Adventurers have got to adventure. I had had a year of not doing as much as I wanted when – mid way through – I spotted an opportunity to do something huge: The Everest Trail Race. I signed up in June 2018, sponsored by Steve Diederich and www.runultra.co.uk , moved my life to Imlil in the Atlas Mountains to train for it in July, and in November successfully completed it. I am so proud and relieved that I achieved such a difficult goal.
The Everest Trail Race is a 160km, six-day ultra marathon around Everest with a whopping 15,000 metres of climbing. Picture yourself climbing a 10-mile-long ladder and you have got the idea! Then picture yourself doing it at high altitude where the air is thin and you have to work hard for your oxygen.
Why did I want to do this? I think the clue is in the title! What a fantastic chance to do something extraordinary under the shadow of the greatest mountain in the world.
For me, this was more than just a six day ultra. The training itself was an enormous challenge. I moved to a tiny village in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Douar Arghan outside Imlil and lived at 1,750m of altitude starting my quest for Everest from a low base of fitness and having to force myself out time and again to suffer in the mountains. It also meant living in a new, and very traditional, environment which brought its own challenges and rewards.
I did have a lot of support on my quest. Andy Mouncey of www.doingbigandscary.com coached me remotely and many friends came to join me for training runs and to talk me out of my despair when things weren’t going well. As always, I also had the backing of my dear family.
The race itself was brutal and magical. The camaraderie of the runners and organisers and the bond we formed was so strong and bright it outshone even the magnificent scenery. The human spirt at its best is a wonderful thing and I was lucky enough to experience that over the six days.
Here is how the race went I hope you enjoy the story. Dream Big, my friends. Dream Big!