Pilgrim Challenge 02/02/2013
The alarm went off at 5.10 am and I slipped from bed already dressed. I quickly got my kit together and set off to catch the 309 to Bethnal green as the district line was down. I got to Morden really early and got a coffee and a pie from a newsagent. It seemed very cold in Morden I was quite frozen by the time I was actually due to meet sandy and Marie. The drive to Farnham was pretty short and we arrived at the place about an hour before the start. We had time for a couple of coffees and a 9 bar, and said hello to tom and Daniel and Simon. Who were also running it in preparation for the marathon de sables. I was wrapped up pretty warm for the start with a full set of thermals and big gloves and a big jacket and t shirt and jumper. We took a slightly different route to start as the North Downs Way was waterlogged. We started off pretty well and kept leapfrogging around tom's group and chatting to them. It turns out that we were on the easy part of the course. As it was quite flat and relatively mud free. As we moved into the second half of the course things changed significantly. We had to deal with 268 steps of Boxhill which caused Sandy a problem and then there was a lot of mud. My neoprene socks worked well though and I managed to get through the mud without falling over. It did slow us down a lot however and it proved tough on Sandyís knee which eventually gave out at about 25 miles and we had a very long walk in. It started to get dark and extremely cold I had all my kit on and my snood over my ears. But we made it to the school before it got really dark and celebrated with a couple of bottles. Tom and his team had arrived about half an hour early and had got a warm spot. I didn't realise till later that when I set up the new camp bed near the door that I had picked a very cold spot. We had dinner of Bolognese and crumble and custard which went down well and watched a couple of bits of rugby on the big screen, but we didn't stay for the motivational talk. Lights went out about 10pm and I got colder and colder eventually waking up with 5 tops on and with 2 coats draped over me. Not a great nightís sleep.