Friday, 23 April 2010

PROJECT L.... T minus Ninety-One days and counting

Primary objective: To complete the Lakeland 100, or UTLD (Ultra Tour Lake District).

Secondary objective: To finish uninjured and in a compos mentis state.

Training required: Endurance, field survival in hilly and exposed terrain, possibly hunting.

Risks: Death (fall, exhaustive collapse, dehydration, hyponatremia, exposure), serious injury, running-systems injury.

Reason: Glory, for Queen and country and to keep the british end up.

Background: Marathons, long fells runs, multi-day off-road marathons, One 50+ miler.

Preperation: Running at night navigating by stars, running a long way, birching myself daily, caffiene injections.

Extra detail:
I meet more and more runners who say "have you done 100 miles yet". Probably two this year, one last year and none ever before that. Whilst this is not something most people do I figure I should try and join this club to see what it is like. Sounds easy in writing, but its really quite a massive challenge and most people think I'm crazy. There are undoutably more millionaires than century runners. My parents and friends have gone from being supportive, or at least mock supportive to thinking I'm slightly obsessive over the last year or so.

Inititiating this as Project L is part to give it a military and disciplined feel so I can organise, strategise and battle my way around 100 miles in the most efficient manner possible. But mostly because it sounds like a James Bond supervillain style thing. I loved the over the top nature of James Bond villain plots over the years. And I figure if I can run 100 miles I can do nearly anything, including becoming a good supervillain (always looking for the next challenge) - I'm also partial to cats ;¬) please note the "best" Blofeld pictured above.

This weekends Three Peaks race - long an ambition of mine - will be my first challenge along the road to unleashing the results of project L on an unknowing and slightly bemused world. A hilly twenty+ run at a hard effort. The Fellsman two weeks later will be my second and longest long run for this and I don't take it lightly in its own right. A mostly off path run with navigationally and terrain challenges not seen in many events anywhere. I also plan on doing some recceing of the intended target in June. I'm still missing another long run in the run up though as Fellsman to UTLD is quite a gap, so I figure I'll do a long overnight run at some stage to work on the mental and physical aspects.

Its not all about long runs though. I'll be maintaining my Thursday night longer speed sessions with the club to maintain a social and hard pace aspect. I'll fill inbetween days with several longish runs. Which is why I was extra pleased to make a new discovery on a run out a few days ago, a little known section of trail that will now be known as Project L: Basecamp - pictured right.... no, just kidding thats another supervillains HQ, not mine - kinda cool though.

A great bit of, off map, wooded trail just out of the suburbs with some steep short climbs that I could rep on until the cows come home or undulate around linking on the nearby park. For those days when I fancy a change from long runs in hills - should that ever happen - this will be my own private testing round where I can run up and down repeatedly, all barely out of the earshot of "real life", but in my own private - and slightly surreal - world. One which I can run up a road, through a park, jump a gate and disappear into for half an hour or so, then return to a reality 30 minutes older, each time slightly stronger than when I left it.

Repeat after me "Mwu-ha-ha-ha Mwaaa-ha-ha-hah" (cough)


  1. love the post!
    though having just come back from the fling i certainly would never entertain a hundred (well not today anyway)
    im sure you'll do well and plan meticulously for it
    maybe a 'cunning plan' is required?

  2. I knew you were barking Danny and this confirms it!! And to make your post extra special I can sign off my comment as Mr Blofeld. I'm obviously a fan and part of a facebook group trying to connect all Blofeld's in the UK. I haven't found the connection yet between me and Earnst Stavros! will keep looking though... :-D

  3. UC - never say never, great flinging BTW.

    stu - Ha great! Long distant cousin perhaps? maybe he got into the world domination thing following on from ultra running?