It all built up to this day, four months of early starts, running in the rain, failing, falling, laughing and occasionally questioning if it was all going to be worth it.
Well, we were all soon to find out!
It was Thursday night when we left for the Blue Mountains.
Like the days leading up sleep was hard to come by.
It was as uneven as the trail that I had running around in my mind at night.
I sat there, eyes closed imagining the start up Cliff road and back again then down the Furber steps — and across Landslide — then into the Golden Stairs and up to the first checkpoint.
It was there in my dreams I imagined how it would feel getting to Ironpot Ridge with the phenomenal views I remember so vividly from the training camp.
And then deep into the unknown, a vague recollection of valleys and steep climbs, with water crossings and then.. Nellies Glen … the big challenge.
I had not seen it before, never stepped upon its gradient and so this was lost in my preparation and who knew if that would break me on the day.
I fast forward in my mind to the 50 km section, down again into the Giant Staircase hugging the cliff line as you look out onto the mass valley beside you.
You pass the refreshing and inspiring Wentworth falls and then, for most, into the dark you go … into the unknown of the night…
Down into Kedumba pass, a fast long winding tunnel lit only by your head torch.
Where your legs are weary but you hope your heart is still strong.
Then we start to climb again seeing flickers of other runners headlamps, like cats eyes guiding the way up and up to Leura forest, we have already run over 90km.
The heart pounding, the body screaming out and the mind shouting… Go, Go!
Then the Furber steps await.. the final challenge, the candle on the cake.
We pull up hard against the rails. Each step a step closer. Each moment one to savour.
You start to hear something, the crowd, the cheers. You see the lights, you see the finish line, the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and arms, this rush drives through your body and mind.
You are as alive as you ever could be.
And then, I am asleep.
I wake with a freshness, a state of calmness that seemed to be with me … today we set off.
Today we run the UTA 100.