It's 8 weeks until The Oner. Organised by Brutal Events, it is a race against the clock over a magnificent stretch of the South West Coast Path. 82 miles in under 24 hours.
Having completed Brutal's Midnight Mountain Marathon twice I thought I'd have a crack at convincing people to sign up. A marathon up and into the Brecon Beacons starting and finishing in the small village of Talybont Usk.
# starting at 5:30pm, you will have 6:30hrs to complete the marathon distance.
# there are two significant "hills" to accomplish before the 7 mile fuel stop and the path leads into the ridge line of the mountain range
# once up on the ridge, one of two factors will take your breath away guaranteed. Either the stunning views or the winds that can batter the intended and perceived pace. Having experienced both, at the same time, it was worth the effort for that memory alone. Nothing like being exposed to the elements.
# Pacing the 2 significant mountain climbs relies on a smart training plan completed in advance. Stair climbing, weight lifting and flexibility all help to keep an even pace to the top of Pen Y Fan. This is before the halfway marker. Strength and endurance combined.
# a descent that will challenge the health of every sinew and joint in the body. Fast, technical, dangerous to the hasty - I fell hard at mile 16 the first time. A combination of over confidence, disrespect to the terrain and failing light. The mark is still on the hip and the shoulder has never been 100% since. 5 miles of this section.
# once through the final checkpoint at mile 19 it is all downhill, steady and dial in a zone and focus that only few marathons will demand you to find. More challenging mentally than physically.
# the finish. Before midnight? The light will have to be turned on before ten and changes the complexion and feeling of achievement once over the line, greater than the average daytime road race. My other half can testify to that. Jayne finished last year in 6:26. 4 minutes to midnight. It isn't the sparkly medal or the cool Brutal tech t shirt that presses her ambitions to seek similar challenges in the future. It's the memories. The recall of emotions. The desire to get the same high.
#cracking campsite and showers at Pencelli Castle. Clean, green and having done the marathon a good nights sleep guaranteed
Thanks to Brutal for the efforts to provide everyone the opportunity and encouragement to find out what that feels like.
Best in all your efforts this year. If you have tapped into "why" and are able to explain "purpose" then you have probably done the Midnight Mountain Marathon.