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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