Since my last blog I’ve made it through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, marking the end of the European leg of my journey.
On Sunday at 1.30am, when my head torch finally failed descending from Bovine, I still refused to believe that having come this far, the race would beat me. I stumbled and fell in almost the pitch black on the descent down to Trient, desperate to make the next cut off.
A year-and-a-half ago I’d never even heard of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – the craziest most extreme ultramarathon of the lot. But the moment I discovered it, a little light went on, and it’s stayed on all this time. The UTMB – 100 miles across the Alps with 10,000 metres of elevation – has consumed my waking hours ever since and even a few my dreams.
One of the best things about ultra-marathon running is the people you share the experience with. And when I took part in the 2012 Marathon des Sables (MdS) – a multi-day, 153-mile event across the Sahara desert – I was thrilled to discover I was in the same race as the fantastic Meghan Hicks, albeit at opposite ends of the final result standings.
Up until the age of eight, I lived on the edge of Richmond Park and thought it was the size of a small country. We walked the dog there and I thought I’d circumnavigated the globe. We moved away, I grew up, went to college and for years I did very little exercise. Richmond Park was forgotten.
Mud, mud, glorious mud. Apparently there’s ‘nothing quite like it for cooling the blood’ – if you’re a hippopotamus but if you’re a runner taking part in this weekend’s Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Multistage Ultra then it almost stopped you in your tracks
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