It was a blustery snowy night in the middle of the middle eastern desert in summer. Joe was still working hard in his workshop. Marie was in the lounge recalling a recently produced episode of strictly come stoning.
All of a sudden there was an almighty crash. Joe raced into the lounge to discover Marie looking pretty shaken.
"What happened" huffed Joe
"I have just had a visit from the angel Killian. He has inspired me to do an ultra marathon." "What the hell is an ultra marathon?"
"Well currently it is not defined but it means I must go and run all day and all night for no real reason whatsoever."
"With no training? Surely it is biologically impossible for your body to do that without at least doing some training before?"
"Well I don't really know and this guy seemed legit. and he was drinking out of a tube coming out of his back which made him look even more real."
"Have you been training with another man?"
"I don't have time for this. Go and take Garmin outside and tell him to look up at the stars until he knows where he is."
Garmin the trusty donkey triangulated his position as Marie strapped a load of flapjacks to it and they set off. Following the star of Dean.
The first few miles went very well. Marie was stating well lactated with regular slurps of donkey milk and every time she asked Garmin what her average pace was he would eee-aww most triumphantly.
However after a few hours she encountered a wall. It was a wall into the boundaries of Bethlehem. She was crossing into the fat burning zone, so called as this is where King Herod burnt all the corpses of his enemies. Marie struggled through this difficult time but focussed on the goal.
Cloud covered the sky and obscured the star of Dean meaning that she accidentally followed the star of Robson and got horrendously lost.
The cloud lifted but not after Marie spent ages yelling at poor Garmin for being a no good piece of shit and that she was going to trade him in for Suunto the Owl who was much more accurate and ate less food.
After about 26 miles of running Marie's pacer Phillip just suddenly conked out and died. Marie had barely noticed he was there anyway.
Marie got very tired in the night and started to see things that weren't there. She saw tables with cakes on and other people saying useful things like "keep going" and "I can't see your race number".
Then she saw a vision from the God of ultras Yiannis who said that she was near the end of the challenge, she should write all about it in a hog and that this run would totally count.
After a long night day broke and Marie and Garmin were weary. It had been about 15 hours since Marie had started her quest, she could now see the township of Bethlehem but then the worst thing happened, her beloved Garmin just died.
"That Bastard donkey farmer told me this thing was good for 20 hours". She put the donkey over her shoulders and staggered into town and knocked on each door saying she was in dire need of food and sleep.
She was turned away from every establishment for a combination of smelling like sulphur and having muddy feet.
Finally she found a barn where she found water, some indigestible bars of oats and some hay to sleep on. Marie gorged and then and then lay down and slept.
The next morning Joe walked into the stable to find Marie in the company of three other men which made him even more suspicious. One of the men was telling Marie that they took Garmin to a donkey whisperer who had managed to extract all sorts of useless data you might want to tell people about. You ran 62.218 miles in 17 hours and 37 minutes and your fastest pace was 3.12 minute miles.
"Yeah that was probably when that Jehovah's witness started talking to me.
Anyway we are three blokes from the camelphone warehouse and we bring you a gift of a goody bag.
Marie opened the bag to find a gold buckle, which was to become the defining gift for finishing an ultra marathon of any distance. A Frankenstein sized technical t shirt that would look like a tent on her but would probably fit a fat man. She then emptied the bag on the floor to create a pile of blurb, an endless collection of leaflets and magazines that she was never going to read but will weight her down on the journey home.
She was also informed that she won her age category. First female under 15.
Marie remembered about her commitment to write about it and with the skin of a recently slaughtered pig she began to pen her tale.
"But what do I include?" She mused. "How many pace splits do I put in? Shall I even mention Phillip? Shall I define what an ultra marathon is?"
In the end she didn't include a proper definition for an ultra marathon, probably cause less fuss if it was left to open interpretation. As she was writing Joe interrupted;
"You should probably not mention the lack of training. Running that far having done nothing in the 9 months would probably not stand up to future scrutiny and may even be a source of ridicule"
"Oh get over it Joe. I am putting it in. Oh shit now what you made me write! I just wrote that a man shalt not run with another man who has the same walking sticks. And I can't delete it".
"Nah I wouldn't worry too much about that. You'd have to be pretty stupid to take that literally".