An Audacious Goal

21 December, 2020

truly terrifying sketch of a tortoise trying to ride a bicycle

There is an eerie silence from Athletics South Africa which does not bode well for road running in the first half of 2021. I fear yet another absence of qualifiers for Comrades. Comrades itself has not yet launched its 2021 race.

This is taking the wind right out of the sails of our Comrades Project - my project partner’s goal was to run her 10th Comrades 12 months after the birth of her first baby. Mine was to get fast enough to qualify for Comrades just to stand on that line one more time thinking “what the fuck have I done” while they play Chariots of Fire.

We still have time - but will the organisers of the big qualifiers be allowed to carry on? I’m sure sponsors are reluctant to put money into races that may not happen.

Anyway, I don’t want to fartarse about just hoping - I need a Big Goal that will really take place. I WhatsApped my dearest Coach Mo and asked him if it is possible to train for the Berg 100km cycle race on 27th March and then do Durban Marathon on 11th April (if it happens).

And this is why I love him so - he did not say “you crazy bitch, what are you thinking” or “are you on drugs you old tortoise”. He said, of course you can - there’s plenty of recovery time between the two and he proceeded to draw up our first month’s programme. We will run 3 times a week and cycle twice, and he reckons for us old goats the two sports are complementary.

And then I made a huge mistake - I asked my Old Goat to take me for a drive over the route for the 100km ride. It is in the foothills of the Drakensberg so I knew there would be hills and more hills but, My God, those are HILLS.

I came home in a panic, preparing to do legs in the gym using the weight of a small horse, and to cycle all the steepest hills over and over until I blew a gasket. It took me several days to calm down.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t make the 56 km cut off but I think I can. It also doesn’t matter if everyone has gone to bed when I come in. I will stoically follow Coach Mo and see where it takes me.

At least I have a Big Goal, a fucking audacious goal actually. And I have gotten myself a pair of leopard print cycling tights - if you can’t be fast, be glamorous!

Share this post