It’s always been my ‘thing’ to take on something every year that scares me. Ever since I received treatment for some unwanted cells back in 2011 I’ve wanted to remind myself of that buzz of just being alive. I’ve been running since 2012, my first event being London Marathon.
Obviously when Man v Horse was mentioned and knowing that horses terrified me it seemed absolutely perfect for this year’s little adventure. I run regularly and love the hills and mountains so training just consisted of a bit more of that. I had built up a strong base in my legs from running 50 miles last year and a 100 mile event (my scary race for the previous year) although I’d dropped off a little at the beginning of this year due to family, work and coaching commitments but that didn’t put me off. 22 miles of mud and hills are the stuff dreams are made of right?
I’ll be honest, leading up to the day I was a nervous wreck, plans to try and adapt to horses had fallen by the way side so I’d gone for my usual ‘jump straight in at the deep end’ approach.
As we stood watching the horse excitedly parade past, my panic began to escalate and I could feel my heart racing but thankfully I had two very good friends Karen and Ian at my side.
We set off and soon got into a nice pace, taking the up hills steady and enjoying the downs and views while we were at it. I’d almost forgotten that horses would soon be catching us up. That’s until I felt the ground start to vibrate beneath my feet.
The intensity built along with my terror but strangely as they reached us my fear dissolved and instead I felt that exhilaration and excitement that I’d set out to find.
That’s exactly why I run, the genuine buzz of being alive, of being there in the moment. It doesn’t get better than that, I felt totally at ease and my entire soul sung.
I adored this race and everything about it, the authentic atmosphere, the thrill of horses, the route, the hills that kept giving, the views and the friendship along the way. I’d encourage anyone to give it a go, the marshals are amazing and really look out for you. I’m hoping to be back next year without question.
If you’re inspired by Emma and her epic Man V Horse achievements, list your own challenge, find a crew to join you and achieve your own Man V Horse style goal this year www.challengechum.com/list-a-challenge/