You may have already heard that a beast has been unleashed into the Ultra Running world. It was sort of my idea. Thank you to James Elson and Centurion Running for taking this silly idea on. I thought about this a year ago and could not believe that it did not already exist. Now it does and there is a lot of interest in it.
A lot of races claim to be the "toughest". I can think of 5 different ones off the top of my head that say that on their website. While I should say now that I don't intend this race to compete with these in terms of toughness that they define I do expect this to be extremely difficult.
I have completed a lot of these so called "toughest" races. Some are really tough, others I think put the claim on their website as a joke. Each one has some difficulty that makes it tough, such as a baking hot desert or valley, insane climbing, altitude, iceberg, distance or speed. This race does not have any of that. It has something else.
Before running Badwater in 2010 I read a guide to the race by Mike Henebry who said something which has stuck with me ever since. In describing the difficutly of Badwater and whether or not it should be made harder her said;
"If they added more miles to the event (or something else to increase the difficulty of it), the same people would finish it".
Those three words "the same people" has resonated with me ever since. I've learned by doing these events that it really is these same people who finish stuff. Whether it's in deserts. jungles, mountains, ice sheets or roads It's the same people who just get on and get the job done.They are not necessarily skilled at mountain running, desert trekking or skiing but they treat all this as just stuff and they know how to get through stuff.
I'd like to consider myself one of these "same people" but my capitulation in Tennessee last month made me doubt that.
And so was the inspiration for this race. On paper there is nothing tough about it except the mental torment that it will inspire. I am hoping some of the same people will apply.
I wonder if the same people will finish?