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A New Challenge?

London Edinburgh London (LEL - 2021) 

I'm looking for a new challenge after my disappointment in Italy at the Maratona. 

Could this be the one?  

Well it's a very different event to the Maratona. It happens only every 4 years and will next happen in 2021. I'll be 50 that year. So LEL could be the one. 

It's around 1400kms of a ride with a 117 hour 5 minute cut off time (just under 5 days then) with 11128m of climbing. It leaves from London heading north and then North West before turning north east into Edinburgh. After turning south in Edinburgh it follows the same route back to London.


Why would anyone want to put themselves through that? It's a challenge without a doubt. It will require every ounce of discipline in training long distances, with little sleep, overnight riding and I imagine much solitude because frankly, who is going to put their hand up to join me in a training regime for such an event?

Two of my friends successfully completed the 2017 LEL event and I've met with one of them and read the blog of the other. And I think I can do it. It will challenge me to the limit (and address some of my demons from the Maratona) but I have 4 years to get myself ready. 

It requires endurance, massive physical strength and psychological fortitude, discipline, efficiency, a hunger to succeed in the face of a very broad range of things which may go wrong. I'll need contingency planning, technical gear, a different bike perhaps, a specialised luggage transportation system for the things I need with me, planning, planning, planning. Organisation. Feeling comfortable spending so much time on my own. In the day. Overnight. As I train. And as I take part in the event. It will require me to move out of my ' I can't function on less than 8 hours sleep a night' mentality. I will need to build resilience and be able to dispel negative thoughts quickly. I'll need to practise nutrition and what my body needs over that sort of period of endurance. I'll need patience, tolerance and positivity. I will absolutely need to be able to deal with all sorts of weather which was my main issue in Italy. My two friends both described the headwinds heading south across the Fens as more than sapping. And I will need to pack my climbing legs for the climb at Yad Moss - both ways round. I won't be able to lose as much weight as I did pre Maratona either because that would challenge my endurance and resilience even more.

Step 1 - I need support from home. And that's what I will prepare for first....

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