Friday 13 June 2008

13th June 08

Date: 13th June 08

Location: Durban, South Africa

Weather: Clear blue skies and sunshine, 25°c

Status: Mentally ready, physically unsure!

Been in Durban for a couple of days now, I drove up the coast from Port Edward yesterday and made a bee line straight for the Howling Moon factory to have my tent repaired as the mozzie nets haven’t worked properly since Gabon and they now have it for the next week to get it back into tiptop condition for the trip north in a few months time!

Went straight from there to Landy Parts for Africa, a parts supplier who I found on the GPS and spent a good couple of hours with them discussing the expedition, the Colonel and the Comrades – quite the hot topic in the Durban area this week! Picked up a load of replacement parts and serviceable items which when the Colonel goes in for its check over on Tuesday, will be used up.

Met up with a friend Kathy and her boyfriend Roy who live in Morningside, a region within Durban and my base camp for the next few days while I wait for the big off. Had a good night relaxing with them at the flat.

Up early and made my way to the Durban Expo centre for the International Novice Entrants tour of the Comrades course, it was an excellent trip which took us in coaches along the route of the course, and with the aid of a 14 time veteran commentating gave us all an insight into quite what a monumental task lies ahead on Sunday. We stopped off at Ethembeni School for handicapped children enroute to Pietermaritzburg as its one of the landmarks on the route, where they performed a really moving rendition of the South African national anthem and Shozaloza another song which had all of us in tears!

Once we’d arrived in PMB and had the shit scared out of us by the length and steepness of the hills, especially Polly Shortts towards the end of the 87km race, we entered the finishing stadium and saw the amazing set up they have there ready for the finishers on Sunday. A full spread of coffee and cakes was laid on before we got back into the coaches for the ride back in Durban. A thoroughly worthwhile morning.

Met an American guy called Josh in the coach and sat with him chatting about his previous races, most of which were over a normal marathon in length and left me feeling even more underprepared, but all I can do is turn up on Sunday and give it 120% I suppose.

Went to register at the Expo when I got back to Durban and collected my race number (12002), my timing chip and a shedload of freebies as usual! Excellent.

Quiet night watching Holland thrash France 4 -1 (love it!) and then bed

End of day location: Durban, South Africa

Distance covered: 170kms

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