19th Jan was the big day. The day the results of the UTMB draw were announced. A meeting in Swindon stopped me from checking my e-mail every 2 minutes. But when I got home there was still nothing. So I checked the web-site, and YES!, I was in. And off to the pub to celebrate we went (skipping my planned run, plenty of time for that in the next 6 months...).

I spent the next couple of evenings finding a ‘not-too-horrifically expensive hotel in Chamonix that isn’t above a bar or next to the race route’ and (re)reading every UTMB blog or report I could find. And starting the slow process of getting myself into some sort of running shape.

Now the excitement has worn off, the worrying is kicking in. This is a tough challenge (it makes ironman look like a gentle stroll in the park...). Many far better ultra-runners than me haven’t managed to finish...  But all I can do is get myself into shape, arrive at the start fit and healthy and give it my best shot. And not bore the other half to death by talking about it incessantly in the meantime.

For now the short term plan is to get fit enough to do Wuthering Hike and the Hardmoors 55 on back-to-back weekends in mid March. Then build up to Fellsman and the LDWA Housman 100 in May, followed by some serious weekends and evenings in the hills. I’m hopefully visiting CERN for work in July, which is good excuse to spend a few days training on the route (in particular the first ~50 miles which I don’t know).