So why LiaD?
I turned 40 this year and had been thinking of a new challenge for quite some time. Something that would push me to my limits, something that would fill me with fear like a marathon used to do. I’m not saying its the norm now not to get a little nervous or apprehensive before running a marathon but once you’ve completed your first 26.2 miles you always have that in the back of your mind. I accept that not all races are the same and each brings its own challenge, but knowing that you’ve run the distance before takes that uncertainty away. I’ve also completed an ultramarathon; the Stort 30 in Hertfordshire, again, something I never thought possible when I first started running but once you’ve crossed the finish line of a 30 mile event, you know the distance is achievable. Could I go further, 50 miles, 75 miles, 100 miles…..?
I’d toyed with the idea of a triathlon in the past, something I’d never actually got round to doing but always wanted to give it a go. My issue was, I know I would set the barrier too high and would probably jump straight into a half/ironman which would end disastrously! The run and bike would be doable (I say as someone who’s never done one!) but the swim scares me too much and is way out of my comfort zone! I used to think I was a good swimmer until I went swimming once with my wife. It soon became apparent that whilst she was gliding through the water effortlessly, I on the other hand was splashing around uncontrollably trying to keep up! Too much time dive bombing as a kid rather than swimming lengths I imagine!
Another option was to run a marathon or ultramarathon abroad. It’s definitely something I want to do one day but with a young family and it’s associated costs (childcare, food, out-of-school activities and yes, food again (I have 3 boys who eat for England!!!), financially its just not the right time.
Which brings me back to LiaD…
My brother-in-law, a fell runner and all round great guy ran the LiaD last year but sensibly DNF’d after 30 miles due to a small storm – OK, ‘Storm Callum’ – battering the Lake District. There were reported winds of 60mph+ up on the fells and runners wading though knee length water for 20+ miles as Lake Windermere burst its banks – the pictures and reports were horrendous! In total 238 runners completed the course (astonishingly) whilst 139 runners DNF’d.
Anyway, not to be defeated he made the decision to sign up for it for the following year and asked me if I was interested. Initially, it was a straight NO! The next day he asked again, it was also a NO but with a little hesitation. By the third day I found myself pulling over into a lay-by on route to Norwich for work, on the day registration opened and signing up. I hadn’t told the wife. I spend the next 5 days working away reading every blog, race report and Facebook post worrying about what I had just committed to! The challenge had been set.