Sunday 31 July 2011: Run to The Hills
This shot was taken about 6.30 on the Sunday morning which was 18 and a half hours into the 24hr race. It was part of the course which was a ridge overlooking the whole site and I love the sun and the image of the runners who were running above me whilst I was running down back into the lower part of the fields.
This shot looks like a romantic image and yetI know exactly how tired and achey those legs are that look like they are merely having a small dawn run.
The course was stunning. It was a 10k circuit that started on the flat and after about 0.5 k soon ascended into the woods. The whole 10k was a series of twists and corners through barley fields, woods, hills all over looked by the biggest brightest sun I have felt all year . We were baking.
It was simply stunning to see the views but trying to keep hydrated was the toughest challenge as there was real risk of not making it due to the heat. Everyone knew how every runner was feeling and the support from everyone was amazing , anytime anyone stopped, or had a walking break, there was always someone checking to see you weren't on the verge of collapse.
The course was a beast for sure, but the second half was easier, there was more shaded woodland and then at 8k there was this ridge here which was flat before a descent back to base. Not only was it an easier part of the run physically but you knew that the end was in site ( until the next lap anyway ).
Running the last 2k was amazing as it was around the camping area of all our racers and everyone was cheering for you, all aware how we all felt. Every lap was different. I walked some, I ran some, I split some. Each one though I managed to get a sprint finish to the handover pen where I handed the baton over to my team mate.
Ziggy, my team mate was amazing, I have never been prouder of one of my friends, his knee gave way at about 21 hrs and he kept going ( this is on top of the " usual" blisters, foot agony, toe nail loss, thigh aches, extreme hunger and thirst ). Team work at it's best. We have forged a very special bond from this weekend.
We kept going for the full 24 hours and each did 80k in 12 hours each. The last 2 hand overs were incredibly emotional as the joy and pride were massive ..oh and the bottle of pink cava at the very end added to the joy for sure.
Physically it was immensely rewarding, mentally it was a HUGE challenge and emotionally I feel , well I can't articulate it. Something very special happened this weekend. Truly truly amazing.
We reached our target for sponsorship and the money will be going to Cancer Research.
Thanks for all your support and encouragement and sponsorship.
I will catch up with comments but this mountain of sweaty sports gear won't wash itself and I do believe I have 2 children to spend some time with that I haven't seen for three days.