South Coast. Have a special and smooth run too xxx

      May 25, 2011 at 10:08 am Reply
  • Deshni wilson

    I kno that I don’t hav it in me ti participate but I hav the utmost admiration and respect for those that do! I will be the spectator rooting for u!! Comrades has always been Big in our family from the time I was a child! We would get up early to watch the start, and be glued all day! Cheering and who is gonna be no. 1 (in my day it was always bruce fordyce) rooting for the top woman, and screaming for the last person to cross the finish line b4 the gun goes off!! Even if they couldn’t hear us! So proud of this event, always hav goosebumps when I watch it! Can only imagine the thrill of being a participant! Well done, u must be so proud! Take care

    May 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      So amazing that it’s been a part of your life like that! The spectators make the race for us, and get us to the finish. So thank you! 🙂

      May 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm Reply
  • Trying to approach life like I do a hard race | Dear Max

    […] at least one post about Comrades, and I’ve written about it for the last two years here and here, and I’m likely to write it about it over and […]

    May 31, 2013 at 10:28 am Reply
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