Folks, here is a message from John:
Firstly can you pass on our thanks to the whole of the Exige community for it’s continuing support and encouragement – and of course it’s amazing generosity.
£68.75 was raised at Anglesey just from the contributions given for the sew-on “Con But Not Forgotten” patches.
Then on the Just Giving website the flood of donations has been phenomenal – the comments on both the Just Giving site and on the Exiges.com site were great too – many thanks. We are now at over £3350 which is brilliant – so thank you again.
It is wrong to mention individuals but I would like to thank “IDG” for kindly allowing me to use his avatar for the sew-on patches, “Mr Pesky” for creating the postings on the website and for “Benja” for advertising the event on his in-car footage of Anglesey. But please a collective gratitude to all of those who voiced support, posted support and donated. It was great knowing you were all behind me.
After the amount of support, the generous donations and for the very reason of doing the event – in memory of Con and raising money for Cancer Research - there was no way I could come home and not have finished it.
Please see my notes of below – they may not be totally coherent as even after a week I am still tired and not thinking straight.
By way of an update……
Yeah finish! and it was a tough as it was billed – a full 6 marathons in 6 days – “The Toughest Foot Race on Earth.” In some respects it was even tougher than I had fully expected - the hottest day just had to be the day of the double marathon with temperatures of 54C in the shade! On that day I drank the full 21 litres of water allowance and only had to stop running once for a pee. The mountainous nature of the course was greater than I expected too – a lot of time was sent hauling oneself up sandy and rocky inclines – the biggest being 1000 feet straight up from a salt pan. Each day just then got harder as the mileage built – you also started to deplete your own reserves as you were burning off in excess of 5000 calories per day but only eating 2000. Despite all the pain I enjoyed every single minute of it.
The MdS I have to save is the most impressive thing I have seen in ages – 1100 competitors from 50 countries – it being the premiere ultra-marathon race in the world – it rightly attracts the best of the best who are out to prove they are the best. The event also allows entrants from mere mortals [this is where I step in] – it did feel like competing at the Olympics and wondering why I was there, do I have a right to be there and being a bit overawed by the other phenomenal athletes.
The race organisers here need special praise – despite the madness of it all the dropout rate is small. Now this to a huge part is down to the individual – you do not go and spend the not inconsiderable sum of the entry fees on a whim – you have to know you stand a chance of physically and mentally completing it beforehand. Having then spent the money you train like mad to ensure you get the finish you want. But it does go wrong – and some cases quite badly. This is where the organisers and their medical team come to the fore – to sort out those unfortunate enough to suffer from heat stroke, sun stroke, dehydration or no skin left on the bottom of their feet [not said in jest this – some people had lost all the skin off the bottom of their feet!]. The medical team had a philosophy of patching these guys up and sending them back out again. One Australian I had spoken to quite a few times lost it on the last day – at check point 2 he was dragged into the shade and given 4 litres intravenously – then sent back out to finish – he got to the finish line and they then gave him another 7 litres intravenously. The medical tents were massive at the overnight stopping points – and whenever you went past them there were queues out the door and round the block – it was a place I was keen to avoid, but not always successfully.
People have asked what my high and low points were – the low is easy – the start of the last marathon as it was all soon going to end. Yes you go through some doldrums and have the odd sense of humour failure [the best seeing the first of a series of three mountainous ridges to climb over – knowing they get bigger each time]. The lowest physical point being on the day of the double marathon in the 54C heat – I was getting the early signs of heat stroke, several miles still to go to the check point, no shade at all and feeling the effects of calorie depletion. The high point has to be the euphoria of the finish where the culmination of all the hard work prior to the event and the grafting during the event comes to an end - and then of course the reasons for doing the event – namely in memory of Con and to raise money for Cancer Research.
Post-race - generally feeling a bit tired now I have got back and the adrenalin has worn off, but otherwise all ok – no blisters, no joint issues – not bad for an old man.
Final position 752 out of the 1100 starters.
Very best wishes,
It’s not too late to donate if you haven’t done so already Beth McLaughlin is fundraising for Cancer Research UK
And finally, here’s a great photo of the event’s Boss/Organiser: