After completing the 2015 Brathay 10 marathon in 10 days running challenge, I felt both physically and mentally drained and I needed a rest from the intensity of the event which had taken over my life for a year. For this reason I had no intention of entering or competing in 2016.
Last summer when I heard two of the usual support team were going to compete in 2016, I realised Brathay were going to be short on support crew members who knew exactly how the event operated. Obviously from being in the event three times I knew all the roles of the support team so I offered my services and was accepted to join the support crew.
Over the last 9 months I have been really looking forward to supporting this year’s runners, who I enjoyed meeting at the training weekend back in January. I’ve also been looking forward to the opportunity of being a contributing member of the support team. I’m sure it is interesting seeing this very special event closely up from another perspective. Some of the support team I’ve come to consider friends and it would be great to spend time with them and help them as part of the events support.
I must admit the closer the event has come, part of me has been longing to run. When it comes to running events I’m a bad spectator, I’m always itching to run. When I heard the support team had an extra member I asked Aly, the race organiser whether Brathay would be interested in me running and fundraising for them instead of supporting? On 13th April and after a short deliberation with the Brathay management, Aly confirmed they would be delighted for me to join this year’s team of runners for my fourth attempt. This gave me exactly 1 month to prepare.
Although I’m running well and consider myself fairly fit, I haven’t done the specific training I’ve done for my previous 10in10 challenges which I would have liked to have done. This consists of hill work and blocks of high mileage to replicate the event. With only 4 weeks there isn’t really anything I can do about this. For the first 2 of the weeks I planned a bit more hill work but as for building up my mileage, blocks of long runs or planning some double marathons there simply just isn’t the time. I will basically have to go into the event as I am. All I can do is taper over the next 2 weeks before the event to start day 1 as fresh and niggle free as possible.
In the past I’ve tried to improve my times in this event but this time I see the challenge to be a experiment to see how my body, under prepared and without specific training can cope with this most brutal of endurance running events. I do still hope to record some decent times but will be very surprised if they are anywhere near as good as last year’s, which I’m proud to say was the 10th fastest Brathay 10in10, with an average marathon time of just under 3 hours 32 minutes each day.
This extremely late entry into the event has created an unexpected fresh challenge for me which I’m relishing and can’t wait to start. Over the last 5 years I’ve come to love competing in the Brathay 10 marathons in 10 days challenge, it pushes me so hard doing the running I love. This year under trained I have another dimension to contend with. I just hope my mind and body are strong enough to pull me through.
I wonder what I’m capable of without specific training?
We’ll all get to see in less than 2 weeks time!
You can follow my daily progress on my blog.
…funny I had planned to take this year easier but so far I don’t seem to be doing a good job of that!
The beauty of the Lakes in May. How can I resist?