I’ll tell you about the challenge itself and what makes it special. I’m Richard, the race director of Beyond Marathon. I used to race multi-stage races all over the world. Multi-dayers bring unique challenges to distance running. The power of recovery and your mental strength are key. Running an ultra every day for a week, with a double distance half-way through the week, whilst carrying your food and kit, is pretty tough. the old saying of “These races are 95% mental, and the rest is all in your head”, is true. I believe more or less anyone can physically train themselves to take on a multi-day ultra, but it’s the mental game you have to win. Knowing that when you finish stage 1, you go to bed and have to do the same thing all over again the next day, except further.
You had a tough stage 1, you didn’t sleep well, you are in your sleeping bag, it’s a cold morning on the dawn of stage 2; You ache, and someone in the next tent shouts “It’s Groundhog Day!”. Yes, you get to do it all again. Some don’t make it past stage 1. In fact day 2 and day 3 have the biggest drop out rates because the fear of day 4 means they throw in the towel. Stage 4 is a double-distance day, and it’s got more hills than any other stage. It takes mental toughness to get yourself ready for the start line every day, knowing you will be doing this again and again.