On 30th July 2010, my mother went into hospital for major surgery. If the fact that she still hasn’t fully recovered and consequently had to quit her job was the worst thing that happened, these past 12 months would have been bad enough. But instead (and I say this with care), it was just the start of what turned out to be the single worst year of my life. As things became progressively worse, I needed to find my own way through it and, as I do so often, I focused on my running.
The biggest mountain ultramarathon in the world, and the ultimate challenge would accurately describe the past year, but instead is the tagline of the Swiss Alpine Ultra. Before deciding to run from Paris to London and after withdrawing from the Jungfrau Marathon, I entered this event thinking it would be an appropriate way to generate awareness for what had happened.
Having garnered much support on the journey from Paris to London, I still intended to run my first Ultra. In the Swiss Alps. A 79.1km circular route climbing (and descending) 2370m with 21km on high alpine terrain will undoubtedly be the single most difficult run I have ever attempted. It takes place on 30th July, exactly one year after Mum went into hospital, and will hopefully provide some closure to that difficult period.
In stark contrast to Paris to London, I will be taking significantly less kit and the weather forecast is atrocious – but I have my Vaseline, lycra and gel ready, so I’ll be fine.
Let’s do this.
I suppose it is now time to start thinking about what my next challenge will be…