My name is Shawn Crafford aka(therunningman/averageguyruns by my tweeps:))
I started running to lose weight and keep in shape . I’m not a runner by build and it took a lot of effort and dedication. The more I ran the more I wanted to run:) I used to love my training runs in Pietermaritzburg Kwa-Zulu Natal South Africa especially when I started running for the Maritzburg Carbineers a running club in my town, with the early starts which suited me as I was single with no responsibilities. So I put in a lot of mileage for my first Comrades in ’98 .
The start was in Durban I remember it being cool but not overly cold ,I was still shivering though, in anticipation of the challenge ahead;)The iconic “Chariots of Fire” playing and the distinctive smells of deep heat or heat rub unmistakable the atmosphere of anticipation 5..4..3..2 the cock..1!! crowed.. and the gun went off! Everybody shuffled for at least 2 or 3k maybe it was less..? I remember getting to PineTown in a good time and Drummond the halfway point, before the cut off time was.
The next challenge was the hills past Drummond which never ended…. Thank goodness for the lovely physios and the awesome banter from other runners. People cheered us on it was an amazing atmosphere…
Pollyshorts(a killer of a hill) had been my nemesis when I had been training on it ,this time it was an Arch Nemesis. I managed to conquer it with my fellow comrades.
The Comrades has been the back bone of everything good about me . There isn’t a challenge I’m scared to do or try because I know that I have completed the toughest and hardest challenge . I would love to complete another Comrades and experience the sense of kinship and “comeraderie”. If we could live our lives like we run the Comrades the world would be a better place.