That's the Comrades Marathon profile. The actual distance is 89 kilometres this year and is actually a down-run, meaning we run from right to left. Thank goodness for that, because the increase in elevation from the sea to Pietermaritzburg looks amazingly psychotic from a novice's perspective.
So we run from Maritzburg to Durban. The red line represents the furthest I have ever run, namely 56ks, which is the length of Two Oceans.
I spoke to my brother, the five times Comrades runner, last night about strategy:
Alby: To be conservative, for a sub-9 we should reach the half way mark on 4 hours.
Rob: 4 hours for the 1st half and 5 for the back half. The 4 hrs seems a little fast?
Alby: Well, you want to keep some in the bag for when it really hurts.
Rob: Isn't the correct terminology for the 4hrs "gung-ho", not necessarily "conservative"?
Alby: Well, rather get the kilometres behind you when you can still run.
Now, to a Comrades runner this may seem normal. To me it seems ludicrous. I usually try even split runs and stick on an even pace throughout my Ironman runs lest I am willing to enter into a world of hurt. But as a civilian, I many not be in a position to question my brother's advice.
On Sunday week, once the rooster crows, I may have to go GI Joe and chuck out the heart rate monitor with the common sense.