The end of the year is approaching fast, and more restrictions are back in place across the UK thanks to Covid-19. The 4th of December should have been my final (and only) race this year. When the new lockdown in England was announced, I assumed the race would be cancelled. Admittedly, party of me was glad about that. Little did I know that the organisers decided to just postpone by a month. The new race date is 2nd of January 2021!
With the changed date, a few further modifications were made. Most notably, the start time has been pushed to midday instead of 6am. While that means I can drive down in the morning and don’t need accommodation the night before, it also means running most of the route in the dark. The thought of being out on the hills and in the bogs by myself in the pitch black is slightly terrifying. I have started running in the dark with my headtorch though in preparation.
With travelling from Scotland to England being off limits now, I am glad that I have already checked out most of the route before. Back in early September, I had gone for an overnight fastpacking trip by myself to see the first and last bit of the route. And just before the new lockdown, James and I had been on a two day hiking trip to check out the rest. Although I know what’s awaiting me, I am still nervous about the race.
It’s not so much the elevation which is frightening me. Compared to the Scottish highlands, the Cheviots are neither high nor steep. It’s more about the distance and time. My training hasn’t gone quite to plan recently, and I don’t feel well prepared. The fact that probably ten hours or more will be spent in the dark isn’t helping. The only thing I can do now is train, but I can’t make up for lost training. Over Christmas, I’ll let my body recover with plenty of treats, and then I’ll be race-ready in the new year. At least I hope so.