This venture started as a click on a funky looking Facebook video and ended in 16 laps, 31.6km and 2,755m of elevation gain over an extinct volcano in Edinburgh!
This event was hosted by MAD Challenges, a company that hosts events not for profit, but to raise "pledges" from people. "The whole point is not for people to sponsor you tons of money, but to pledge to make a small change – in a way that matters to them."
Personally this event was my step along a long rehabilitation road, nursing some Tendinitis in the knee. Incline was always what aggravated the condition so after quite a few months off I was looking forward to jumping in at the deep end with a few vertical laps!
However I was taking on the "baby" 6 hour challenge. When I arrived at the registration + refuelling hub some of the 24 hr and 12 hr runners were trudging on through on some understandably heavy legs! The staff and supporters there were fantastic motivators and kept everybody patched up, fuelled and moving forward. The route takes you from the base of the Crags at the southern entrance to Queens Park, takes you up to the start of the never ending zig-zaggin' staircase (gets extremely slippy when it rained), then up and round the right peak and finishing at the slightly shorter 2nd peak at the top. You came back down the same route with an extra few hundred meters on the bottom slopes.
I had a few different "success goals" in mind. 1st of all was just to go and have fun and do a few laps without any knee pain. After smashing through the 1st full lap in just under 15 mins, I already passed through this target. Road to full rehab was going well!
The 2nd goal, was to hit double digits and maybe chase down the 12 Lap Record set the year before. After completing 7 laps in 2 hours and still dancing and feeling good during the 1st refuel stop, I felt the 12 was inevitable! Time to take on some Active Root!
There was 1 main thing that kept me going through to lap 16 and the full 6 hours. It wasn't for myself, I already hit my 2 main goals and could have played it safe and stopped with hours and laps to spare. But it was seeing the outstanding will power and grit from other runners from all 3 races, still walking, limping and sometimes crawling up the side of the mini-mountain fighting for another lap, some after 23+hrs was incredible!
Plus, I still had to walk the dog!