Finish Time — 06:31:17
Average Pace — 14:56 per mile
Steps Taken — 60,605
Mantra of the Day — “You can, you can do it!”
Once again, this morning I took the early start. My thoughts were full of the inspirational video from Class 4. If you haven’t watched this yet, you really should!
Grey day again today, but without the rain this time, which makes it marginally easier.
It was good to have Stuart’s company for a while, and then Toks and Davey. At the cypress stand before Devil’s Gallop I was warmed up, and decided to crank up the same slow but steady rhythm that I have been running at for the last two days.
Despite being so prudent, these early miles were tough for some reason. Reaching mile 10 ahead of schedule was a surprise, and I took my foot off the gas. Could I have continued at a 5:30 finish pace? Maybe, but today was too early to try it. I still wanted to give my ankle more time to recover, and my muscles more time to ease back into a higher pace.
As it turned out, my decision was the right one, and even the few miles I had run harder were quickly taking their toll. From Newby Bridge onwards, I had to fight for every mile. Not just physically — mentally as well. The doubts came crowding in, and the demons hid in the shadows whispering at me that I am not good enough for this challenge.
Arriving at Bowness I did a time-check and realised that I was in a position to match my Day 2 finish time. So I decided to go for it, and finished strong through Ambleside and up the Brathay driveway. The finish itself was intense, and hard to describe. Let’s just say it would be difficult to give that much every time…
As it turns out I bettered my Day 2 time by just 7 seconds, scoring my second best time of the event, and putting me at less than a minute from Davey on accumulated time since the beginning of the challenge. High drama in store at the back of the pack!
Brathay 10-in-10 is an extraordinary roller-coaster that swings you violently from pain, to elation, to despair, to amazing camaraderie — and back again. The ride leaves you with emotions as raw as if you had been skinned alive.
Today was hard, very hard. My finish time made me happy. But I am still very afraid of what the next two days hold. Many people here are talking about how Day 9 is the last “real” marathon, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and so on. Personally I cannot listen to any of this. The first 8 days have shown me that this course demands absolute, total respect. The physical and mental control required to get round are huge, bigger than anything I could have imagined. “Just” two days at Windermere is not something I take lightly, even with 8 already under my belt!