So the race is here and I’m excited about it.
It’s been nice that the brief periods of doubt – undertraining due to my foot injury and my less than ideal previous record over the marathon distance – are fleeting and instead when I think about the race as it draws nearer, I have a real excitement building towards Sunday. My goals have been reset for a good few weeks now and I just want to enjoy the spectacle, the incredible scenery on the route, finishing a marathon strongly for once and afterwards feeling confident about such challenges going forward. It’s a great reminder to myself as to why I signed up in the first place – to enjoy a completely different type of race. Another way to banish any doubts is simply look at any potential problems for what they really are – if my foot really hurts, it’s only 4 hours and not exactly a lifetime. I’ve run a 100-mile race solo and gained a huge amount of mental strength from that race and I’m constantly reminded about people going through pain to achieve their goals – only last weekend Kilian Jornet added to his list of phenomenal achievements not simply by winning the Western States 100 mile race in the US for the 4th time but also having dislocated his shoulder only around the 13 mile point, putting it back in himself and continuing for the remaining 87 miles running with it in a sling!
Given all those who know me also know I run for fun and run all the time, doing a different and altogether more difficult challenge like this presents an opportunity for me to do some fundraising and I’ve been doing a final push for donations (I’m currently 90% there towards the target) via my fundraising page:https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/tomkingsnorth.
Looking further ahead I’m really looking forward to getting back to racing regularly for the Pacers locally over shorter distances. Ideally this will start with the Stowmarket Mile and Pacers 5k track challenge at the beginning of September but it all depends on how long my foot takes to heal. Jo has given me some great physio and advice and it’s been a real boost for my confidence to know it’s not plantar fasciitis but damage to the muscle/tendon in the arch of my foot which we’ve hopefully addressed before it became a tear. It was a shame to miss out on the team fun of the Ekiden Relay but given I entered this Snowdonia race back in 2016 and the fundraising alongside it, the priority had to be getting to the start line as comfortably as possible given the injury.
Yes, I’m watching the weather forecast and I know it will be a very different climate in the mountains around Llanberis than on the coast and certainly compared to here down south but I’ve got my compulsory race kit packed (as lightweight as possible of course), fuel packed, route map thoroughly researched and a very clear picture of finishing the race; bombing down the mountain for the last 3 miles would be the icing on the cake. As I’ll be out there for well over 4 hours (only the winner last year went under 4 hours which says a lot about how much harder than a road marathon this is!) I will also try to take some photos on the way. This one is of the Pyg Track route up Snowdon which is part of our race route and nicely timed by the organisers to start at the 20 mile point and I'm not expecting weather as good as that either!