It feels very close and real now. My participant number has arrived, number 2683, nothing special about that, but it is a prime number, the 389th prime number in fact. In turn, 389 is a prime number, the 77th prime number, and 77 is, er, not a prime number. My start time is 9:20am and who knows how long it might take to do the 100 kilometres.
This is set up to have fairly short sections of walking, four sections on the “Half Challenge” (56km), the longest being 16 kilometres, and five sections in the remaining 44km, the last three being 8, 6 and 6 km. This should help those of us who are likely to be suffering a bit by then.
There is a wealth of information on this challenge on the event website http://www.london2brightonchallenge.com/ and I understand that around 2,500 are taking part, either running, jogging or walking. You know, I cannot even think how running that distance is possible. That is not a goal to which I aspire. I am in my fifties and in not much more than a month’s time I will be closer to 55 than I am to 50 – in my mind I am no older than a few years ago but the one area I have noticed becoming more difficult is the recovery after a decent walk. It is not that unusual for me to be walking slightly gingerly around the office on a Monday, and you won’t be surprised to hear that I will be taking the week off work after the completion of London2Brighton.
Weather forecasts are the thing at the moment and they currently show 19 degrees in London on the Saturday and 16 in Brighton on the Sunday, both overcast. The low overnight (near Crawley) is 8 degrees. If there are exposed areas it might be lower but not wet and not so cold. Perfect. In the middle of the night it might feel colder as sweat gets trapped but I will have a change of shirt and also a fleece or something warm to wear at the rest stops at the very least.
As was the case with the failed Wight Challenge, it will be possible to follow my progress on the event website and I have set up an alert for Facebook, with personal messages posted each time I reach a checkpoint, another when I finish and one (which I hope you’ll never see) if I were to withdraw. Right now, well not right now because it’s 11:30 at night, my priority is to ensure that I can dig out my bag and plan all the things I need, check my headlight for the night, and get some cushioned soles for my boots. I have one small blister on my sole which is currently plastered, and as a precaution I will be plastering all the normally vulnerable parts of my feet. Just makes sense. Even if, to many, walking 100 kilometres through the night doesn’t make any sense at all.