Matt’s experience of 100k

Wow, we made it!

I’d like to start out by saying a BIG thank you to our support crew comprised of Jo, Sarah and Andy, there was no ‘four king hell’ of a way that I would have been able to do this without them.  I’d also like to thank Paul for coming up with the idea and to all of the team mates for putting in the hard work to get this done.

Before the event, I was both excited and nervous to what was ahead.  I knew I could do it, or at least, I thought I knew.  We went through our supplies together and we received am electronic wristband for swiping in at each checkpoint.  Then we were off!  The first few checkpoints went by quite quickly in my opinion, that or the later checkpoints are marked with pain and emotion.  We listened to music, came up with silly lists of ‘top ten actresses’ or ‘who would be in your ‘celebrity family’, anything to pass the time and make things fun.

By the mid-point people were hurting a bit, but everyone tried to stay optimistic and kept pushing on.  The first 2/3rds of the trip went well for me however, Paul strained a ligament in his ankle between checkpoints 6&7.  On the slow trip back up the hill to checkpoint 7, I could feel the morale of the team drop considerably and morale is all you have in a challenge like this.

For me, checkpoint 7 was the toughest checkpoint of the trek.  Paul needed to rest his ankle and take some anti-inflammatorys, it was cold and dark, our muscles were cramping, Pete’s feet were badly blistered and Alex’s knees had had enough.  My main focus was on Paul and his ankle and it was very emotional for me (and him of course) when I had to tell him that there was no way that he would make our remaining 20 mile journey on a sprained ankle, especially in our allotted time.  Pete was starting to doubt himself as well and I was getting worried that everyone was falling to pieces.  Peter, Alex and I said our good-byes to Paul and the support crew and headed towards #8 just before sunrise.

#8 was a quick stop, refill our water, had a quick bite to eat then off to the longest leg of the challenge, and it was tiresome.  By this time, we have done approx. 46 miles and the 3.5 hour journey really got to me.  Shooting pains in my feet and legs, and just generalized pain all over.  Towards the end of leg 8, Alex’s knees were so bad on the down-climb that she needed help towards the end.

After assessing Alex’s knees at #9, we had to persuade Alex not to continue on to the 10th and final checkpoint before the finish line, she objected, but her knees were just too damaged to continue.  Pete and I regrouped at this point and made the decision to blitz the next checkpoint and head to the finish regardless of pain.  I drank a bunch of water, ate a couple cereal bars, left my overweight backpack and replaced it with Paul’s camelback and we were off with a renewed vengeance.

I was on a new high, I could sense the finish line drawing near.  We managed to make the 3.5 mile journey to #10 in an amazing time of 50 minutes considering we have already done 55 miles.  We took a small break and headed up the hill for our final approach to the finish line.  On the way, we got a phone call from Alex, the Gurkas refused to take her electronic wristband and they wanted her to finish with the team since she has already done 95% of the walk.  Pete and I met up with Alex towards the end and the three of us tiredly walk towards the finish line.

img_0024.JPGWe did it.  We met up with our support crew and Paul to receive our medals, take pictures and eat a great curry meal cooked for us by the Gurkas themselves

Would I ever do it again?  NO   I’m I glad I’ve done it?  YES

At last, I’d like to thank myself.  I found out exactly what was in the 30 mile black box (see blog: Sooooo close).  Along with those I listed, I’d like to add number 3. An overwhelming feeling of satisfaction.

One Person has left comments on this post

» Peter said: { Jul 21, 2008 - 06:07:16 }

Just for the record, Mr Ketterling, I always doubted myself! This didn’t just magically kick in at checkpoint 7! We did it though… YAY!