For a moment I thought bad about this. Can't we make it easier somehow? More checkpoints, markings, nice weather, massage? Then a friend pointed out something that I seemed to have forgotten. People have signed up to this knowing it is going to be ridiculously difficult. People have signed up knowing this is going to take them places where they have never been before. And I am not talking about trails in Berkshire.
Also, these "people" are not the usual people. This is not a normal list of people, or even a normal list of ultra runners. We have a group of people who have done exceptional things in endurance, running across countries, deca Iron-mans, course records, world records, week long treadmills runs, 300+ miles non-stop, deserts, jungles, ice, mountains and roads, channel swims, double channel swims, running home to Ipswich after running the London Marathon. This could be the highest standard at the starting line I have ever known in an ultra marathon.
Makes sense that they should want to compete in something so pointless.
I have been reading a bit about sports psychology recently. It is facinating stuff and makes me think that what we are attempting here is even more wicked. A key source of anxiety in sports and hence a hinderance to performance is the lack of certainty. This is why sports performers tend to do better at home, or by being familiar with the course, or at least what they are supposed to be doing. That is taken away from them now.
The ability of humans to visualise an end point is one of the many things that makes us such good persistence hunters and endurance runners. To know that it will all come to an end at some point and to be able to distribute effort accordingly rather than run ourselves to death like some animals.
"Flow" - Is a state psychologists say you are in when you seem to be in "the zone". 5 things are required for this. You need to be focused on an activity, of your own choosing, that's not too difficult, but not too easy, with a clear objective, with immediate feedback. Yep, Yep, Yeeeeeahh, NO, yep.
I also read about motivation. Highly motivated people are more likely to compete in events where the chances of failure are high. The chances of failiure in this are very high and as a result I think we have got a start group of 15 very highly motivated individuals.
Email sent to those who were accepted.
In a little over a month you will be history. Sorry, I mean you will be part of history. You are participating in the first race of it's kind. You really are the lucky chosen ones who have the honour of competing in this new event. You've done the HIGHEST, you've done the LONGEST, you've done the WETTEST, you've done the HOTTEST, you've done the COLDEST, you've done the HARDEST. Now you must put your wits against "THE WORLDS MOST POINTLESS ULTRAMARATHON".
I hope your training has gone well. Obviously you will not know this until after the event whether it was track sessions, park runs, half marathons or running across countries that helped the most. Be thankful that we are at least telling you that it's a running race
You may want to remember some inspirational quotes to get you through this. Might I suggest what Captain Oakes said to Captain Scott on a cold snowy day in the Antarctic. "I'm just going outside; I may be away some time".