Well, this is it! Everything is packed and weighed and ready to go. I have checked in for my flight, I have done my last uk training run this evening in the woods around shelf, I have had tea and all that is left is one final night’s sleep and then up early for the taxi ride to Manchester airport at 4:30am tomorrow. My flight is at 9am, so I’m probably being somewhat cautious but given how many years I have been working towards this trip, I am leaving nothing to chance.
I am excited and absolutely terrified. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? What was I thinking? OMG!!! These are the usual feelings before any big race, but this is completely off the scale of anything I have ever done before. I am travelling miles around the world to run through the amazon rainforest for 5 days in conditions I have no real idea about – heat, humidity, mud, water, big hills, scrambles, insects, snakes, jaguar… The list of things goes on and on and of course they are going round and round in my head. This is the usual point where self-doubt starts shouting loudly and I am feeling a total fraud. But I have checked the details we have for each of the days of running and there is nothing hillier than any of the runs I have done around Yorkshire. Ok, so I didn’t do them carrying a 12kg pack, and not in 5 consecutive days, but I know I can do the distances, and I know I can do the gradients. Whether I can do it all at 30C temperatures in 100% humidity carrying a big weight on my bag is the big test and yes, it is going to be exciting.
I will arrive in Lima for one overnight stay before heading on an overnight coach to Huaraz, a town high up in the Andes. Not somewhere I have been before but a great place for stunning views, running, scrambling, trekking and more. I have found someone who is going to take me on some treks, scrambles and my final tapered runs. It has been hard restraining my enthusiasm for all the possibilities in the mountains around Huaraz, but hopefully things won’t be too mad. I’m not entirely sure I need to go up to 5000m in preparation for the Jungle Ultra start at just over 3000m, but I couldn’t resist.
So, a few days in Huaraz acclimatising and then it is off to Cusco and then on the morning of Saturday 3rd June, we will all set off in a collection of minibuses to the first camp where we get ready for the start on Sunday morning. This is it!