Sunday 31 March 2013

Ready or not here I come!

The 2013 MdS starts just one week from now on Sunday 7 April and this is my final post before the race. Au revoir!

Last minute preparations

I have a lot to do still before flying to Morocco on Thursday 4 April. I'll feel more relaxed when I've done these various tasks, my bags are packed and are ready to go:
  • Preparing my food bags for each of the race days (detailing calories etc. per race regulations) - this is probably the thing that will take longest to ensure that my calorie intake for each day is broadly in proportion to the expected stage length;
  • Finalising my kit list as I am still undecided as to whether to take certain items;
  • Packing my rucksack to see if all my kit and food will actually fit (nothing like leaving this critical task to the last minute!);
  • Streamlined, aerodynamic race haircut;
  • Last heat chamber session;
  • Last sport massage; and
  • Washing my race and tent kit after my last heat chamber session!
This may not seem like much but it's enough to be causing me a bit of stress! If I forget something I will have to make do without it in the race. Organisation is therefore important and, unfortunately, not my greatest strength!

A big thank you to...

I am extremely grateful, and would like to give a massive thanks, to a various people without whom my preparations would have undoubtedly been even more arduous!
  • Family - without your support this would not have been possible. Thank you Aoife for looking after the kids on all those Sunday mornings when I was doing my long run and on several weekends when I was away racing;
  • Friends and colleagues - who have listened patiently over the last year as I have bored them with details of my training, injuries, etc;
  • MdS 2013 Richmond Park runners - all those with whom I have run endless laps of Richmond park over a year or so including my fantastic MdS tentmates;
  • Ioan Jones (orthopaedic surgeon specialising in foot and ankle problems) - diagnosed my ankle injury and advised on its management in order that I would be on the MdS start line.
  • Natasha Fernandes (physiotherapist) - assisted my rehabilitation. Natasha treated me intensively over several months, including ultrasound and acupuncture, and advised me on my training regime;
  • Colin Towey (physiologist - St. Mary's University College, Twickenham) - monitored and assisted me during my 8 heat acclimitisation sessions in the heat chamber at the Centre for Health, Applied Sport and Exercise Science (CHASES) at St. Mary's;
  • Katriona Macklin (podiatrist - Podiatric Management) - facilitated the urgent order of running orthotics to replace my previous ones which were old, on borrowed time and, due to the reduced arch support, possibly contributed to my ankle injury;
  • Simon Lamb (sports masseur - Six Seconds High) - provided much needed body management to keep my weary limbs fresh and strong;
  • Pools on the Park (Spring Health Leisure Club) - kindly offered free membership of the Leisure Club facilities to assist my MdS training; and
  • Philanthropists - everyone who has donated, or will donate, to Alzheimer's Research UK. Donations can be made at VirginMoneyGiving.

Follow my progress 'live' during the race

I am competitor number 754.

During the race it will be possible to track my progress in a couple of different ways:
  • Track me on the Internet in near real time from Sunday 7 April - click on the tab towards the top, right hand side of the screen marked "satellite"; and
  • Check my race position each day during the race.

Send me an e-mail please!

From 6-12 April inclusive competitors can receive emails from friends and family. I would really appreciate emails of moral support please to help me through the tough moments during the race. Many thanks.

To send an email please go to the MdS website to the section "write to competitors" or "√©crire aux concurrents". When writing an email you will need to detail my surname, first name and race ID/competitor number: 754. Please do not send attachments as emails containing attachments will not be delivered.

Au revoir!

I will be keeping a diary during the race so that on my return I can write a post sharing the highs and lows of the race as I experienced it. I will also post photos of the race including life in camp, scenery and me too!


  1. Good luck and enjoy, see you in the desert, thanks for the blog. Phil H (699)

  2. Good luck Simon it has been great to be part of your preparations for MDS. I shall be following your progress.


    (Young) Simon

  4. Hi Simon,

    I'm a national newspaper journalist in England who is part of a group putting together a new 'extreme' outdoor sports and travel website. The site is also an environmental and social and enterprising in design.

    As I'm putting together articles and sourcing videos and photos at the moment, I was wondering whether there was any chance of you submitting some copy or info on your MDS? I can obviously credit you and send you a link to the site when it's up?

    Maybe you would like to submit things on a regular basis further down the line?

    We believe we will have a lot of people visiting the site when it is ready and have people contributing from all over the world so our reach should be quite large.

    Any help you can give us would be great. Please get in touch at if you are interested.

    Many thanks for reading

    Gemma Wise