It’s funny how things pan out, and with my focus so far this year being on qualifying for the World 100km Championships in September, I now find myself planning on competing on the trails. I’m not complaining as I do actually enjoy trail running, I just don’t consider myself to be particularly good to do myself justice in competition.
On Tuesday I had a call off Norman asking if I would like to do a 47 mile trail race in July to help me prepare for the 100k. I’m up for any challenge, and when he said that it would mean running in a GB vest, it suddenly dawned on me that it would mean competing in the World Trail Running Championships in Connemara, Ireland. Of course I was ecstatic – another opportunity to represent my country – and it would mean running across bog land and open moor, along country tracks and up mountains in the gorgeous Emerald Isles.
I’ve ran the trails before, competing in the very first World Trail Running Championships in Texas back in 2007 where I finished 3rd in a 50 mile event, and then of course there was the Swiss Alpine Mountain Marathon – 78km in the Swiss Alps – whilst closer to home I’ve done the Dovedale Dipper, Marlborough Downs 33 mile Challenge, and the Belper Rugby Rover.
I know there will be no pressure on me in Connemara but as ever I will still want to run at my best if I’m wearing a national vest. It’s probably a good thing that I have decided to do the Forest of Dean Ultra Trail Marathon on 15th May which also serves as a selection race for the Commonwealth Trail Championships later in the year and of course tomorrow I have the Kibblestone Clamber – not quite an ultra marathon but certainly a good start to get me used to running on the trails again!