Restive rest

What to do on a running rest day? With the big day looming I have to run or laugh or beam. Life bursting my seams. Keep lid on. Jump in the pool, trim the lawn at 5 am? Took my coffee and crunchies to the planet conjunction – intimate now are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars. We chatted, I basked in their eye-full, dream-full. If this is training Comrades I don’t want it to stop. Maybe I won’t run this year and keep training for next year.

Idea one: A Comrades theme

Wouldn’t it be good to have Comrades theme that goes with “Chariots of Fire” that is at the same time universal, African and South African and rooted in the rhythms and spirit of the run?

Drumbeats echo in all our souls. They start, I like to think, with the first beat of our heart in the womb and soon combine with our mothers’.

South Africa has unique percussion instruments, energy and rhythms; many un-contrived, un-programmed, natural, enervating; beats that echo back past our cradles to the cradle of mankind.

Comrades has many rhythms. Maybe by contest with prizes, maybe by invitation, maybe in other ways, I’m sure one can engage those who know how with the event to express its many cadences.

Imagine waiting at the start with all those ankles and a “Face the test” drum-song rolls and bounces among the buildings. It could have the resting beat of a strong heart; energising rolls calling to the struggle; a rattle of adrenaline rush; a slower beat that allows runners to gather their thoughts and resolve; maybe too hints of the glory that awaits the finishers.

Imagine groups along the way beating rhythms that are tuned to the runners rhythms: the steady strong beats of the early miles that allow for fun and flirting; some with relentless strong beats that echo the front runners’ power; others more measured; tuned to the needs of runners too.

I like to think of running down Polly Shorrts on the down run into the pulsing valley. I already do in a way, my mind creating it all, my feet pattering, while others grunt and spit. I can’t think of a blank beat for Pollies on the up-run.

There are other rhythms: the beat of steady resilience on yet another hill, parts faster on which the runners passing you ride, some slower for the runners you pass, and a ragged ripple for those stagger;  a survival beat – I imagine a number of drums their pulses intertwining  – gathering, strengthening, urging tired legs, crumbling spirits.

Imagine too the soaring beats that release the dancing spirits of runners crossing the finish line. Maybe there could even be a runners’ “Last Post” for the defeated that promises a return to the struggle.

Imagine all of this imagined and then created by musical minds.

Imagine it all conveying the rise of the African sun, a flooding river, the cicadas’ sudden silence, the crash of a thunder storm.

Imagine it filled with the resilience, patience and endurance that creates a new future. 

The right ones will become part of the event.

Who knows? Maybe there could be a CD of Comrades music.

 That’s idea one.