Well, the training’s all pretty much in the bag so now it’s just a case of keeping my legs ticking over, packing, surviving the flight (won’t be too tough thanks to Air Canada giving me a lovely discount on Executive First), 5 days in Canada moving progressively north acclimatising, nailing final logistics and then hitting the start line at Eagle Plains on the 12th March.
My last block of training went really well and the Big Freeze and conditions up on Kinder meant I was able to test clothing etc in some pretty extreme conditions. Longest sessions were 8 hour slogs over the local hills, often through thigh deep snow drifts and battling high winds. My last “long run” was a fantastic 6 hours in the Lakes where Moses and I managed to bag seven tops including Scafell, Scafell Pike and Great Gable. Total whiteout and blizzard conditions combined with rock hard neve above 800m made it a challenging outing. But, armed with ice axe and fell shoe crampons, we had a great time. Now, as I’m tapering down, my weekend runs are down to just 3 hours and feel ridiculously short.
Although my individual training runs have been no-where near the length of the actual event (120 miles with a maximum time allowed of 72 hours and a course record of 39 hours) with all ultra-training it’s a balancing act between getting the maximum return on the sessions you do, nailing pacing and nutrition but, at the same time, avoiding injury and not being so trashed from ultra-long sessions that you’re able to train consistently day-to-day. You just have to accept that the actual day will be a big push into the unknown, that it’s going to trash you but hopefully you’ll have the strength, fitness and resolve to come through. Marc Laithwaite www.theendurancecoach.com has nursed me through my training well and seems confident that I’m in good shape.
A massive thank-you to all the people who’ve sponsored me and supported my two charities Kinder Mountain Rescue and Lupus UK. If you haven’t yet sponsored me it’d be great if you could spare a bit of cash for either one of these great charities. During the Big Freeze, Mountain Rescue teams across the country kept ambulance services running by selflessly offering their specialist vehicles and expertise, even in low lying areas. Their vehicles were able to access patients who normal ambulance teams couldn’t reach and saved countless lives. My mother suffers from a variant of lupus and the fact that it took years for her to even get a diagnosis shows how much research into it is needed.
To sponsor me, go to:
While I’m out in Canada communications will be few and far between but there should be some race updates on www.6633ultra.com . I’ll also try, whenever possible, to Tweet so you can follow me at www.twitter.com/nikalascook
Another big thank-you to all the companies who are supporting me, Haglofs, Inov-8, Torq, Air Canada and Snowsled UK and Planet Fear.