Having a moment of clarity, just finished work at 5am on valentines day. My coach has said that with the progress I'm making, I can win the Parish. A few people have e-mailed me and said that if there was betting on the race that they would put a couple of quid on me as an outside chance. My father says that his friends have all said I'm a good bet. All in all, that puts pressure on. Big style. I know, after all the sports I have tried, I've finally found one I'm reasonably good at, even it is a minority sport with no rewards. (Why didn't I try harder at football when I was younger instead of wasting my time passing exams. I could be on a quarter mill a week!!!!!!!!) I just enjoy it, the build up, training, and the satisfaction of finally achieving something I can be proud of years in the future when I'm in my dotage, reflecting on what I've achieved while the nurse is cleaning me up.
What really matters is personal, reaching my own goals. I still think many will finish better this year, Jock will be hard to beat, that's a given. Michael George will be close to top three, Vinny will improve, an outsider will pop up from nowhere, Richard Gerrard, who I walked most of the way with for a good third place in the end to end and had a magnificent 4th last year, is still very young and has a few wins to come and will do well, and apologies to all who will improve and I haven't mentioned yet. Predictions? It's a little early, maybe too early, yet I hope for a same day finish, under 16 hours, before midnight on Saturday night, which will see me happy. Still, the way things are going, there will be a fair few finishing the same day, conditions permitting, and a same day finish will not necessarily see me improve on 6th from last year. I suppose that's my self doubt kicking in. Still, I've got to be positive, might not even make the finish, it's a long race and we have to be realistic.
If it all pans out like this, as I think it will, then it will be a magnificent race and one to be proud of taking part. A great advert for a truly world class race, and one that will make the 50th anniversary race one tto remember. Whatever happens, good luck to everyone, and if you haven't entered yet but are thinking of doing so, do it now.
Let's make it a day, (sorry, 2 days, getting ahead of myself there... ) to remember.
I actually forgot it was Valentine's day, I was only reminded by the Captain of the tanker I sailed tonight. A last minute panic, but I've managed to book a table for tonight. I don't think it'll turn out well though, apparently she doesn't play snooker...