Well, as you will see from the photo, camping in a school gym is very cosy!
With heavy snow overnight, the conditions for racing on Sunday (yesterday) were not ideal, if not treacherous in places, and several people withdrew from the second day, myself included. Day one had been freezing and whilst a lot of fun to boot, running another 33miles over deep snow covered terrain where the risk of injury is hugely increased and the run most likely to take at least an hour longer, withdrawing seemed like the sensible option. I had quite a sore niggle in my left knee and I’d rather get to the start line of the MDS fighting fit and niggle free, so I decided to play it safe!
Well…33miles done on a rather chilly day across the beautiful north Downs through Surrey. Some stunning views, some stunningly steep hills – I’ll refrain from writing down some of the language heard as we climbed them. Delicious snacks at the checkpoints, especially liquorice (???!!!). Now in a big gym in a school on our sleeping mats – suffering from mattress envy at the inflatable contraptions surrounding me as I lie on my cheap foam camping mat – but hah! I’ve got a hot water bottle! Off for dinner and to watch the rugby! Full report to follow!
Chemmy Alcott said “Standing at the start gate, adrenaline pumping – concentrate the mind, focus the body. It takes a lot to race down a mountain at 90mph”.
Well, sitting in a warm kitchen, listening to the radio, temperatures plunging outside – concentrate the mind, focus the body, eat…it takes a lot make yourself get up at 5am to prepare for a 66mile race in the freezing cold!
Well good evening folks on this bitterly cold evening. Here is my definition of irony…I am training for the Marathon des Sables 2012, a race across the Sahara Desert, one of the hottest and driest places on earth. Over the next two days I will be running 66 miles along the North Downs competing in the Pilgrim’s Challenge, temperatures are set to plunge even further tomorrow than they are today, snow is forecast. Instead of further purchases for the desert race I have had to go and buy warmer winter running gear than I already possess! Hmmmm.
So, please spare me a thought whilst you are tucked up in your centrally heated homes, beside radiators, in front of log fires, drinking wine & whiskey. My aim tomorrow is to get to the halfway house after 33miles by the time the England rubgy match starts, as we are at least being provided with a big screen to watch it on before we settle down in our sleeping bags on camping mats – (silk sleeping bag liner essentially purchased today!).
So – if you are following me on this blog – I realise there aren’t many followers yet…but hey ho! If you are following me then watch this space – photos during the race will appear.
Have a warm weekend all xx