May 30, 2017 | Written by Patricia Murphy
South Africa: Durban
We had planned to keep the rental car, but after the joys of Uber we decided it was best to skip it. So we dropped off the huge Toyota and Ubered to our hotel, the Southern Sun Elangeni. This was our third choice of lodging–our first hotel was sold before our trip, and the Hilton booked up in the meantime, so Expedia actually called and offered us a room that was double the price at the same rate. I should have run away. The room was run down and the service was terrible. We made up for it right away by having an amazing Indian meal–Durban has the highest concentration of Indians outside of India, so we were really looking forward to a delicious meal. Our choice was the TripAdvisor #1, and it didn’t disappoint. We most enjoyed the Palak Paneer and the Butter Chicken. Again, we were meeting Comrades runners everywhere we met. The couple next to us would be running as well.
The next day we loaded onto buses to start the course tour, which I had to say already sounds exhausting and I was only riding not running. We got some great information about the race and stopped for some pictures along the way. Since it was John’s actual 50th birthday, we had dinner reservations at a lovely place nearby–9th Avenue Bistro. We had a prix fixe and enjoyed the lively atmosphere.
The next day was a rest day so we could gear up for the race. On race day, John headed out to the start early, while I went to find my bus for the Champagne Course Tour. We would be ferried to several spots along the way to see our runners. We had a fun group and we laughed and shared pictures as we each helped each other find our runners–there was a great tracking software that we used to help make sure we didn’t miss any cheers! Everyone looked fresh and happy at the first stop. At the finish, we all sheered as our runners came in. Johnnie did great! He was tired, yes, and we had a nice rest before getting the bus back down to Durban. What an amazing adventure. John said it was unforgettable, and that the crowds were like nothing he had ever experienced.