The simplest answer is, why not?
I’ve always been one of those annoying people who is competitive at everything.
Pub quizzes, school fetes and, as I found out last night, catching fried potatoes in my mouth at a teppanyaki restaurant.
The problem is, I am also not naturally gifted at any of those things, especially when it comes to flying Japanese food.
Lower half of Division 6 in the local Sunday League football, middle of the pack on sports day and second-last in the annual work quiz mean that my trophy cabinet is as empty as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.
There is one person who I can consistently compete against and sometimes even beat; myself.
It only takes one step further to beat the last Personal Best (Personal Record in the USA?).
So if you complete a 100m race, by simply completing a 200m race you have absolutely smashed your own record out of the park.
The same applies to longer distances. Run 5k and 10k is well within your grasp. Complete a 10k twice in a row and you’ve run a half marathon!
Once you have completed the first distance, the 2nd seems so much closer and conversely, the previous distance seems further away.
By completing the Half, you now wonder how you found the 10k so difficult. It was 50% of the distance after all.
If you’re a competitive person, you can see the pattern here. 5k leads to 10k, 10k to 20k (half marathon), Half to Marathon and then what?
Marathon to Ultra.
Last year I ran the Royal Parks Foundation 50k Ultramarathon basically to see whether it was possible.
It didn’t follow the simple doubling of distances because until a couple of years ago, I didn’t realise there was anything further.
I’d always thought that the marathon distance was the longest people ran.
But after reading that there was further to go, I wanted to see whether I could make that extra step, to beat myself yet again.
Slowly but surely I did so it was again the time to ask, what next? This time though, is it a step too far.
I only need to run 50k and one step to beat my previous best but knowing that people run 100k in one go makes me wonder whether I can too.
One foot in front of the other for 62 miles, between ten and thirteen hours on my feet, up and down the South Downs in the London2Brighton Challenge.
Every time I question my logic and sometimes my sanity, or if I contemplate what on earth possessed me to enter in the first place, the answer is always simple.
Total words: 847
Total miles: 10.61