The Adventure Begins | Eclectic Cake: The Adventure Begins

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Adventure Begins

Two-hundred and seventy-something miles...non-stop!

That was the furthest distance run by someone at the London Trail Team day. I've only run 13. But that didn't matter - whether you'd run an ultra or nine marathons in a row or, indeed, no further than a half, each story of achievement was met with equal awe and with enthusiasm for what challenges may lie ahead. From the beginning it was instantly clear that trail runners are an encouragingly welcoming breed, one more concerned with what terrain was run than with how quickly it was covered.

Even so, as a completely new convert to trail running, I felt privileged to be sat amongst so many brilliant runners. We had all made the shortlist for the Trail Team 2014, which will see the final four jet off to Chamonix for the training camp of their dreams. My role for the day? Become an information sponge and learn everything there is to know about trail. If there was ever a perfect introduction to the world of trail running, this was it!

Everyone arrived with stories of their adventures but most incredible were those told by the guest speakers. Dave and Katharine of the 5000 Mile Project "decided to become athletes" and run the full length of South America whilst pulling their belongings on a rickshaw and raising awareness of the wildlife there. Ultra Stu ditched his high-school nickname and went on to win ultras at the age of 50 whilst discovering the absolute importance of mental preparation and positivity.

We were told about the brilliant collaboration between Philippe and Anna Gatta and Berghaus to create kit that wouldn't exceed 10kg for a 34 day run along the Great Himalaya Trail - when you're taking on such a big challenge, every gram counts. The result was a list of innovative items - from a reversible, multi-functional jacket to the world's lightest waterproof. Kit, I was learning, is just as important as running skill. On a night run, for example, you couldn't do better than a LED Lenser head torch for illuminating the way.

After so many tales of adventure, our feet were itchy for a run around Hampstead Heath - a beautifully lumpy 10k in the sun to discuss what adventures we were now inspired to start. With my head buzzing full of information, inspiration and a few too many Torq sports nutrition samples, I decided to enter my first multi-stage trail race. In August I will take on the Yorkshire hills at the Berghaus Trail Chase.

Beyond (or before) that, I can't say where my adventures may take me. Suffice to say there will be rocks and hills and mud.

1 comment :

  1. I did my first trail race in Feb, and it's been really hard to run road races ever since, something absolutely amazing and liberating about running trails, atmosphere is totally different as well. Your race sounds really exciting :D