Article by Kelly Kidgell

Kelly is a mom of 3 small boys and dedicated runner’s wife. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and comes from a diverse sporting background. When time permits, Kelly enjoys swimming-especially open water events. Along with running a small marketing business in SA, an online store in the UK, a Facebook group of nearly 50 000 members and various charitable causes, her new found passion is writing about life with her Runner Guy.


It’s May the 5th.
Nearly taper time.
The Comrades campaign started in December. It’s been months of hard-core training, exhaustion, early mornings, injury scares, mood swings.
2740km on the road.
Did I mention exhaustion?

And I don’t even run.

Call me Runner Wife.
Or pretty, either works for me. ?

Shew but it feels like that tether is about to come to an abrupt end.
You see, ours is a thankless job – the background crew members.
Things I hadn’t even noticed or appreciated even myself.
Until I started observing.
And my gosh the observations leave me undecided on whether to laugh, cry or run away.
It would be impossible to give each of these observations the attention it deserves in just one post but here are a few.

Runners eat a lot.
Runners poo a lot.
Runners apply Vaseline with zero cares for who might be in their ‘nut-viewing’ vicinity. I’ve named this phenomenon poly-short-protruding-nut (PSPN).
Runners love early mornings:
EBS (empty bed syndrome) will be a frequent suffering if you live with a runner.
Yes I love acronyms.
Compression socks look ridiculous.

Runners hold an emotional attachment to their shoes which could possibly supersede the one they have with you.
A runner’s wardrobe will consist of no less than 70% race-route logo’d running shirts – mostly the white (grey) stretched and manky ones. Requesting a ‘spring clean’ may lead to gasps of actual disbelief.

Taper madness will bring about psychotic episodes of near death experiences. Definite fractures too.
Runners can’t be convinced to ‘skip this one’. Unless they’re unconscious or you actually see bone don’t suggest such craziness.

Garmins and GPS watches are expensive
They’re also annoying.
Strava will get more attention than you.
4am route tester drop offs require coffee and music-but not chariots of Fire. You’ll hear that little tear-jerker ‘quite a few times’ leading up to the big day. And then approximately 348654 times on the day.

Seconding can induce moments of severe performance anxiety: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Don’t mess it up.

The finish line. Ahhhhh!
An equal proportion of mayhem and carnage.  It brings grown men to tears. You’ll definitely see vomit, blood and a lot of spit. Try not to make jokes. Nothing is funny after running circa 90kms.

Supporters don’t get to taper, there’s no GU to replace our dilapidated emotional energy. We are there every minute along this incredible journey of the Ultimate Human Race, but you won’t see our names in the results.

Zero medal, no goodie bag and very little sympathy.
Yet for us who’ve made that conscious and committed decision to empower our loved ones dreams, it’s an incredible feeling of pride seeing them cross finish lines.
We may have exhaustion-fueled hissy fits, we may at times resent you.

But ultimately, in those very moments you reach your heart’s desires and goals, our complete admiration for all that you stand for leave us with an awe-struck love so deeply soul-nourishing, it makes it impossible not to come back for more.

image: Surviving the Runner Guy

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