The High Peak Marathon 2015
If you’ve ever thought about running a race of marathon distance or further then this brief account from one of my clients will give you an insight into what thoughts go through their minds whilst running this mammoth distance.
“Starting a big race like the high peak marathon is the hardest part. They are too massive to contemplate, the sheer distance and time one is setting out on. My secret is what I call chunking. The minute my mind starts to consider the overall distance, I stop my self-short with that train of thought. I work on not thinking beyond the next hill. I close down my mind and distract my self from the hear and now. Running with a team helps this. If there isn’t someone in the team who needs support, then there will be someone who needs chasing.
There is nothing worse for me than being at the back, feeling left behind. So I work at being in the middle or upfront, but at the sometime, keep an eye on who’s at the back. If they are struggling, I’ll drop back and tail gate them. This lifts them and at the same time, gives me something to think about.
An easy error in team events is not to stick together. It leads to all sorts of trouble. It doesn’t generally arise deliberately, but simply because each player can be lost in their own little battle to keep going and its all to easy to forget that the race is only won when all the team, together, crosses the line.
During out attempt at the High Peak Marathon earlier this year the weather was cold and damp but the work of regenerating the moors has made a massive improvement to the terrain. What was, just a couple of years ago, a nightmare of deep bogs and slop, now is covered in lush grass, almost like Telly Tubby Land.
The organisation was superb and each checkpoint was a joy to arrive at. At the end of the race I staggered home, exhausted but thrilled, not just to have finished, but to have been part of a team who all pulled together, supported each other through highs and lows, sorted out navigation cock ups, shared food, shared the pain, shared the final success.
Good harmless suffering. I’d recommend it anyone! And the four-hour hot bath was all I had dreamed of through out the 14 hours of slog.”
Ben Robson, 2015