Thursday, 18 April 2013

One more sleep and 100km on the trails awaits

One more sleep to go. The nervous anticipation of walking 100kms without a substantial break has kicked in.

After an absolutely chaotic week at work I think I’m all organised for the big event. Toenails clipped? Check. Myotherapy and chiropractic sessions finalised? Check. Spare socks, shirts etc? Check. Shoes washed? Check (Why would I wash shoes before I walk 100kms in mud and dust? Officially losing it? Check.) Gels, carb tablets, electrolyte tablets, carb drink powder, protein powder, snakes, anti inflam tablets, normal medication tablets and bananas? Check. False ID in case I get pulled over on the way to the start and they want to know what all these powders are? I’ll risk that one. Beannie, gloves, coat other warm stuff? Check. Headphones for iPhone when I can’t stand the nattering or complaining anymore? Check. Food for dinner at 50km mark? Not yet – cooking that later. Picnic chair to collapse in at checkpoints? Check. Garmin? Check. Walking poles? Check. Change of clothes for end? Check. Vaseline (don’t ask)? Check. Bandages, bandaids, blister gels, anti inflam cream, insect repelant? Check. Headlamp and spare batteries? Check. Small power station to recharge all the technology? Check. Small trailer to carry all this stuff? Don’t own one.

Think I’m ready but sure and certain I’ll be cursing the missed …..whatever….about 5kms after the start. Lucky we have a support crew. Phone call “Help we need a corkscrew”, response “You’re kidding right?” Apparently they call it Murphy’s Law – and some nutter has written a book about that, attempting to find out who “Murphy” really was. I think that writer set out with a grand ambition but soon found out that anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. He never found out who Murphy

Now as I have people who read this blog (or visit, glance, come here by mistake…whatever) from places all over the globe, I should really explain what the weather is predicted to be like. Less than 4 weeks ago we did a training walk, the weather was 35 degrees Celsius and dry. This weekend the prediction is for a minimum of 10 degrees and a maximum of 18 and dry…in Melbourne. Now we’re not walking Melbourne, we’re walking up and over Mount Dandenong. Today the maximum there was 8 degrees less than the city and tomorrow they are saying overnight between 3 and 8 degrees with a max between 13 and 17.  WHAT’S THIS????? Scattered snow showers for ranges above 1400 metres? Better check the Garmin read out from the training walks – elevation gain 1,099 metres, max elevation 606 metres. Thank goodness, only snowing above our heads. Jumper? Check. Thermal? Check. Thicker jacket? Check. Thick track suits pants? Check. Larger trailer? Better ring local hire company.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts this event can be completed within 48 hours, you can set up a tent, use heaps of energy, toss and turn in a freezing camp ground, pack everything up (slowly because your body has locked up) and then kid yourselves that the next half will be easier. Until you suddenly realise your body won’t move. Our team has decided to not stop and rest (apart from a couple of quick meal breaks) therefore not locking up and getting the agony over and done with quicker. Our intention is to get through this in less than 24 hours and based on our training walks this is achievable. Now I may revisit that goal 70 kms into the event when my legs no longer act from brain impulse as they’ve decided to grow a mind of their own and have gone on strike. But at this stage we want to be wolfing down hot food and (maybe) champagne at 7.30am or so on Saturday morning.

Now even though I have a severe case of trepidation I am looking forward to this event, it is a new mountain for me to climb (literally as well as figuratively) and I see the challenge, the team camaraderie, the support, the mental strength and the sheer exhilaration if and when we finish as being a great adrenaline boost. I do know a few team mates are maybe not as upbeat as myself, but maybe their feet are planted a lot more firmly on the ground and they could well have a better grip on reality than myself. Only one way for us to find out how this is going to go – get those trail shoes on and put one foot in front of the other (approx. 150,000 times each).

Finally I’ll end on an a quick thank you to our wonderful support crew who used all of their Project management skills last night, at our team dinner, or what I refer to as our "Last Supper" and made lists of who was bringing what, who will be at what stop where, a sensational spreadsheet with expected arrival times and oh so much more. These guys are the unsung heroes of this journey as it would be pretty bloody hard to undertake an adventure like this without their support, both physically and mentally. Great work support crew we owe you one (do us a favour and use a filter for Instagram if you’re going to take any shots at the finish line – we’ll look terrible).

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