75-100km. The final stage!
Leaving the rest stop at 75km, we stepped out into a glorious morning, albeit a vey cold and frosty one. The sun was just beginning to rise. It was 4.30 in the morning and tiredness was starting to kick in. I put in my earphones to listen to some music and was soon quite far ahead of the rest of the team. I felt a little bad, but knew I had to go at my own pace or I would start to flag to soon to the end.
I turned on my phone as there was no longer the need to reserve the battery. All through the challenge every time I turned on my phone I was inundated with messages of support and this was no different even though it was the night. One message spurred me on in particular. The team member that pulled out with the sprained ankle, had been taken to the 82km point, and after being treated by the medics was keen to carry on to the finish. Exciting news!
I carried on eager to meet up again, and met our old friend mud again. This was in a section I had trained in so had been expecting it, as it had been muddy before the rain, this was probably similar to the night section, but much shorter so at least I took a snap or two to give an idea of what the conditions had been like.
Reaching the 82km rest point my team member was waiting for me, so it felt great to be cheered and and have a welcome hug. As I was in front of the rest of the team I made the most of the offered leg massage, but it was so good that I made sure everyone else had one too, before we all once again set off as a full team.
Myself and my rejoined team member were soon out ahead again and we hit the steepest hill of the course Streat Hill, the one I slightly feared as it had put me out of training for a week with Achilles problems. Reaching the summit, we knew we were close to the end as the Brighton Football stadium was in sight. We had also heard that there was an extra rest point at 94km. Looking back we couldn’t see the rest of the team, feeling a little sad that we might not cross the line together, the two of us decided to push on. I wanted her to cross the line as she had been so amazing to carry on with the sprained ankle.
Climbing the final hill we could see Brighton Race Course in the distance and knew we were getting closer. We also knew it was an illusion and would feel like the longest 5km of the challenge. As we finally got closer we were on the race track and going around the bend, we could hear the supporters cheering and the organisers talking us in.
Crossing the line, we had our medals put around our necks and could hardly believe that we had done it. Meeting friends and family we sat down and waited for the joyous moment when the rest of the team crossed the line. I await the official times to be released any day soon, but am very proud to have been part of such a well organised event full of truly inspirational people!