As Steph returns from her early morning swim in Hatchmere Lake I'm desperately pulling my last few items together. The last few days have been very hot and I want everything in order for my run, plus the next few days I'll be living in Sheffield so I need to pack a bit extra.
As bad as it sounds I needed to get out of the house as soon as possible, I was been hunted down by external forces.
I'm in the van and on the road, I breath a sigh of relieve. The odds are better stacked now, this is it, it me against me and there can only be one winner!
Little did I know about the Three Peaks Yacht Race when the DVD of the previous year’s event was passed to me one evening. However, when I watched it , wow! I knew deep down that I would love to take part in this fantastic adventure race and it was race I could only dream of.....
As I was climbing to the top of the Wheel Stones, in the Peak District another runner passed by below, where'd he come from I wondered? Even though I find it hard to pass rock without climbing it, I still get envious when someone overtakes/gets ahead of me! It's not a race, I don't know where or how far he's come but all I know is I need to get off the top of this rock and catch him up.
By the time I get down and find my map, I'd left at the bottom I'm after him. It's not a race, I don't know where or how far he's come but all I know is I need to and catch him up.
I am lying on my back on the forest floor. All that is missing is a circle of tweeting birds spinning above my head like a Loony Tunes cartoon. As I get back onto my feet, I look behind me for the first time in 5 hours, hoping not to see approaching hordes of runners, ready to speed past me so close to the finish.
Before this day the longest distance I had ever run was only about 12 miles. I'm not sure what clicks inside me to make me do daft things but there must be some chemical in the brain that removes all the doubt no matter what the circumstances are and just lets you get on with it. I knew without a doubt that I would finish The Sandstone Trail that day regardless of what was thrown in front of me.
I started to run again eight years ago to get a bit fitter for my true sport of climbing. On a climbing holiday in Calpè, Spain I was getting cabin fever after bad weather had a group of us holed up together in a typical Spanish appartment. There's only so much drinking, story telling and eating one can do!