Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sponsored marathon 2011/07/08

Did a sponsored marathon at work on Friday morning - 26 "there-and-backs" on an absolutely straight, flat bit of road. The idea was for a team relay - I decided to be a team of one! I was, unsurprisingly, the only person to do the whole lot solo, but the run organiser manfully ran alternate laps with me. Have to say that it wasn't as mentally tough as I thought it would be - once I had 10 miles under my belt, I was nicely in the zone.

Thigh has been a bit troublesome so I took it fairly easily and for the first time tried a run 20, walk 5 strategy which I stuck to religiously. Felt a bit foreign at first but I have to say seemed to make a massive difference, so extremely useful learning there. Used a Gu Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel towards the end with was awesome - and Blueberry Pomegranate flavour was a taste sensation.

Did 3:54 for the run - averaged pretty much 8min/mile for the running. Garmin said 27.1 miles - so does that count as an ultra!!! Felt amazing good afterwards and no untoward injuries - but having the weekend off.

All in all raised £250 for the RAF Association Wings Appeal so chuffed re that.

Here's my scenic route!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


So what is the Marathon des Sables?

The MdS is a multi-day, ultramarathon, held annually in the South Moroccan desert. Run in six days over a course of approximately 150 miles or 240 km long. In 120 degree heat. With a back pack on. The race is self-sufficient - competitors have to carry all their own kit, including food for the entire race, sleeping bag and compulsory items including tropical disinfectant, anti-venom pump, and a signalling mirror! Water is supplied, but rationed to 12L daily. Competitors stay overnight in a tented village, comprised of bivouacs that sleep  8 competitors.

Although the routes and exact distances change every year, an example breakdown would be: Day 1 - 25 km; Day 2 - 34 km; Day 3 - 38 km; Day 4 - 82 km; Day 5 - 42 km; Day 6 - 22 km.  There is a rest day after the longest stage but it’s worth remembering that it may well take you into that day before you get to the finish.

Typically around 1000 runners and up to 200 members of the press, plus the support team of around 400 set off annually for the mere 250 kilometers of vicious terrain ahead of them. There are 300 places for British athletes - for the 2013 race, these places were taken within an hour of entries opening - there are plenty of madmen, lunatics, nutters, headcases and masochists out there!

So why do it? 
Why not.....because I can.......challenge......pushing the limits.......I can't wait!!