Posted: 30/06/2015 at 12:00
Whoops, and the rest.
other than up or down, and there was no way on gods earth I was running down the path I had dragged myself up. Off I went, getting passed by the odd runner, one step after the next trying to compose myself, I knew once at the top of Le Flegere there was a check point and from there I had around 5K of easier uphill running to the finish. I didn’t think it could get any harder and then I broke through the tree line and joined what in winter would be a ski run, but in the summer is a uneven collection of stones and boulders the sun beating down on me, this course was, or already had demolished me. To add insult to injury people were passing me and disappearing into the distance.
Finally I was at the top I had covered that part of the course 2.5K/hour slower than the leaders, a Scottish supporter noticed I was struggling, gave me some sage words and off I went on the last leg, 6K left. Within minutes I had gone over a root or a stone, I had gone past caring. Dust in my face I got back up and lumbered on, I occasionally heard the noise of the finish area. I had run this part of course 3 days previously and loved every step, bouncing from boulder to boulder, this time couldn’t had been more different.
The finish was in sight and soon I heard the cheers of my name, a high five with Dan and a few others, across the line and my first ever finish line celebration and then the absolute agonising pain, which was soon to be tempered by free beer, the absolute pride and the most amazing view one will ever experience.
4hrs 42 minutes, 31st place and 1st British runner a position that the performance didn’t really merit, with that time I would have struggle to get in the top 50 of previous events. But I don’t give shit about any of that. I finished when there was a time I didn’t think I would, it was comprehensively the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I know I can run it significantly quicker and when I get the chance to my training will be far more relevant, you can’t do a mountain marathon and run it well off the back of a flat road marathon, it’s a different sport and needs to be treated as such.