2 days to go…
and the support tape is packed. Pascal is trained in how to apply it and has grudgingly shaved around his ankle to make sure it sticks. Apparently, this is all the preparation an elite athlete needs. That and a massive spag bol. *snigger*
Since Man vs Coast in Cornwall, Pascal’s been following his physio’s advice not to run. He’s also been doing proprioception training by standing on one leg whilst catching a tennis ball, sometimes whilst at work to entertain his colleagues. He’s also discovered that his injuries from the last race are probably due to too much movement in his right foot caused by a missing ligament. Seriously. His ankle has even been twisting when he walks. So Pascal is finally preparing himself to start a race that he recognises he may not finish. That’s a first for him as his usual approach is very Magnus Magnussen (“I’ve started so I’ll finish.”). Reality bites and it bites very hard.
The night before
What can I say? It’s wet and the guys are doing the usual elite athlete carb-loading. This time, it looks like beer, pizza and roast dinner. Yum.
Pascal remembered to tape up his ankle. But forgot his knee. Hopefully he’ll remember it before he sets off. And his tracker. Hopefully he’ll remember that too. Last year was a little bit worrying, not being entirely sure where he was throughout the race because he had
carelessly carefully deployed it to track the position of his tent.
He is feeling very nervous (“like a nun at a penguin shoot”) about his ability to finish. Having followed doctors orders for 2 weeks and not run at all, his first section is a 10km(ish) stretch across Morecambe Bay where he cannot slow or deviate at any point for fear of drowning. This is not an exaggeration. After that, he can walk, hop, slide on his bum, whatever … but he has to clear that first hour without stopping. Now I’m feeling nervous too.
The weather conditions aren’t helping his frame of mind. It took them a while to put tents up this evening because they were waiting for a break in the rain that never came. In the end they put them up when the heavy rain eased to light rain. It’s so wet that Sim’s car sprang a leak around the windscreen and the rain was coming inside!!
Pascal found a Lego machete in our tent (a special property of Lego – it lurks in the most surprising places) and has packed it as his good luck charm. Maybe RatRace will have a tiny Lego jungle as one of the obstacles. If so, Pascal will be ready.
The race is due to start at 8 but could change due to the tides. Live tracking is available as usual:
At the start
Pascal and Sim are at the start and feeling a little sleep-deprived from a night of hammering rain on their flapping tents.
They’re still smiling. Pascal taped his knee but it all fell off as he got to the start. He obviously had complete faith in his ninja-taping skills as he didn’t bring any more tape with him. Luckily Sim had tape and has rescued him again (what are friends for?).
Yep – that’s definitely a knee. Maybe a Smurf’s knee?
Morecambe Bay is looking as spectacular as ever and provides solid evidence to Flat Earthers everywhere. Pascal is musing this morning at how fast the tide must sweep in, given that he can’t see water at all and must be able to see for several miles.
The race is due to start any minute and this route is what they’ll be doing:
It looks very impressive.
A friend from our village is currently attempting his first Bob Graham round – 42 of the highest peaks in the Lake District over 66 miles in less than 24 hours. He’s tough and he’s over half way having started at 6pm yesterday. He’s got lots of support including another friend who’s gone as his supporter for a leg and I think she may be running with him around about now. So there are lots of village people doing crazy things today, though probably not wearing hard hats at the same time. And certainly no running with screwdrivers!
Please post your comments as he goes. He always looks forward to reading them at the end of the race and I’ll relay your comments during the race.