I have been rushing round like a lunatic this evening making sure everything is ready, and I think I can finally say that it is. I had to drop Michael George his bio-lamp back tonight as I expect that he will be needing this next week to aid recovery after what promises to be a very tight contest between the elite guys and girls. We then had to drop the kids off at my in-laws as those regular followers will know that both Caroline and I are walking this year.
My food is finally prepared and packed, clothes (lots of) packed, and kit ready to go, it's just a crying shame that the weather looks like it's going to be awful. The rain is currently bouncing off the windows and it's blowing a hoolie. Hopefully the wind will blow the rain clouds well over and out of our way, but that's just wishful thinking I'm afraid. The 10 o'clock news forecast is about to come on and I'm waiting with baited breath. That said, I am prepared for all conditions, but after harping on about it in the past, I think I'll be safe to leave the factor 20 at home - more's the pity!
So thoughts turn to the race itself, experience tells me that nerves settle quickly whilst there is the hustle and bustle from the NSC down the TT access road and on towards Braddan. Remember to look over your shoulder as you climb the Ballahutchin as regardless of where you are, there will be a sea of bodies around you, and it really is a sight to behold and hammers home the magnitude of the event. Paces settle on the long climb to the Braaid, and the field starts to spread out nicely. On to Santon where you check in for the first time, and the race begins to feel real. The next 3 churches come along quickly, and for a good number of walkers their participation comes to an end.
Next comes the equal longest stretch between any 2 parishes and the most talked about climb on the whole route - the dreaded Sloc, but in actual fact from bottom to top is actually less than a mile and a half, so remember if you're struggling, chances are within 20 - 25 minutes it will all be over, and from then it's literally all down hill to Peel (ok, apart from Glen Maye).
From Peel onwards, the real test of stamina and mental toughness begins, as evening draws in and numbers thin out it really is a test of mind over matter. For those of you aiming for a finish, you will spend a period walking in the dark, and this is a really good time to make sure you are grouped up or have regular dialogue going with people around you otherwise it can get very lonely.
I haven't managed to finish the right side of daylight as yet, but that is my aim this year, and I'll tell you on Sunday whether or not I managed it.
Right forecast is on right now, so here goes........
Looks like it will be dry for the start through to about midday, but then a dirty great rain cloud will empty its contents until about 4pm by which time it has moved east, and hopefully as we'll be on the west coast by then, it may be dry. Night time looks hideous with torrential rain from around 7pm.
A couple of games to share with you that I have always found passes the time...
1) Count the roadkill - always a favourite and see how long you can keep it going.
2) Count the car numbers on people's vests. As obvious as which numbers are which, you can guarantee that there will be some individuals walking that put their support car numbers on their tops. WHY? Anyway, it makes for good fun counting those that clearly havent inspected the contents of their brown envelopes. For those that haven't, below is a simple and easy to follow guide of what to do
It's not rocket science!
So good luck to all of you, I'm off to bed now for some serious z's as I sincerely hope not to be going to bed again til Sunday morning.
Just one last thing, give this song a blast before you leave the house, I can guarantee it will get the adrenalin pumping.........
See you bright and breezy !!!