I woke up at 7pm tonight and I was in a complete daze. I couldn’t remember where I was but I knew I was somewhere in public and I was hoping my clothes were on. As I looked around it came back to me, I am in Nice and I have just watched the time trial of the Tour de France where the Aussie team Orica-GreenEdge dominated. Yes, that’s right, I had made my way to the rocky beach afterwards and fell asleep in the sun (and I did have my clothes on when I checked).
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. I flew to London via LA and after 35hours in transit I caught up with friends for two days before heading to Edinburgh for the Film Festival. Talented filmmaker Jennifer Steinman had finished a 90 minute feature documentary-movie ‘Desert Runners‘ that was having its world premiere at the festival. I joined the production team of Jennifer, Yael Melamede (Producer of Oscar winning film Inocente), and Diana Iles Parker doing press for Desert Runners, which was interesting for me as I had yet to see the film.
As I watched Desert Runners on the Saturday afternoon with friends from some of the desert races and a friend from the UK, I experienced the whole gamut of emotions (there was laughter, tears and also cringe worthy moments). There have been several reviews written about Desert Runners and it seems it is well liked – so I am not being biased when I say it is a beautifully crafted documentary. From my perspective, it is an accurate portrayal of the experiences faced by those who tackled the four desert races in 2010. It is not so much a film about running, rather it is a film that looks at the mindset and intentions of those who embark on a challenge such as this. I am super proud of Jen and her team and look forward to seeing where the film will go next.
After Edinburgh I headed back to London for more catch ups, training and then onto the Lake District for the Clifbar10Peaks race. I don’t even know where to start with this race. There are minimal flat sections and as the name describes you have to summit the 10 highest peaks in the Lake District.
My first time at a navigation based race and I suppose I failed in this component by relying on the navigational skills of my friend Mr O’Dwyer. A good team we were as I took the role of dictating the pace. The race began at 4am, so we were up from 2:30 to get to the start point. It was a super long day and the terrain was very unforgiving.
We were either running on/amongst big boulders, through muddy bogs or sliding down sheer slippery rocks. Definitely something new for me. I nearly pulled the plug a few times after a big rock fell on my toe and every subsequent step felt rather painful. Somehow my spirits were lifted by a marshall after the 9th peak (still over 20kms to go) and I decided I was going to see out the race till the finish line.
As you do in most races, Dave and I ran with some great people and the banter was a plenty for the long day out. All in all a pretty great experience and superb training for TDG in September. We found out today that out of the 150 competitors that started the long course, only 45% finished in the 24 hour cut off. It still blows my mind that 75kms can take so long to complete but you only have to look at the photos to get a glimpse at how challenging the terrain is.