Toby vs Devil’s Punch Bowl Ultramarathon
Hi all. It’s your friendly Group Chairman here. As part of our HQ fundraising, I am doing some walking!
In some ways, I have been preparing for this my whole life.
I have really enjoyed all manner of outdoors activities through the years including camping, cycling, hiking, and kayaking. You might think that a quick gambol across the fields near Hindhead is surely nothing to write home about.
A more sensible view is that I have not been preparing for this at all.
Modern life is busy, right? As I spend most days sitting and typing, or sitting and thinking about typing, my physique is not quite what it once was, and my fondness for Malbec and cheeseboards definitely doesn’t help things.
Anyway, the fact remains that on Sunday 10th Feb 2019, I will be dragging my legs around the Surrey Hills in an attempt to complete the 50th Devil’s Punch Bowl Ultra. I reckon it is going to be pretty darn difficult. The current weather forecast is for rain all day. Yay.
For the uninitiated, an ultramarathon is technically anything longer than a regular marathon (26.2 miles). This one is just over 30 miles, but has the added attraction/challenge of being largely off-road, and routed over some nice hilly bits.
Like me, you may now be wondering how I ended up in this situation…
Well, last year I was at a charity fundraiser auction and some trail running training sessions with local leg-end Andy Nuttall were up for grabs. A somewhat uncharacteristic impulse to get fit compelled me to put in the winning bid; speaking to Andy after he suggested we work gradually on a long-term goal and mentioned this annual ultramarathon. The slight snag was that it is the 50th one and might never be held again. We decided to change the slope of the training regime from gentle to vertical (i.e. turn up and simply hope for the best).
tl;dr – It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Anyway, if you fancy sponsoring me, then I will be very grateful. If you do this before I finish the thing or get taken to A&E, I will send you a personalised thank you video recorded at some point during the day. Aren’t you lucky?
All donations will go to charity.
Who gets the cash? Many will have been bored/inspired/triggered by my incessant talk about building a new HQ for my local Scout Group. It is desperately needed as the current one is really dilapidated. After ten years of effort, the Group is achingly close to completing a new facility but need one last tranche of money to see the project over the finish line. Please give generously. If you don’t I will have to sign up for Movember and nobody needs that it in their life.
You can see my progress on the tracking site.
I am participant number 9.
Sponsor Toby here:
The 50th Devil’s Punch Bowl Ultra is organised by the LDWA, an association of people with the common interest of walking long distances in rural, mountainous or moorland areas. Look like they know how to run a professional event, so I am looking forward to it.
Wish me luck!