Last week on Instagram I got this response from a friend.
I have mentioned in passing my long term running goal a couple of times on this blog, but haven't really written about it. It's about time I just said it out loud:
I'm trying to qualify for the 2016 Ultra Train Mont Blanc.
The UTMB has a two year qualification period, and I've been collecting points since September last year. Glasshouse Mountains 100ks earned me two points. The North Face 100 earned me another three.
When I started on this quest I needed seven qualification points, from a maximum of three events, so my original plan was to go back and do the Glasshouse Mountains 100ks again (or stretch myself and go for the 100 miles) to get the points I needed. No problem.
Late last year, the qualification changed to requiring eight points, meaning I didn't have a choice, the 100 miles it would be this year at Glasshouse 100. That's fine.
But then in February this year, when the 2015 event received twice the entries from qualified runners than it could take, they changed the qualification for 2016 to requiring nine points, still from a maximum of three races.
So to keep the dream alive I needed to find a four point race. The good news is that I found a race in Australia that fitted the bill - in fact The Great North Walk 100 miler was my only option without travelling overseas.
The bad news is that this beast is 175kms long (because hey, when you're doing a hundred miles what's another 9 or so). It has over 6000m of elevation (so proportionately a similar number of hills and stairs as TNF100). Not surprisingly, it has a formidable DNF rate.
So I'm not running 100ks a week for fun, or because I'm determined. I'm running because I'm scared. At the risk of sounding like the boy who cried wolf (because I've said this a couple of times lately), I'm not sure whether I can do this.
Having said all of this, it's fair to say, I feel pretty alive right now.