Here’s why I gave myself 10 out of 10
Last week, I took on my first big running challenge for some time – The Great Barrow Challenge: 10 Marathons in 10 Days.
I was somewhat apprehensive as I had failed to finish the previous two big events I took part in – one was health-related and the other, in part, due to extreme weather. I know that if I had been stronger, I may have overcome the latter.
I also had a double hernia operation earlier this year which meant no running for three months. Was I seriously going to race 262 miles in 10 days?
Staying on the Fabulous Church View campsite, I had a bit of impostor syndrome when I discovered that taking part in the race was Adam “Tango” Holland, who holds the world record for the fastest 10 in 10, averaging each marathon in around 2 hours 45 minutes. My personal best, eight years ago and pre-cancer, was three hours 58 minutes. But not only was Adam a top bloke organisers Glenn and Julie, did all they could to put me and all the other runners at ease.
Every day was a different route around the delightful Suffolk countryside. While some sections of the course duplicated a few miles of previous days, the chance to see the outstanding sights again was never a chore.
As ever at these events, it’s also the other competitors who help to make the experience.
As for my running, I was never sure I would actually finish all the marathons within the cut-off time until the last day. I had a bit of a wobble on days two and three with sore hips and ankles. However, by day five, I just got faster and faster – running my best time on the final day. My final average marathon time was 5 hours 48 minutes – somewhat slower than Adam’s record but, for a man with incurable prostate cancer, just being there was enough. I was even sponsored a few more quid for Prostate Cancer UK along the way.
I’m not trying to say, “Look at me”, but simply asking, “if I can do these things in my situation, what’s stopping you taking on a challenge and enjoying life along the way?”