Monday, 10 June 2013

South Downs Way 100

With the excitement for the South Downs Way 100 set to boil over I cannot believe that it is so close. It seems a long time ago that I was signing up to it and even further back at NDW100 2012 that I was "never doing it again."

This time round I have trained and lost weight and am feeling ready to go. Aside from being fitter I have a truer sense of the mental battle that awaits and feel that I am prepared for the challenge that this will pose. The highs and lows of an ultra event should not be underestimated and no less the severity of the swings from feeling bad to good and vice versa. There are going to be times when I feel like crawling but this will not mean I won't be able to feel like running shortly after. The brilliance of a 100 miler is the magnitude of the mental challenge. Literally anything could happen. I will be running the North Downs Way 100 as well this year. If you are reading this and not clear about what this challenge involved then you can go here

My kit is ready as are my provisions. I have short sleeved tops and my long sleeve X-Bionic and I think I am covered for all temperature and weather eventualities (famous last words). I had a long sleeve top on for last years NDW100 and this had a bigger impact than I realised. It was a very hot day and that was hard so have added a short sleeve top to the kit. I also have the fortune of this time running using a Salomon Slab12. I can't fully explain how much better this is than my previous pack. It's so comfortable that this can only have a positive impact.

I have food and treats for my drop bag. These include self heating cups of hot chocolate. I think leaving mile 69 with a hot chocolate could be a lovely moment. This is assuming Bryan hasn't already drunk it before I get there. I have box of Jitterbeans for when the sleep desire and loss of focus hits. I have bought jelly fruit pouches from Asda that I am using as an alternative to gels. They are tasty, easy to consume and have a twisty lid. Hopefully this will save me from sticky hands.

This is going to be one hell of an adventure and I'm going to give it everything I have. I am aspiring to get to the top of the hill out of Jevington. Once I'm there it's pretty much all down hill to the finish. My wife and little boy will be there and that will be the best reward, although a buckle will be nice :) This will be my first Father's Day as well and I have a little gift from my son ready to open at midnight. It could prove a very useful mental boost.

Aside from the love of running I am also trying to raise money for St Wilfrids hospice. They are a wonderful cause and for more info should be visited here. And if you wish to sponsor me you can do that here.

My previous blogs have explained the difficulties my wife's grandfather had and the support he received from St Wilfrids. I am literally in awe of the job they do every day. There vision is;

of a community where people talk openly about dying, live well until the end of their life and where nobody dies alone, afraid or in pain.

Sounds like a brilliant mission statement to me. When I get to the top of Jevington I am also only about 400mtrs from where My wife's grandfather's ashes were scattered. This will be a really poignant moment.

So if you are running, out on the downs, know someone who has struggled with cancer think that just 1/3mile from the finish line is St Wilfrids hospice. There are people there living the last few days of their lives in a calm and tranquil environment. This is thanks to the brilliant staff at the hospice.

If you can spare a few pounds to sponsor me and support this cause then please do so here and spread the word.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the start and throughout the day. I hope I stay happy and smiling, but forgive me if seem a bit down at any point (deep down I will be enjoying it really.)

Happy running everyone.

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