Determination, perseverance, discipline and dedication… this is what it takes to run a Comrades Marathon. It is not something that everyone is able to commit to, but for someone like Graham Hough these qualities seem to come naturally.
Graham has worked at Expand a Sign as a Sales Rep for nine years and is a big part of our ExpandaFamily. When asking Graham about his running and Comrades Marathon experience, it was more than mind boggling for someone like me (who feels like a gym session is just doing one lap around the shopping center), to even contemplate this endeavor! And Graham has not just done this a couple times, he has run 7 Comrades Marathons and actually completed 5 of them. He has also run 16 Two Oceans 56km Ultra Marathons and more that 100 other marathons!
The first thing that pops into my head is, is how do you train for this great task? Well, I can tell you it is not an easy one! It is not something that you can just decide in February, “hey, I think I will do the Comrades this year!”. No, no, no… the training is intense! Firstly, Graham has been running since 1994 and ran his first Comrades in 1997. He had been running for a good few years and running various marathons before he decided to take the plunge. The official training for the next Comrades begins the year before the Marathon in November where he starts training with the West Coast Athletic Club. That’s basically only the warm up! The serious training begins in January, where they run five or six days a week. On top of that he does Cross Training in the gym to really work on those core muscles and legs. That throws my “gym session” completely out of the water!
Motivation is key to get you through a marathon like this. You have to constantly keep yourself in a mind frame where you are able to keep moving forward, but how do you muster up this amount of motivation? This is not your once off Monday motivation to get you through the week ahead! This is nine to eleven hours of constant motivation to get you to your next step. Graham’s way of motivation is truly a great one. He dedicates every 10km’s to someone special in his life, be it family or friends, this keeps him motivated to do it for them! It just reminds you that nothing is ever done alone, even though they are not physically there.
Graham we could not be prouder to have you as a part of our team and thank you for being a motivation to always reach for your dreams, even if they seem impossible!