I was as nervous as hell going into the race. I hadn’t trained for it, not properly, and the farthest I had run until the day (aside from my 10k in November) was 5 miles, and living in the middle of a town there wasn’t much scope for off-road running that could begin to mimic the sort of conditions I was expecting.
But I did finish.
15 kilometres (around 10.3 miles) over mud, sand, swamp, bogs, more mud, tough and slippery up slopes, tough and slippery down slopes, over uprooted trees, churned up tracks. Why the hell did I enter?! I kept asking myself. Because I was mad? Because I wanted to? Because I wanted to prove something to myself? To show that I could do it? Yes on all counts and probably more.
I came away with more aches and pains than I could ever know what to do with, I came away with a big gash down my arm, numerous cuts and bruises that I cannot account for, all of the muscles in my legs and feet pulled (and requiring a sports massage at the end) and I could not walk properly for days, even getting upstairs to bed was a chore. I was almost tempted to steal my neighbour’s wheelchair for a few days. Pffft… my need was definitely greater than hers!
I am feeling better for having done it. It was a remarkable and marvellous experience. Would I do it again? I would do something like it (perhaps shorter) but I doubt I will do that race again. What an experience, what an adrenaline rush. Why do we do these things to ourselves? Because we can and because they make us feel alive and because we want to test the limits of what we can do.