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My Weekend of Craziness

The past weekend, the 9th March 2019 saw me and about 2558 runners running the Kosmos 3-in-1 (73 km) ultra-marathon, that is broken down into 3 races. This is a famous race that takes place annually in Secunda, Mpumalanga Province.

Runners come from all over South Africa to test their mental and physical fitness in preparation for the Two Oceans and Comrades Marathons. This year, 2019, was my fourth Kosmos. Call me crazy, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I will never miss it for the world, unless there is a valid reason for me not to run. As it is, I am already thinking of the 2020 Kosmos 3-in-1. Those of you who are close to me know how much I love running. I even dedicated a Chapter in my book, Tshamy’s Musings: From My Belly to Yours, to the life lessons and the benefits of running.

The Torture Begins

The Kosmos 3-in-1 race starts at 06:00 with a 42km marathon. Depending on fast or fit you are, you may get enough time to rest before the 21km half marathon starts at 13:00. At 17:00, the last 10 km race (more like run and walk) starts.

The 42km is nice and enjoyable, because the route is not bad, people are still fresh and it is a bit cold. The 21km is more of a challenge because of the heat and the tired legs. For me and my running partner, the first 5km’s of the 21 km were torture. But we hung on. After the 6th km, we could run properly. We employed the walk and run strategy until the end, and it worked like a bomb.

The 10km race is another story altogether! Some people walk the whole distance. Because this was not the first time we did the race, we knew that running and walking the first 3 km’s is the best strategy to use. From then on, we jog until the end.

My running partners and I enjoy the last 10 km’s because it gives us an opportunity to recover from the whole day race.

As you can imagine, not all runners like the Kosmos 3-in-1. One of my friends says that he is not going to put himself through torture of running two Comrades in one year.

You can get used to Anything

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Victor Frankyl states “man can get used to anything”. Even though the prisoners at the Concentration Camp didn’t brush their teeth, they had the healthiest gums. The prisoners spent days without washing and wore clothes until they are torn. Their cuts and sores never suppurated!

As individuals, we have a tendency of saying “I can’t live without this or that, or someone in our lives, I can’t do that”. We fool ourselves and get addicted to love, coffee, smart phones, alcohol, drugs or anything that we end up depending on.

The reality is that all of us, can do anything we put our minds to. Our bodies can adjust to any situation.

When we start running the 21 and 10 km’s, the legs are tired and the body is sore. You can fool yourself and think you cannot do it and stop; or you can take it one step at a time and keep on moving.

It does not matter whether you are sprinting, jogging or walking, the most important thing is that you are moving forward.

What is also important is the meaning that you attach and derive from the process you are going through. Most of us fail to finish because we are so focused on the outcome. We question our ability to finish 73 km’s. Those of us who participate, focus on one race; one kilometer and one step at a time. It is about the process we go through. And as we focus on the process, the outcome becomes a reality.

Points to Ponder on:

  • So, what is the 73km ultra marathon that you are facing?
  • What do you believe about the race/goal?
  • What do you believe about yourself, your mental and physical strength?
  • How do you plan to execute the strategies that you have come up with?


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