I headed to Brisbane to do a bit of a recce on the August course for Last One Standing. And I love it! There is so much I love about it. This course is the perfect thing for me. Here's why:
OK. So this is perhaps one of the stupidest things I have gotten myself into. I stumbled across this peculiar race called a Backyard Ultra where you run 6.7km every hour... until you're the Last One Standing!
How I came about this is through my fascination with The Barkley Marathons and it's co-founder, Lazarus Lake. Both are absolutely nuts. The Barkley Marathons were designed 30years ago so that no one could ever complete it. In its history, only 13 have. Each time someone finishes it, the next year the course gets harder. The starter's signal is Laz lighting a cigarette. Nobody runs at the start as they disappear out of sight. It's an unwritten rule. Nobody wants to show Laz they are doing it easy. You get the point? They are both nuts. There is a great doco on it. You NEED to watch it.
Laz came up with the concept of the Backyard Ultra 50years ago. He ran his first 12years ago and now it is in 30 countries. The winner of BYU around the world get a golden ticket to be part of Big's Backyard Ultra, held on Laz's property. And who is Big? Well, that's his dog, of course.
The concept is really simple. Run 6.7km every hour. Do it faster, you get more of a break before the next 6.7km starts. Do it too fast, you burn up. Do it too slow, you don't recover enough to do the next. Why 6.7km every hour? It's 100miles in 24hours. Simple. Yet crazy. The record stands at 70 laps (hours). Ridiculous, but also I find this extremely alluring.
Why am I doing this? My Channel Swim will take me about 22-24hours but I had no way of testing my mental strength. Until I saw this. I figure I could run that far in an hour. I'm not a good runner, particularly because I have short stumpy legs and weight 84kg. Oh, and I'm a swimmer who hasn't used his legs for a number of years because of my distance swimming. But I just thought, if I can string together some consistent runs, I could make it to 24hours. I hope. I actually have no idea. Will the body give in? Or will the mind? I know how to suffer but this is a sport I have zero background in. Fingers crossed!