Great Divide Race June 2005
Pinedale, Wyoming, 25th June 2005. Outside it is a scorching
morning and ordinary people go about their ordinary business. Inside the
motel room it is dim. The coke machine by the open door hums feverishly.
I lay there in silence. The bees will not leave me and I ponder a
Kafkaesque metamorphosis if I fall asleep. Without a doubt this is the
worst birthday I've ever had.
When I was a young kid we
lived in a small house on the edge of a small town, we had an industrial
estate fenced in on one side and what then seemed like endless fields
and woods on the other. Whenever possible we would get a bunch of us
together and play tag. Occasionally we would agree a 'no off limits'
version where all areas were on and we played for hours on end. We would
hide in giant waste bins, scramble over garage roofs, run across roads
and disappear deep into the woods, we would run for miles and miles in
sun and rain and without thought we got fitter. The adrenalin flowed
when being pursued; we hid, rested and then ran again until the terror
of being caught was the only thing that kept us going. I was always
disappointed when the game would slowly draw to and end as other kids
got fed up or had to go home. We slept well. I didn't know it but it was
my introduction to endurance. Scrambling over fragile roofs is pretty
much in the past but games of chase still live on. They are grown up
versions these days where similarly minded individuals from around the
world occasionally get together and play. The games these days don't
last a few hours but several days or maybe weeks and best of all your
mum doesn't call you in for dinner when it gets dark!