In 2019 I signed up for a long race (
I planned to run
2019 continued and I had signed up for
I had planned again for 2020 a 100k (UTD: Ultra trail Drakensberg) but Covid cancelled the plans early in the year so since I felt I was ready for it I started thinking on my Own 100k.
I googled the idea and got some inspiration:
- Go – or don’t go – when you want
- You can cut it short without earning a DNF
- No entry fees
- Don’t have to wait for anybody
- No-one will check your kit and inform you that you can’t start ‘cos those lovely lightweight overtrousers are about as much use in the mountains as a…
- No rules – well, apart from public access, the requirement to be kind and courteous to the folks you meet on the way AND TAKE YOUR STUFF HOME WITH YOU
- Don’t have to run with some muppet who just won’t shut up
- Don’t have to suffer being tail-gated by the navigationally-challenged
- You can stop at cafes and without a race number no-one will think you are covering for being lost or are just not trying hard enough
- No well-intentioned but hopelessly misguided spectators shouting “you look great” when you don’t and “it’s not far to go now” when clearly it is
Inevitably of course, there is a flip side. 👎 Disadvantages
- No-one will hang a medal round your neck at the end
- There’ll be none of those nice checkpoints to look forward to
- You’ll have to sort your own feet out
- And your navigation
- And your route-planning
- The only applause you’ll hear will be in your own head
- You can’t ever say you missed a turn ‘cos some race saboteur moved a marker
- And you’ll be forced to think of some cunning way to open a conversation with a total stranger at the end so you can talk about what you’ve just done
With this in mind, I was decided… I planned a date and as it was coming I checked that the weather was going to be good enough.
I did the first half mostly alone and in the second half Yves, Nicole and Clare joined me for some section.
I ended doing the last 5 kms in the city by myself… walking very slow on a state that who ever who saw me would have think if I had some serious issue.
The adventure scores in all the important aspects that drives me;
physical fitness and
👥 Social fitness
Despite Covid times, I had the opportunities to wave 👋 some “Ciao” along the way to people who was walking the dog 🐕 or simply in towns.
Great friends tagged along for a few kms and we enjoyed an ice cream 🍦 around km 70, that was a moral boost despite my legs did not have any .
💪 Physical fitness
It was an experience to the unknown… It was only 12 kms longer and 1000m elevation less that my longest activity which was completed in ~13.5 hours.
The combined figures were less but the experience took almost 6 hours more to complete it.
🧠 Mental fitness
There was no aid station, so I had my own food since it was a public holidays day on Covid times, so I did not know if I would have be able to find food.
There was no one who crossed me who knew where I came from and for how many hours I was on my feet 🦶…
There was no other runners suffering like me…, there was no arch to cross
I had an initial route and I could cut mountains… but at the end my main goal was to do the 100kms. I started motivated, doing the local mountains I knew in the dark and I continued to less known areas.
After half of the distance I started to cut off ✂️ mountains to save in elevation. That was one of the advantages of my own ultra 🤭.
I spent a lot of time in solitude… wondering
why and what makes me to stay here and don’t take the first train, I see, around back home