At no point until day 1 did i ever question finishing 10 marathons in 10 days. As I sat in my room on day 1, only 1 question rang through my head: What am I doing here?
10 days later the answer was a lot deeper than I ever expected. 14 people can become ever so close in 10 days, a niggle is different to an injury and an injury is just that. And if you have the heart, passion and belief you can achieve absolutely anything.
My 10 in 10 journey seemed to have slapped me with bad luck on a daily basis, but it did not matter. I was there with the team and I knew as long as I made the start line, something would drag me around.
I have to congratulate Steve Edwards on achieving the World Record. As an example to discipline, dedication and focus, there probably is nobody better.
Michelle, the first lady to complete 10 marathons in 10 days became an inspiration to us all and got stronger and stronger as time went on.
Selina - Educated and calculated runner. To run through the pain and injuries she had was testament to the character of the person needed to complete this challenge.
Paul and Sue - Set off to become the first Husband and Wife team on the 10 in 10 challenge. Unfortunately a stress fracture after 6 marathons forced Sue to retire from the challenge. It was then that i really saw the bond between the two of them. Paul was devastated, Sue put on the bravest face and made a point of piling the rest of the pressure back onto Paul!! This too was so 10 in 10. Every setback was simply blasted with optimism, and for Sue to run 6 back to back and 1 on a stress fracture was simply incredible.
Ray - Marathon Ray o'Conner, apprentice to the special one and Celtic Brethren! The first Irish Man to run 10 marathons in 10 days and it could not have gone to a finer bloke! Laid back beyond horizontal, always laughing and joking in the pack, without him it would have been a different place. He also ran a PB on day 7 and if that does not scream tough guy then I am thin and tall!
Malcolm - The finest New Zealand, Canadian, scottish bloke I have ever met. I think i ran more with Malcolm than any other runner over the 10 days. Another very funny character that helped us all giggle our way through 10 days of serious agony. Malcolm is about to publish 2 books on long distance running, the psycology and what makes the 100 marathon guys tick. It will make a great read, but I am sure he could write 100 books on the experience he picked up over the 10 days.
George - Never have I spent 10 days with anyone and understood less than 10 words!! George is from Newcastle and everything is simply..... Champion! What a runner though. Steve made the biggest mistake by saying he was lonely up front every day!! Step forward George for a list of record times and serious hard running. Would get the award for the toughest runner in the pack.
Phil - What it would take to make this guy stop running is yet to be invented! Every hill Phil battered on a daily basis. Unfortunately his knee went around day 7, but still strapped and driven he ran strongly every day to post some of the quckest consistent times over the 10 days.
Jim 'Manic' Mundy - The Romantic runner, who simply skips his way around a marathon course with such ease it is kind of frightening! Jim scared a few of us on day 1 by collapsing over the line, going a strange blue colour and managing to keep the local paramedics busy! But day 2 there he was on the starting line once again, with that skip in his step and the air of not even knowing what he was going to do himself!
So when you meet a group of people like this, you will question what you are doing in their company. I certainly did, and always will wonder how and why. But I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to meet them, run with them, laugh with them and drink with them.