My L100 blog is well underway. 3000 words far. It's a long one. A bit like the race really, so it's only to be expected. Speaking of long races, the South Downs Way 100 opens tomorrow morning. Well, this morning actually. It's 1am and I'm awake. My wee boy is poorly and so sleep is not close by for me tonight. Chances are I'll look and feel as rough as a badger's @#$* in the morning.
Anyway, since I'm up I'm trying to decide whether or not to enter the race. It's not cheap (no big races are these days), logistically it's a total nightmare - being down on the south coast the practicalities and costs of doing recce runs are too much so I'd be running the race not knowing the route at all (always risky for a long race). And then there's the date - it's during term time and as of yesterday I am now a school mum, and running and races now have to revolve around this new world we find ourselves in. But the route looks absolutely stunning and I've always wanted to do a Centurion Running 100 mile race. And if the WS100 qualifying races in the UK it's probably the easiest to get into. My other race options either fill up in minutes or are lottery-based so there's no guarantee of getting in at all.
It begs the question 'how much do I want to run WS100?' With next to no chance of getting through the WS100 lottery should I even be basing my running plans around qualifying for that, especially when it requires me to run one of only 5 100 milers in the UK every year in order to increase my tickets in the lottery? Is the WS100 really still THE big race on my bucket list? What else is on my bucket list, and are those races more meaningful?
The BGR had already been covered in my blog.
I've thought a lot about doing WHWR again. I've always wanted to go back and do myself justice in that race. But I don't know if now is the time to do it. I have been asked about the Triple Crown recently with friends having completed that but it's never had any great hold on me. I love the races individually and the West Highland Way will always have a special place in my heart but I don't have any goals for the TC.
What about the L100 again? Too soon to ask? Ha ha
I really want to do a Hardmoors race. I just can't decide which one. There's so many!
And a Cockbain event - just because they're nails!
I would love to race in the South West. Maybe the Arc of Attrition or maybe something less extreme. There's a 50 miler in North Devon that looks really good but I can't for the life of me remember it's name.
I would love to race in the Peak District too. It's so beautiful there, and I love exploring beautiful places.
And then there's the BIG one for me. As far as UK races goes, ones I haven't already done, it has to be the Spine. This race has super special meaning for me and it is definitely in my plans. Hopefully in 2018.
Races abroad - well obviously WS100 is on the list. But there is another race in the US that I really really fancy, and for me it possibly has a bit more meaning personally, and that's Monument Valley 50. The race looks beyond epic.
I have no big desire to do some of the other big name races out there at this point eg Leadville or Hardrock. Randomly Badwater 135 does tempt me though.
In Europe there are so many races to choose from - Transvulcania, UTMB/CCC, Laverado, Tour de Geants, Eco Trail de Paris. I could list 100 races. I'd love to go to Italy, or Iceland, or Norway, or pretty much anywhere - Europe is such a varied and amazing place.
But, even more so than races at home in the UK, the timings, costs and logistics are all BIG factors is whatever I do going forward. And planning is a key part of all that. If all I had to think about was work then planning all these kinds of adventures would be so much simpler. But I am a working mum, with one child now started school and the other going to nursery, university starts soon too (never thought I'd be saying that again) and we have to plan around Paul's extraordinary busy work life too. Races can be hard to get into, and training for them a real drain on you, so you have to really want to do them and if you're like me, with the commitment you have to give to these races, they need to mean something.
So I need to decide how much I want to get tickets for that WS lottery, how much do I want to do a Centurion race (right now) and is there not another race, or event that would be more rewarding at this point in my crazy life? Which path is right for me, right now?
Less than 9 hours till the race opens... no pressure then ;-)