So I'm looking ahead at the 2008 multisport season and I'm not sure what to do.
I want at least 1 long distance event as my A race.
The two options are 1. Comrades and 2. Ironman France.
Comrades marathon is the oldest (and many say toughest) ultramarathon in the world, a 50+ mile road race over the hills/mountains of South Africa. The race attracts dozens of thousands of runners each year, making it also the biggest ultramarathon. It alternates courses each year, with odd years being a "down year" and even years being a "up year." The up years add many thousands of feet elevation gain to the challenge of the 50+ miles.
I want to do Comrades, I really do. This race is legendary, and I want to be a part of it. 12 hours after the start, the race director walks to the finish line and fires a gun into the air marking the finish. Cross the line at 12:01 and you have not officially finished the race. The stories of people who slip in immediately before or after the 12 hour mark have become legend, and the first person each year to finish after the 12 hour mark is a national 5 minute celebrity.
Now 12 hours to cover 50 miles seems pretty damn easy. barely over 4 minute miles? Piece of cake. Of course I wouldn't want to finish in 12 hours, I'd want to finish in 11 or 10 or faster. So my goal would be to run, if not all then most, of it. And therein lies the issue - I haven't done an ultra yet, and quite frankly I'm nowhere near sure that my body will hold up to the necessary training to do the miles needed. I struggle to get in the prep miles for 26.2 - how will I get the miles for a 50 miler?
But it's Comrades...
The other option still under consideration (and no, I couldn't do them both) is Ironman France. It's amazing to me how quickly and consistently IM races sell out. I mean, last year IM Switz didn't sell out and this year sold out 6 months ahead of the race. Well IM France as of today still has spots.
Since my inaugural IM in June I've wanted to do another. I was trained and signed up for Wisconsin, but had to cancel because of a required court appearance the day after the race a thousand miles away (that - yes I'm bitter - was cancelled 2 days prior to the race...). And I'd like to do one this year, but I'm not deadset on it - I could wait until next year.
One of the advantages of doing the IM instead of Comrades would be the familiarity. I know what it takes to IM train, and I know I can do it. I honestly don't know if I can stay healthy and consistent enough to train for Comrades. If I'm injured Comrades training and can't do either, I'm doubly screwed... But on the flip side, I've already done an IM and, although I do want to race IM again, I also like new experiences.
What do you think? Should I do Comrades or IM France?