At 7.30am on Saturday 8th January I was standing on the start line for a race called The Spine Challenger. 99 of us had gathered in the town of Edale in the Peak District, ready to race north for 108 miles.
There was a nervousness in the air (or maybe it was just drizzle) and snow on the floor, everyone discussing how they weren’t ready – everyone knowing a lot of us won’t make it to the finish line, it all felt a little “squid game”.
Fast forward 54 hours and I was crossing the finish line in 19th place (one of only 29 to do so), having crossed moors, mountains, bogs – mainly all in the dark – and most importantly raising just over £4,200 for charity. (www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-lucy)
The race was a serious emotional rollercoaster, the highs and lows you feel were basically at the most extreme point at each end of the spectrum. I met some amazing people on the race that I couldn’t have finished it without. The amount of support I had from friends, family and everyone else that had donated to really pushed me on to finish the race – and doing this for Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (www.royalmarsden.org) got my legs moving when I thought they’d completely quit on me.
It really is true that these races are about 90% mental and you always seem to be able to find that extra reserve of energy when you think you’re running dry. People go through much harder things than this race and they don’t choose to do it. Having had a few weeks to reflect on I *think* I’ve decided I absolutely loved the race… and I’m so proud and grateful that I was able to give back to Royal Marsden.