Brutal is about right. We were lashed by sheets of horizontal rain and battered by what felt like gale-force winds; the course was slippery and boggy and uneven, and I spent quite a bit of it on my arse. I’m told the promoters were very close to cancelling because the marquees were threatening to blow away, and there were a couple of clifftop moments when I thought I might actually get buffeted over the edge.
Despite the conditions, was it enjoyable?
Massively! For starters, I think we were all really excited about putting our long hours of training to good use. And there’s something strangely euphoric about charging through a howling blizzard – being battered by the elements gives you an added sense of triumph when you finally stagger over the finish line. I don’t think any of us would have missed it.
Any interesting anecdotes from the race or weekend?
It would be great to be able to furnish you with tales of post-race antics involving drunkenness and road cones and ill-advised tattoos, but the truth is we just found a local pub and had some hot food and a couple of beers. Even lifting a pint glass felt like a pretty major effort by then.
What was the best part about Project Trail?
The whole experience has been unforgettable – a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make it possible! The biggest thing I’ll take away from the process is ambition. I used to be happy if I was still standing after a race, but now I’m looking at longer distances, setting myself targets and thinking about where I’d like to finish.
So, what’s next? Project Ultra?
We were so sorry Project Trail was ending that we’ve started thinking seriously about Project Ultra, in which we’d build on what we’ve learned in order to tackle some serious distances. We’ll keep you posted!