Yesterday I wrote about the food that can be expected during the Comrades Marathon, so today I’m giving you a list of the non-food items, baring in mind that these things were based on last year and the year before, I am still waiting on what will be available for 2010, however I don’t think the list will change dramatically.
There are extensive medical and emergency stations along the route and at the end. At about 21km into my first Comrades I was getting blisters so had to stop. The people manning the station I stopped at were very helpful and had me patched up in about 2 minutes flat. They are very well prepared and if you want, they will do a blood test right there and then to see if there are any serious sugar problems after which they treat you so you can carry on or lie there until you feel better.
At the end of the race they have an entire Marquis set up with rows of stretcher beds and drips, these guys certainly prepare for any eventuality. My mom has landed herself in this tent before and she even got a free ride in on a stretcher from the finish line:) Once they have hooked you up to a drip and sorted out any other problems you usually start feeling better pretty soon.
There are 8 dedicated physiotherapy stations. These stations are manned by what seems like hoards of physios armed with vats of deep heat and Vaseline. I pulled into one on my first Comrades when my shoulders were aching, 3 ladies launched into working my rock hard shoulder and neck muscles into submission. I know some people who stop at every single station just for the leg massages… yes Brucie, that’s you!!
A fleet of ambulances and emergency vehicles as well as a dedicated emergency helicopter are stationed along the route.
Loads of porta-loos /porta-pottys or whatever you want to call them can be found along the way. As you can imagine the state of these facilities can become questionable after thousands of people have passed through them ahead of you, although its quite acceptable to just duck into the bushes or behind a car if you don’t suffer from stage fright…