Yes, it’s now less than a week until the Jedburgh Ultra Marathon. I’m properly excited now, and starting to make the final bits of preparation.

A quick trip to a bike shop to pick up some gels on Saturday means I’m now sorted energy-wise. When I dumped the load of sachets on the counter the man raised his eyebrows, thought a while and then asked whether they were all for me. I said yes, he asked if I was taking part in an event. I said yes, the Jedburgh Ultra Marathon, he asked how far, I said 38 miles. He asked what sort of bike, I said no, it’s running. He looked confused and said running? I said yes, and he seemed lost for words. I’m not sure whether it was the thought of the distance, or whether it was just my audacity in buying stuff for a non-bicyce event in a bike shop, but something clearly messed with his brain.

On the subject of gels, this is the first race I’ll have been in that has drop bags. For the uninitiated (which pretty much includes me) a drop bag is a little parcel or marvellousness that waits for you at the race checkpoints. Usually you stick in food and any additional gear you might need (like a head torch for the check point before you start a night section). I think I’ve got to grips with the idea, and I’m going to put a little food parcel of gels an energy bars together for each check point (there are three). Maybe include a sandwich of something for the 18 and 28 mile checkpoints, as I might want something a little more food-like to give me a boost.

I re-packed my first aid kit last night, from the bulky but bomb-proof red pack into a couple of zip-locks. It won’t take up less room, but it’s less bulky, so I can probably slip it in somewhere amongst the other bits and bobs.

One worrisome toenail and we’re not even underway yet. After having it roundly stood on during The Wall, my left big toe has not been quite right – it’s looked like it would come off at some point. However, it’s stubbornly held on for dear life since June. Now, with a few days to go, it’s shearing off across the middle of my toe – no pain. no problem, just slowly tearing across. I’m not helping it, or trying to stop it, just hope it won’t get up to any mischief come the day (hence checking the first aid kit – you never know).

The fund raising is coming alone, I’m two thirds of the way there, with £50 to go. I would have liked to reach the target ahead of the day, but it seems increasingly unlikely. If anyone does want to help out last minute, my Just Giving page is HERE.

I’m raising money for Tourettes Action NE, the local branch of the national charity for Tourettes. I have a friend whose son has Tourettes, and he’s a good bloke who’s very passionate about the charity. I figured that was as good a reason as any, and I don’t think they’re a charity that gets a lot of support, which ticks my box for fundraising for less well known organisations. If you have a quid or two, then why not visit the page, and get in on the action – it’s for a good cause, and as we’ve already established, every pound gets me just a little bit further once the tiredness sets in. If you’re interested in what they do or just want to find out more, Tourettes Action have their site HERE.

Training-wise, I’ve got a six or so mile run today after dropping the car of for its service, then maybe a shorter run sometime later in the week, but that’s it – I’m officially tapering, which means “saving myself for the big day”. I also interpreted “tapering” to mean “eat more chips”, so it’s a fun experience, even if I’m in danger of not fitting into my vest.

  1. Good luck with the Ultra. Sitting here at work, I’m feeling the pains from my marathon yesterday. The thought of running right now is just not that appealing!

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