My first Comrades, where my dream became a reality!

“I believe Comrades sets you on a journey of self-discovery and is a story of personal triumph and self-belief. It is one that truly tests your mind, body and soul.

Having grown up watching Comrades, especially during the legendary Bruce Fordyce era, I distinctly recall watching and thinking, “Why am I watching it when I could do it?”

I believe there's no point in having dreams when you could rather live the dream. So that was the start for me.

My training didn't go as planned as I had picked up various injuries along the way. I remember a fellow runner telling me that my qualifying time wasn't good enough if I had intended on finishing Comrades. In fact, I only really decided it was my time, a month before Comrades even though I had registered much earlier.

I didn't make much fuss about entering Comrades. However when people heard that I was running the race, so many family and friends became interested in my progress which still amazes me to this day. Comrades really makes the average person become a hero!

Durban becomes a running village. Runners are everywhere you go and the atmosphere from where we stayed right through to the expo was just simply amazing.

The start fills you with so much pride and is emotional to many. My race was just as life is - full of ups and downs. Halfway through at Drummond, I was on track running with another novice I had met, when I felt a twinge on the outside side of my knee, having already strapped my knees at the expo.

When I met my wife and family I told them I knew I could walk run to the end. Little did I know that the next time I would see them, I would be sporting more badges than Gerda Steyn.

At around the 60km mark, I slipped and fell earning myself various bruises, even sporting a blue eye which made me even more determined to get my medal. Another bit of drama was to follow at some point when I heard the crowd shouting “Run! You only have 40 seconds to cutoff!”

Gathering all the strength I could muster, I sprinted through just as the dreaded cut-off gates were being closed. I later met another battling runner and we timed ourselves to the end, along with another athlete.

At the finish, we hugged each other and he thanked us, saying he didn't know where he was, such was his state of mind. There we were, the three of us, united as the rainbow nation embracing our momentous achievement.

It would be unfair of me not to thank my family, friends, LAC team and supporters along the route who play such a vital role. I still feel guilty for not spending enough time with my family.

Later that evening I was asked, “Are you going back next year?” I was in so much pain that my curt reply was, “I’ll see how I feel next week.” However, by the following day, the Comrades bug had bitten.

I celebrated being pain-free the following Thursday. Wow! What an experience Comrades is - see you next year!!”

The winner of this month’s Mr Price Sport voucher is Urvesh Govind.