I’m currently booked into 8 (9 if I get a place at W100) races for 2014 – 7 are ultra marathons, although by my own definition that an ultra marathon doesn’t start until 50 miles I’ve actually got 5 ultra marathons as both the C2C and the SPW are both only (he grins) 45 miles. Training had been going pretty well, Govember meant I ran, cycled or swan (usually 2 of them) each day, December was pretty good until about 13th when exercise was sidelined a little bit in favour or seasonal frivolities, but I was back on the wagon come Boxing Day and even did a little bit here and there is the space in between. I was going great guns even heading into the New Year and while the back and hip problems that had plagued me during the last 6 months have been a constant partner I was feeling generally okay. My own stupidity sent me tumbling as I was trail running about a week ago – slicing my leg apart and bruising large swathes of my upper body and leg but even this has not quelled my enthusiasm for the challenge of 2014 and I’ve added another little challenge to the mix. I’m wondering if it is possible to qualify for Spartathlon?
I suppose it was like the UTMB really, I had never heard of it before I signed up to my first ultra last year and upon discovering what it was, set my heart on, at the very least, qualifying for it. Spartathlon is a little different, I had heard of it as I’d been following the progress of this years runners on Twitter but the idea of running in the September heat of Greece felt too much. However, I’ve signed up to both the Race to the Stones and also the National 100, both of which offer qualification to the event. This year is very much about my desire to compete in the UTMB (I’m running 14pts worth of qualifying races) but the idea of Spartathlon has so many benefits I can’t help but think that it might be worth throwing my hat in the ring and picking up my pace a bit of the two qualifying races. The other key benefit for this would be to help me prepare for a new level of huge distance and also running in heat. Now while I’m 100% aware that there is nothing like MdS I am very conscious that something like Spartathlon would be a great race to do both in its own right and as working my way up to MdS.
I’m 37 this year, I fancy MdS in 2017 for my 40th birthday, I hear it’s near impossible to get into the UTMB at the first time of asking so assuming I qualify I’m probably more likely to get a successful ballot in 2016, that leaves a big event shaped hole in my 2015 – and I think I may have found something to work towards.
Of course lots more research required and I really may not be suited to it but it’s not a bad thought for a Wednesday morning – though best not to mention it to the OH, she’s already furious about the 7 ultras this year and I haven’t even mentioned my desire to compete in a 24hr race this year or that I will be adding in a series of other shorter races to keep my enthusiasm for the training going. That conversation will probably end up like the one about the bathroom renovations – difficult.