In 2015 I signed up and completed the Transrockies Run after looking at the race for years and wondering whether I was mad to even think of trying to do something like that. What gave me the motivation to eventually click 'enter' was precisely because I wasn't sure I could complete it and so I thought I would use the scale of the challenge to raise money in memory of my friend Helen Clark who died from aplastic anaemia in 2013 after three failed bone marrow transplants. However hard this race would be, it wasn't even a drop in the ocean compared to what Helen went through and when I approached the finish line after 6 days and 120 miles through the mountains, I felt very emotional having been driven along by a determination to honour her memory.
Signing up to the 2020 Transrockies Run feels very different. Although I am five years older, I know I have completed the race before and I know where it gets hard. I also know that I probably didn't train correctly for it last time and spent too much time running slow, flat miles rather than working on strength for hiking up steep inclines. This time, my husband isn't joining me for the last few yards to the finish line, he has signed up for the whole thing! Several of the 2015 alumni are signed up again so I am going to be there with lots of friends rather than not knowing any of the other runners.
Despite all of the 'known' elements and being able to visualise the race, I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about the excitement of standing on the start line in Buena Vista, Colorado with "Highway to Hell" playing at full volume. You have to respect this race. It is doable but it is hard and you might not make the start line or the finish line for all kinds of reasons and that element of uncertainty makes it exciting no matter how many times you sign up. It reminds me of a line from the cinematic masterpiece that is "A League of Their Own":
"If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it, it's the hard that makes it great".
I am really looking forward to the training over the next twelve months and hope to be able to share some of the journey with the inevitable ups and downs that come with preparing for something like this. I feel incredibly honoured to be one of the brand ambassadors for the 2020 Transrockies Run and so happy to spread the word and hopefully encourage others to join in what has been accurately described as "summer camp for big kids".