25th August, 2016
This is the strapline for the Fitbit Fifty, but I can't really see there being much sleep!
"On Friday 30th September two teams of 6 will attempt to run and cycle from Buckingham Palace to Edinburgh Castle AND back, within 50 hours - a feat never previously attempted".
Obviously when I saw this advertised, in the haze of post-race blues from the Transalp 7 day MTB Stage Race, I had to apply! I *may* have initially neglected to mention it to Steve on the assumption that I had no chance of winning!
The entry form for the competition to take part and win a ton of Fitbit goodies and kit included questions about previous events and also PBs for certain distances. I decided honesty was the best policy and declared my feebly slow 10km time and expressed concern over my running in the "what are you most nervous about?" question.
I was delighted to get the call from Coach Magazine (which I nearly missed due to lack of signal while away camping!) and find out I had been shortlisted! I immediately went for a run and purchased new running shoes! Fortuitously I took my phone with me the following week when out for a run and received the call to say I was in!
A week later I am on the train to London to the kick off meeting at Dennis Publishing wondering what I have done and feeling extremely nervous. Feeling old, fat, mummsy, hot (it was 29 degrees) and a bit of fraud, I worried about meeting the other super fit people who would be in my team, concerned I would be the weakest link.
The meeting room was full of Coach Magazine staff, representatives from Fitbit Fifty and from Human Race who are organising the event and logistics, as well as coaches including the world famous Greg Whyte OBE, photographers and videographers, plus 10 of us crazy people who actually have to do the challenge (this 10 included the 2 reserves, so we haven't actually met 4 of the particpants at all!). It was exciting and terrifying to hear more about the challenge, be given the training programme (OMG!!), have my teammates revealed (which they saved until last and who are all lovely!), be photographed and filmed for soundbites for the magazine as well as being filmed fighting with the packaging of my lovely new Fitbit Surge.
Some of the details are yet to be finalised, but we start with a 10km run to Olympic Park before riding 207 miles to York in 2-up formation (2 people must ride together for a minimum of 1 hour while the other 4 rest/refuel/cry/laugh in the support van); another 10km group run takes us along disused railway before a very 'lumpy' ride of around 200 miles to Edinburgh (again 2-up). We run into / out of Edinburgh Castle, which is another 10km, before retracing our steps/pedal strokes all the way back to Buckingham Palace!
You can read more about the route here.
As a team we are responsible for deciding our strategies and planning how best to tackle the event and the transitions to ensure an average speed of around 30kph on the bike legs. We also need to plan our sleep (ha ha!) strategy and decide things like who will ride during the witching hours. Everyone will run 50km and if the pedalling is shared equally, each rider will do 16-17 hours on the bike, but we can flex this depending on abilities (the rules say a minimum of 6 hours for any rider).
Oh and we only have just over 5 weeks to train and get ourselves organised..........
Super excited! Bring it on!