You know when you plan to do something and it is so far in the future you are not sure it will ever happen! Well for me it has arrived, after a long winter paddle training out in all sorts of wind and rain the annual Devises to Westminster race has arrived. This Easter Saturday myself and Ali Donald will set off from little Devises to finish up in Westminster after 125 miles and 77 portages. There are times over the training period where you ask yourself a lot whether it is worth it, whether going out into the winter's nights for a spin when everyone else is in front of the fire with a good book is worth it. A lot of the time you don't think it is but then when the race finally arrives you start to question whether you have done enough.
With only three days to go it is 'squeeky bum time' where final preparations are made, what clothes to wear and what to eat over 20 hours in the boat. We are being ably supported by my sister, mother and cousin so it is a family affair and I am grateful to our support team without whom we would not even be able to start. All going well we will set off around midday on Saturday to finish in the early hours of Sunday morning.
My regular blog readers might remember that I did this race back in 2012 when it was the first long distance kayak race that I had ever done. It is amazing now as I try to think back to how it all went and my mind has successfully forgotten the entire middle section of the race. I can remember the start and finish but not much in between, it is as if I am blotting out a bad memory. My partner who is going for his first keeps asking me questions about it and I have to say that I can't remember much of it at all. I do remember that 3 o'clock in the morning was a particularly difficult time and the closest I came to quitting. But we finished with blisters and sores to prove it.
So roll on this year's race and let the pain/fun begin.
While I am away having fun this year's Gaelforce Bray 10km Cliff Run will be taking place in Wicklow with a lovely run along the cliff path from Greystones to Bray. It is a 10k and the first step along the road to delving into this place where you are constantly looking for the next challenge and a marathon is no longer far enough!!
NOTE: If you want to follow Shane's progress the support crew will be putting up regular updates on the Killary Adventure Facebook page. You can also track their progress on the following link, http://maps.opentracking.co.uk/dwrace15, Their's will be boat 316.