It's the weekend of the iconic Fellsman coming up. Such is the resurgent interest in ultras, it has filled to capacity for the first time in a very long time. It isn't many years since they were imploring us to enter early because it was teetering on the brink of viability! It was teetering when I first did it in 2003 (at least we had floor space in the hall to sleep), but it has gone from strength to strength since then.
This 2003 picture was taken by Jim Goodman at the top of Ingleborough using the disposable camera he bought in the shop in Ingleton after the race start. I have Jim to thank for persuading me to do it and for my original route notes, which worked amazingly well considering I was running without any prior experience of the area.
The Fellsman is one of the major events in the ultra-running year that demands great respect and whose prospect instills apprehension, even fear, in its participants (especially if the forecast is foul like this year). It's more extreme than most and it's been around for longer than most as well - nearly 50 years! Yours truly of invalidated status was registered but obviously won't be taking part, but I will be there to wave goodbye to the group I was to have accompanied, then help out behind the scenes as required by The Committee-ee-ee-ee-ee. I'm quite looking forward to it. I'll be taking the usual pictures, though by necessity they will be somewhat limited in scope. Watch this space.
I received an email reminder today from the UTMB organisation that I have still not submitted my medical certificate, as if I didn't know :-( It has to be submitted before the end of this month. In any case the doctor would never sign me off. As I sit here resting my useless limb on my computer case for relief, it is dawning on me that this year really is going to be a write-off. Running remains a pipe dream when walking is still uncomfortable and cycling is downright painful. The chances of me getting repaired and having regained sufficient fitness to even walk the TDS are non-existent. I so hope I can be repaired eventually....
I finish with a glimpse of happier times, a picture taken by Karen McDonald of Runfurther at last year's Fellsman. (Karen = superwoman = my hero :-)