A couple of weeks ago I got a message from one of my Facebook friends, Bryce Alford, who was looking to find somebody to join Team Jersey for the Oxfam Trailwalker 100 Km. There was only about a week until the race, so it was very short notice, but one of his team members had pulled out at the last minute to go and run 363 miles without sleep. The race follows the South Downs Way from Queen Elizabeth Country Park (right round the corner from my parents), and finishes at the race track in Brighton. I know this route very well, particularly having run most of it only a few weeks previously. Given my poor (non-) finish at the SDW100, I thought this would be a good way to put a few demons to bed, so I decided to go for it with an aim to just enjoy myself! That is, after all, why I do this.
This wasn't just a little jolly however, as we had a mission. The team put together by Bryce was aiming to beat the current course record of about 9 hours 50 minutes. This is about the same pace that I ran the first 100 Km of the SDW100, and that was a race that didn't go particularly well - so I figured that it was eminently doable under the right conditions. All we needed to do was hold a relatively steady pace of about 8 minutes a mile when we could, hike the uphills, and try and avoid spending a lot of time at the checkpoints.