‘Hard is what makes it great.’
That’s what you’ll read when you look up the Comrades Marathon website. For those who aren’t familiar with this race, it is the largest and longest running ultramarathon in the world which takes place every year in South Africa. The race is capped at 18,000 entrants and runs over a distance of 90km (56.1miles). Hard, in this case, is an understatement. One of the 18,000 runners in this year’s Comrades Marathon was Peggy Martins. Peggy stumbled into City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic after running the Surrey Marathon last year with sciatic pain. A work colleague suggested she see me, Carrie Viola, for treatment and together we managed to get her core muscles working and pelvis stabilized to better support her while running. Then Peggy began to explain that her real goal was to enter the Comrades Marathon the following year. She entered with a week remaining before the November 2013 deadline and set on a course to get herself across the finish line the following year. CSPC’s Gareth Adams is lucky to treat another all-star patient, Suzanne Bedford, who completed the Comrades Marathon the previous year and planned on pursuing ‘back to back’ medals. Suzanne graciously took Peggy under her wing and from December 2013 to May 2014 the two devised training schedules and visited the clinic regularly to manage their injuries. Gareth helped Suzanne with her back, legs, and glutes among other things, while Peggy worked on calming her patellofemoral pain and ITB friction syndrome by spending quality time with the foam roller, all the while continuing to strengthen her core and hips. Knowing when to give her body some much needed rest and adding in cross training activities allowed her body to handle the heavy demands she was placing on it. Together, the two of them also used Deep Water Running as a form of cross training to give their bodies some non-impact run training.
The Comrades Marathon took place June 1st, 2014. Peggy and Suzanne both crossed the finish line; Peggy in a time of 11:53:33 beating the cut-off by 7 minutes, and Suzanne in an incredible time of 9:48:14, earning her two well-deserved medals in her successful ‘back to back’ Comrades runs. Congratulations Peggy and Suzanne! Your determination and perseverance are an inspiration.