14,000 years of human evolution have prepared you for one incredible race
Running should be the most natural thing in the World. It used to be. It isn’t any more. These days you have to worry about so much. Are your shoes the right kind? Small drop, no drop, Hokas, trail, road runners, fell shoes… it goes on
Then there’s the clothes; cotton, tech fabric, compression, heat gear, cold gear, calf guards…..seriously?
When did drinking water get complicated? Am I a salty sweater, which electrolytes, high-carb drinks, caffeine, glucose, sucrose, fructose, fuck knows? What you drink it out of isn’t straightforward either; bladder, hydration vests, hard bottles, soft flasks, tubes, chest mounts, smart straws?
…and eating too? gels, bars, xx milligrams of carbs every 20 minutes, low fat, high fat, fat adapted, eat a fried breakfast, or don’t eat anything at all?
If you are thirsty, drink water, if you are hungry, eat anything. You’ll be just fine, honestly
Then there’s the technology; Selfies on the course, Facebook updates at every CP. My route didn’t record online…well it never happened. Are my carbon poles light enough, should they fold, or be telescopic? Does my GPS watch last long enough, will it tell me how fast I am going, how many calories I am burning, what’s my heart rate, my VO2 max, where the hell am I and which way shall I go?
See all of that above? It’s gone…..It’s time to unplug, and devolve.
If you are accepted as suitable, you’ll present yourself at registration in Chepstow. There is no kit check, because you won’t have any.
There is no safety briefing. If you are looking for a waiver to sign, there isn’t one. You are here because you want to be, and you are on your own. There is no medical support; if something breaks, patch yourself up (or pick it up) and carry on. After everyone has registered, you will all stand around the edges of the room, facing in. In the centre of the room will be a very modest pile of the latest technology, from 14,000 years ago. There will be furs, bits of leather, sticks, flint. When the conch horn is blown, it’s a free for all; a melee. Survival of the fittest to:
- Run and grab what you can
- Dress yourself if you can fashion something
- Make yourself some foot wear or protection, or just run barefoot
- Take/make something to help you find, or kill food
After you have taken what you can, you will depart on a 100 mile race, broadly following the direction of Offa’s Dyke, North (you make your own route) to finish in the town of Montgomery.
The rules are as follows:
- No maps. You’ll find your own way
- No phones, no GPS, no technology at all
- No food to be taken with you. The only food you can eat is what you can forage, or kill, en-route
- No money can be carried, nothing can be purchased
- No clothes or any kind of equipment, other than what you find in the room when the conch is blown
- No outside help, no support team
- There are no checkpoints, there is no shelter en-route. No one will come looking for you if you don’t get to the finish on time (42 hours limit)
You are stripped back to basics. Has evolution prepared you to survive, or have you grown soft on 21st Century living? Wouldn’t you like to find out?
Should you make it to Montgomery, there won’t be a medal waiting for you. You’ll get a handshake and you’ll walk a little taller than when you started.
How can you take part? The cost is a token £14; that’s £1 for each of the last thousand years of human evolution. Fill in the form, including a letter to tell us why you should be accepted? The 50 people who convince us hard enough that they can devolve for 42 hours will be invited to take part in…..