Turns out I had signed myself up to something quite ridiculous. We were going to attempt to run 90km a day for 20 days and on the final day compete in the Comrades Ultra Marathon. I was so bloody scared of what I had signed up to do but also intrigued to see how far my body could go.
Sitting at home on a Thursday night Matt and I started to conjure up a plan to go and do a Microadventure. After a few ideas were thrown about we decided to go and attempt the Vanguard Way (VGW). This is a 66 mile long distance walking trail that goes from Croydon to Newhaven. The original plan was to do a bit of it on Friday night, wild camp and then carry on with the rest on Saturday.
The Haute Route is an alpine walking trail that runs from Chamonix to Zermatt, covers 180km and climbs 10,000m. It is usually takes 12 days to cover the route but we were going to see how far we could get in 5 days. Seven crazy fools had signed up to tackle this challenge all who had a varying levels of experience; Steven had cycled through Africa, Ross had completed the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, Mountain Goat Maeve had just got back from running Scaffel Pike Marathon, Will is normally found smashing up the track with very fast 5000m races and Andrea and Tom AKA ‘The Heavies’ are Crossfit extraordinaires who were used to squatting mountains not climbing them. This was going to be a fun few days.
After playing what was essentially pin the tails on the donkey to decide where I was going to run this weekend I woke up at 06:30am on Saturday and got involved with a bit of multi-tasking. I made porridge, glugged down a cup of tea whilst trying not to give myself 3rd degree burns and packed my backpack for my weekends adventure. My well thought out plan was to head South East until I reached Eastbourne and stop off in East Grinstead to meet Jenny for tea and cake! Fool proof!
On Friday someone at worked asked what I was up to on the weekend and it suddenly dawned on me that I had absolutely no plans. I had wanted to go on a little microadventure for a while and what a perfect opportunity to go on one! My first idea was to run to Paris but as it was already midday and I hadn’t packed any running kit and wasn’t sure that I could get the afternoon off work, run 50 miles to Brighton and make the 11pm ferry…I carried on thinking. I kept looking at my map and was trying to decide what to do when the Isle of Wight jumped out at me. I did a quick search as to the distance around the island, 70 Miles, perfect I could easily do that over a weekend. I booked a ferry went home and packed my bag for the weekends adventure.
Fancy darting through Sherwood Forest as fast as possible whilst trying to read a map, firing bow and arrows and climbing up castle turrets then this race is for you!
Read my full write up of this adrenaline pumped and Red Bull infused orienteering race on Hard as Trail
I first heard about the tour of Mont Blanc through a couple of friends that had taken part in the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) a crazy race that sees hardy individuals complete the 170km route through 3 countries dipping down into several valleys and raising up many cols to total 10,000m of climbing in one go. Having not really spent that much time on my two feet in the mountains and the fact that you need to gain sought after qualification points and be successful in a ballot before even gaining your place on the start line completing the UTMB is currently out of my reach (for now).
Eight weeks ago I got picked to be part of Team Whole earth and to take on Man V Horse on the 13 June in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. I was really excited to be chosen as one of the 6 members of the team and I was looking forward to what the next 8 weeks of training. Over the next few weeks I spent a significant amount of time at Boxhill, as it is the only hill in Surrey, running up and down as many hills as I could. I loved training on the hills and the trails and found it a lot more enjoyable than the roads mainly because of the awesome views, change in pace and challenge of the mud and rocks underfoot. The week before the race training was going well I had begun my taper and then I got a chest infection, I was pretty annoyed but little did I know this was a blessing in disguise!