‘If you start to feel good during an ultra, don’t worry, you will get over it,’ Gene Thibeault
No truer words were ever spoken than these, frankly, terrifying ones uttered by Gene Thibeault, an ultra marathon runner.
Most people, possibly the sane among us, think we probably understand this quip but speak to anyone who has run an ultra marathon in tropical heat and they will soon realise that they probably have no real grasp of what real pain is.
Short of being actively tortured, a 51km run across a hilly island in the heat is about as close as you can get unless you are in really quite spectacular shape. This is not an event for the faint-hearted.
However, it is a bit of an inspiration. Marathons are super impressive but ask anyone who has completed their 42km course if they fancied another 10km on top, over a hilly course, and I imagine you would get more punches to the face than affirmative answers.
Anyone who is mad enough to take this challenge on and then to be crazy enough to complete it deserves a lot of respect and at least a couple of cocktails on the house.
The KRyS Global Tortola Torture is arguably the best-named event in sport and will take place on April 25. Starting in the dark at 5am, runners will have to cover almost every inch of the island, including approximately 2km of ascents, one of which weighs in at a ludicrous 37% gradient. That is Tour de France stuff. On foot. In the heat. After 31km.
Described by race creator and organiser Richard Morgan as ‘scenic’, runners will start in Road Town, head to West End, north to Windy Hill, down to Cane Garden Bay, up and down to Brewers Bay, and Hawksnest before kicking for home via Little Mountain on Beef Island before presumably crawling over the finish line at Trellis Bay. Scenic it certainly is. I can think of another adjective beginning with S that could fit just as well!
Route found here: http://www.plotaroute.com/routeprofile/22561
All jokes aside, this is a fantastic event and one which will bring a lot of bravery, endurance, physical and mental strength to the island. Best of luck to all the competitors.
BVIslanders, please go out and support these titans and cheer them all the way to the finish.
For more information, please visit the race website on www.tortolatorture.weebly.com