Will Thames

swim, bike, run, tech

Nineteen Days to Go

Less than three weeks until the big day. Less than a week until we leave Australia for the UK en route to France. Pretty exciting times. We have our train tickets sorted for the trip from London to Grenoble, a hire car and accommodation through AirBnB.

As the running has been tapering down (particularly with some chesty cold thing I’ve had the last two weeks where running hasn’t felt like the most sensible of options) I’ve been ramping up the preparations for the race itself. I’ve also put in some good walking efforts, with 8 hours on the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk last weekend.

I now have a good idea of my planned checkpoint stops — where I’m planning to sleep (yes, this is the first race I’ve ever done where I’ve planned a nap), where I’m planning to have a main meal and where I’ll be refilling my bottles. I’ve checked the mandatory kit, and thankfully I have everything I need, and it’s all ready for packing.

Other than the last couple of weeks where I haven’t felt 100%, my training has been going well. I managed a training record week of over 110km (I have run further in a week, but only in weeks containing a 100km race), I did over 10000m of ascent in July (so as much ascent in a month as I plan to do in a race). There’s always more that could be done, but I’m just glad that my knees have survived the training (they’re feeling better than they have in months after a gentler week).

I’ve missed some race reports (Nerang 50km, Camp Mountain Ultra — ok, I was sole participant in that one) but I’ve been struggling to write anything down other than the odd Facebook update and run description on Strava.

Perhaps I should reentitle this ‘A runner’s apology’ — but hopefully my race performance will reflect the effort I’ve put in.

Month Distance Time Ascent
April 308.2km 35:45 9022m
May 269.3km 31:10 6568m
June 252.7km 26:00 3990m
July 360km 48:30 10785m

Race checkpoints spreadsheet — heavily adapted from the French original but with minimal translation. I’ve broken it down into theoretically supportable refreshment stops (just the name in green), planned supported checkpoints (row in green) and major stops (dark rows). Refreshment stops in red are unreachable by car. Other rows seem to exist for timing predictions (usually a change of gradient direction).