I think this pretty much covers how the day went.... 😅
Everything felt great up to around 70km. I was eating way better than usual, the aid stations were awesome, my kit was on point and not causing any issues, and I felt full of beans. Hell, Chuck and I literally boogied over the timing mats for the halfway base camp.
By the time we got to the photographer sat at 75km I was feeling pretty nauseous but calm about it, knowing it was going to hit at some stage in the race. I turned to Chuck and said "why do they always put these guys on the top of a hill? Screw this, they can snap me trudging."
As for how those last miles in the night felt, I think my face covers it. I was beyond exhausted. Everything hurt. BUT, having had a chance to stop and think about it since finishing, I'm kind of pleased with how I handled it. Yes I was an emotional mess by the end. But at no point did I even consider quitting. I was always in control in so far as I knew it was just your regular garden variety suffering. Bottling it up took too much energy so I decided to just ride it out and keep walking.
There's still SO MUCH that I need to learn before trying that distance again. But if this race has done one thing, it's re-lit the fire to chase down a big goal. At some point I'll be going back for a rematch with the 100km distance. But not for a while. There's a whole lot more experience to get under the belt first before then. There will be a whole lot more days (and maybe nights) out on the trails. There will also be a whole lot of dancing with possible failure. And that's an exciting prospect.
Big smiles from @girlsonhillsuk guide Keri, who is happy with her 6th (female) place in the Scafell Sky Race today... 🏆🎉 An excellent route and a fantastic day 👍 #skyrunning#mountainrunning#trailrunning
This girl @orrojo100 rocked her first cycling event today! She definitely beat me over the 32 miles of the Corto Fondo at @humanraceevents Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival, but it was lovely riding together 😊😊 The weather was super hot and sunny again - 30 degrees by the time we finished! I feel like I should be getting used to the heat, but it's still tough. At least we had a medal and a glass of prosecco to spur us on 😂🏅🥂 #chiltern100#womenscycling#getoutside#outdoorbloggers#raceweekend#cyclingfestival
Last night I went on my first ever wild camp. And I went solo. I feel liberated, but... Let's get the negatives out of the way: I realised an hour into the drive that I hadn't packed a compass; I didn't check the weather properly and got thoroughly soaked the morning after (no coat, no waterproofs); I didn't find the kind of spot I was hoping for (open field, short of a small hill summit). Positives. Thank you to Peter at Forest Retreats in Arrochar who lent me his compass overnight without asking any questions; I stuck with my plan and didn't get discouraged, or bail, when I was struggling to find a decent spot to pitch; I made a good decision at 5am to stop trying to sleep an extra few hours, after hearing the constant rain since 11pm, and get up, pack up and get back; aside from a compass, I packed everything I needed & not much surplus; I made a plan and saw it through.
The boss in the garage is doubling up as a good aid to raise the tent to dry it out. Hopefully my order from Blacks will come soon so I can swap out my totally uncomfortable yoga mat for a totally suitable and comfy self-inflatable mat and I can try again in the near future, with a better pitch spot.
Finally relaxing in the evening sun after an epic three days of hiking up and around Mount Rinjani. Unbelievably hard, and feeling pretty broken right now so thoughts to come after some R&R
It's not pretty. While the first 70km were a breeze even with the heat and sun exposure, it hit me like a ton of bricks from there. I'm pretty sure I cried my way through the last few miles. I didn't even care about the finish or seeing the Stones. I just wanted it to be over.
But this is what we came for. To be curious, to see where the limits were. Now I know mine are here - at least for now. It's going to be a long time before I go for another 100km, but I'm bloody glad I did it.
Thing is, I wouldn't have made it that far if it weren't for the two incredible guys I was with through the miles. When the going was good there were Indiana Jones quotes and sea shanties. When the going got rough, there was compassion and I was able to draw on their huge amount of experience. Thank you so very much @aaronb1985 and @chuckbelanger for taking this newbie under wing.
So there we go. Thank you Race to the Stones for teaching me some hard earned lessons. And thank you to the amazing people of the trail and ultra community for being the craziest, funniest, most supportive, loving people I've had the privilege to share a few miles with. You guys rock 🤘💚