Back in January I watched the video on this website and was inspired to run my first Ultra. 6 months later I am sat in my living room with a pile of things gathering in the corner ready to be packed for the great adventure. Compeed - check. Sun block - check. Running rucksack and water bladder - check. Running shoes, socks, shorts and vest - check. Visor - check.
I've re-read the FAQ's this evening and had another look at the route, and where the various aid stations and water refill points are along the way. We'll go for a briefing on Friday evening to have our remaining questions answered before the big day.
My sense is this will be one of the toughest challenges of my life. It just looks seriously hilly and is all off road, and it could be really sunny and hot. There have been other challenges and there will be more but this once I feel will really push me to my limit. It's a 62km (38.5 mile) Ultra marathon on trails through the mountains of Salzburg in Austria, the home of Mozart.
I have a Cornish friend who courageously booked to join me less than 6 weeks ago and my hope is that we can run together. I'm so impressed by her bonkers "count me in" attitude and determination to give it her best shot. That's all either of us can do. We've trained for a little bit and now we just have to try our best. Good news is, if we make it 50% of the way and then don't finish, we get to compete next year free of charge - so that's a fall back - if the gruelling pain doesn't put us off completely!
Salzburg looks gorgeous - kind of like a watery, mountainous paradise.
Last weekend I was in the Lake District training with a girl friend who was over from Boulder for work with unreasonable. As well as a 3 mile swim in the lake (I'm also ironman training for September), we went for an 18mile run and although I still had some grit at the end I was pretty beat. I'm hoping sheer determination, watermelons and power bars will get me to the finish line in Salzburg on Saturday night.
Here's the video that inspired me to do the race.
See you on the other side!