Monday, May 31, 2010
    09:25am, Friday 28 May: 
    It's 2 days before the 85th Comrades Marathon in Durban, South Africa. Myself and 'the boss' are at the Durban Exhibition Centre for the Comrades 2010 Expo, to get a view of the branding and sponsors who will be present during this years' race. Instant canopies/gazebos and banners are displayed at each stand, advertising everything from athletic gear to the latest energy drink. 

    Having never strived for a 6-minute-mile, I am more interested in the freebies and hand-outs, to be honest. Oh yes - and the Expand a Sign products! Bonitas Medical Fund is a sponsor of the event and placed an order with us for 173 Large Flying Banners, to be displayed in Pietermaritzburg at the start of the race when the runners will begin their 89km route to Durban.

    When we arrive at the Flora stand 'the boss' is once again asked if she will be running this year. (she won't. She knows better) I'm now developing a complex about my obviously unathletic figure as no enquiries have come my way. Personal paranoia aside, I am most impressed by the bright yellow and green  Flora displays with Expand a Sign Flying Banners, Ex-Ts and an Overhead Cylindrical.

    When leaving the exhibition centre, the brisk walk back to the parking lot has left me exhausted. And in two days, 20 000 men and women will be attempting 56miles in under 12 hours?!  

    05:30am, Sunday 30 May:
    Hair's a mess. It's dark, I'm cold and someone has finished all the coffee. But here I sit, infront of the TV, and watch in amazement (I've seen this every year for 2 decades but it still gives me the chills.) as the cock crows, the gun blasts and the Comrades Marathon ceremoniously begins! 

    08:35am, Sunday 30 May:
    I'm at the roadside, awaiting the arrival of the first runner! It's light, still cold but I have coffee! The supporters are bbq'ing their eggs and bacon, some already on the champagne and orange juice, but there is a wonderful vibe along the road. Young and old are getting excited as the helicopters fly over and we begin to hear the rumble of clapping and support in the near distance. 

    3:20pm, Sunday 30 May:

    I'm back on the couch, watching the television. By now, many runners are turning the bend for their last mile towards the finish line. Expand a Sign Post Office Flying Banners and Flora Feather Banners hug the way, as the exhausted and understandably relieved athletes cross the finishers carpet and clock in their times.

    I think most of us are more enthused about being a bystander than a participant. But witnessing thousands of people - normal, everyday folk who have jobs and kids and stressful lives - complete an ultra marathon, inspires me each year to push my own limits. Even if just a little.

    The real winners of the Comrades Marathon video

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