At 8:40 on Saturday 30th April, I was beginning my long journey around the Isle of Wight. The whole tour of the island is 106 km and I had to complete it in one go, without sleeping. I couldn’t have asked for better weather, the sky was blue and it was warm, but I knew the British weather was unpredictable and that rain would probably come later (and it did!). This island is beautiful, those peaceful landscapes, beaches, white cliffs…they are very inspiring and it was the perfect background to do such a challenge.
Although I had been training for 5 months and had walked about 500km in parks and trail, I did not know how I would perform on the day. The day I had been thinking about for so long, asking myself; Will I be able to do this? Why am I doing this?! To be honest, part of me was scared to go on that long journey because of course I knew it would be very hard. My brother who has lots of experience with these type of extreme races warned me; be prepared to fight hard , we all have some darkness inside and it will be there to try to make you quit in many ways , you have to be stronger than this.
He was right, and I felt it for the first time at 50 km, where the check point for the people who were doing the Half Island challenge was. Needless to say, a part of me wanted to stop with them rather than go on for another 56 km. At night time it became especially hard: alone in the dark with only the light from my frontal torch, my body tired, but each km bringing me closer to the end.
At 86 km, I knew I had done so much already that I couldn’t stop. I knew I would be able to finish but there was still a 4 hour walk to go. At 96 km I was so close to my goal but also listening to that little voice inside my head telling me to lay down in the grass and close my eyes for a while…
But I did not quit, I told myself I came here to finish it, and I did after 23hrs:24min, finishing #120 out of 500 in my category. It was by far the physically and mentally hardest hours of my life, but at the same time it brought me that very unique feeling, the feeling that I had overcome my fears and doubts and that I had conquered this challenge!
Inspired? See what challenge you could take on.