“One of the world’s toughest
10 things people ask me about ETR…
Hills, hills and more hills. I thought the Pen Y Fan ‘Fan Dance’ route was perfect training.
If you live in a city, find tall buildings. We used St Guys hospital in central London. And go for long walks with your ‘non sporty’ pals, walking must be part of your training.
This is a hill climbers event, not a top speed race. Get out on hills.
You will suffer. But it will pass, and it won’t be constant. Unless you can go out to the mountains early, it will affect you. Mitigate this though good admin: stay hydrated, eat well, maybe take some electrolyte tablets, take it super easy when you finish each day.
It’s mostly quite temperate
With 1 morning/evening exception, the days are mild, shorts and t-shirt, (I added arm arm warmers some mornings) will do. I had a super light cycle gillet that I only used at the start on Pikey Peak. You spend evenings in the mess tent, so a decent down jacket and will suffice on top.
You will be well fed
If you have snack you especially like, by all means take it, but I wanted for nothing. Just keep your hands out of communal pop-corn germ bowls
Get good poles
They will be in your hands throughout, so you don’t need the lightest pair ever. Get ones with good, multi use handles. You Tube how to use them effectively. Bingo wings be gone!
You are in great hands
The size of the race means the race staff know you individually, and you feel safe and well cared for throughout. The Race Director is phenomenal, the Doctors really care and are impressive athletes themselves, and take time to talk to the Sherpas, they are humble and inspirational.
You can hire kit
I hired a top end sleeping bag. It was fairly large but I was so hot at night I didn’t have to wear, well, anything else at night.
Pay attention to the markings
EVERYONE went wrong at some point, pro’s included. Get over it, get back on the trail and stay alert. You will notice before long, and the locals are always helpful.
Don’t fear the yaks
Always overtake them on the mountain side, but they are docile beasts, don’t be afraid of going past them. And when you are stuck behind them, use the time to refuel, drink and recharge. Its not time wasted.
Most people will get a dodgy tummy at some point. Be ready for it, but stack the odds in your favour – don’t share food, water, and use hand sanitiser constantly from the day you arrive.