Tomorrow after weeks of training I’m finally off to Greece together with my crew Becky, Paul and Tim to take part in the 2015 Spartathlon – am I nervous? Just a little.
The race is 245km (153 mile) non-stop from Athens to Sparta (with a mountain after 160km) the first 42km has a cut off of 4:45, 80km 9:30 and the 160km point in 23 hrs. There are 75 CPs ALL of which have their own cut-offs and arriving outside these times eliminates you from the course. One of the reasons this race is so tough is because you spend the whole race chasing the cut-offs. Runners aren’t allowed and the race has to be completed in under than 36 hours.
Up until a couple of weeks ago I was happy with how my training had gone. I had worked on my speed as after South Africa I was feeling rather sluggish but was seeing progress and feeling positive about the race. THEN I got struck down with a chest infection that caused real issues with my asthma bringing my peak flow to about 200 (that’s very low) and running was virtually impossible as I simply couldn’t breathe. Quick trip to the doctors on my return from Scotland and I was put on a course of Steroids. These have worked to a certain extent but my chest still isn’t fully recovered so now with less than a week to go I’m on a course of antibiotics – not a happy bunny.
In 2013 I went to Greece with the plan to do the race then run back to Athens; sadly this wasn’t to be as my body turned into a rag doll and I was pulled from the race with 6km to go (HERE) but I always said that I would go back in 2015 and try again.
I will give it my all during the race and if I’m lucky enough to succeed this time my aim is to start running back to Athens at 5am on Sunday (3am UK time), 306 miles. I will try and complete the return journey in under 36 hours although I won’t have the harsh cut-offs that the race has at the start.
The British runners are very lucky to be sponsored by Richard Weremiuk of Drone Trackers and Richard has kindly agreed to keep my tracker on for the return trip. You can follow us all HERE I’m number 21.
My race number for the Spartathlon is 153 which is a fantastic number as I’m 53 years old so hopefully that will bring me a bit of luck!!
I would like to say a big thank you to SOS Rehydrate who have been supporting me since the GUCR in May a great product and extremely easy to use.
Please keep your fingers crossed that my chest clears up.