Our adventure starts when we assembled one early morning to run across the countryside.
The freshness of the morning, the early light of the day gently twinkling over the now melting frost- settled over the field from the previous night of cold; the atmosphere leaves one slightly dazed and joyous expectant of this new day.
The previous afternoon a gentle walk across the entire route was organized; hoping no one gets lost during the actual run (Idle villages and unflattering light)
But on this day: just as when the trepidation of the wait finally reaches a resonant frequency the sudden start is sounded.
One is never really ready.
Everybody sprints at the start;
scurrying feet trampling over the uneven field; squishing through the tiny inevitable water logged pockets hidden; thinking, is this all?
The mind slowly settles to become clear as the feet gradually get their accustomed strength.
None, I remember look back during these early moments of the race.
This was a race for those wanted it to be.
Its a joy to simply move your legs, take a step and another and nothing to worry about. The familiar routes are marked with checkpoints for safety and there is company around you. Running alongside.
Weariness seems bearable and reasonable.
A gentle trickle of sweat across your brow. Nothing to worry about, you brush it aside and keep running.
The gentle warmth of the sun keeps your cheer on. The destination pre-decided.
There is nothing to worry about, you soak in and keep running.
Almost suddenly, something strange begins to happen…
You only now begin to feel your pounding heart. What started as imperceptible has now become a growing fear;
the mind first realizes the fear; body’s need to slow down.
Slow down, slow down you are going too fast!
Your muscles feel sore, your face does crazy animations, your legs thud on the now paved roads. Arms ache due to the tensed strain. The pounding heart is now unchained…
Unbridled feelings of desolation and pity.
Now is when it starts, the body ready to give up.
But not just yet. No!
Fields to trample through, hills to climb over, shrubs to destroy, tall trees to run amongst, gates to jump over, winding roads to tackle, muddy landscapes to slosh through, people to motivate alongside.
A few cheers to and from a few; here and there. We sloshed through the mud, ran the hills laden with fallen trees, pushed through the bushes, bewildered wild thorns scrubbing our sides;
None, willing to brave on. To run the course!
When one’s sole desire is an ounce of moisture;
you taste the real sweetness of the cool surrounding mist.
When you feel the pain the animal within kicks in.
It is not impressed yet, it gently prods you on the shoulder and watches how you struggle with nothing.
It smirks at you. “Have you got it in you? “. You call this running?
Drenching ourselves with cold sweat. The running hoards now entirely turning into solo endeavors.
The pain breaks a crescendo; each gulp of air feels better than the last. There is never enough! There just isn’t.
The overwhelming desire to match with the animal ;
no; to be the animal.
When all your self ceases with fatigue
Your race, truly begins.
A dose of the beautiful vistas, the never ending horizons… a chance to see your true self.
The Prize: everything and more!