Competing in an event like the X-Alps for the first time is quite intimidating as regards not only the physical training and flying knowledge side of the operation but in collecting together all the best gear to hopefully ensure a successful completion of the race.
I’ve spent the last 25 years of my working life working in the Outdoor Equipment Industry in the UK so over that time have built up many contacts and friendships which I must admit are now showing dividends. We have already benefitted from the generosity of Lyon Equipment the UK Petzl distributors by their donation of a lightweight Meteor helmet and another firm who have come up trumps are the sports nutrition specialists High5.
I worked alongside High5 for many years and they have supported me in my daft adventures so far and are now supporting Jon and myself with a veritable pack of goodies to help with nutrition during the X-Alps So alongside the gastronomic offerings that I shall be serving from the van each morning and evening Jon will also have the benefit of the best tasting and most efficacious of the UK’s sports nutrition including Energy bars, Isotonic and Energy Source drinks and Protein Recovery fluids. I must admit if his experience is anything like mine has been on using the products on endurance events, he will most certainly feel the benefits. They are scientifically proven after all.
As regards my own training, I’m assuming most of my physical efforts will be in walking up to take offs to help where necessary so I’ve tailored my running to be more fell running than flat. It helps living in the Dales as I can run across the valley and up to the top of Coombe Scar (You can see the gable end of my ‘ouse from ere). Last year at the peak of my Jungle Marathon training I was reaching the top in 32 minutes, best time this year so far is 35 minutes, so a few minutes of winter still to shake off.
I will not steal the thunder of Jon’s next blog entry but other big news is that he has secured sponsorship from his employers of a Camper Van. I’m going to call it Hannibal, after all he successfully crossed the Alps didn’t he. Not sure where we will put the elephants though.