in 37 countries more than 550 runners and countless crew members and race staffs feel nothing more than a sense of relief.
after two years of qualifying,
months of preparation,
and the vagaries of travel in 2022
the races are all underway.
at this point no one is really feeling anything physically
they are barely warmed up.
mentally everyone is trying to settle in to a sense of consistency.
the plan is to be running for days.
everyone is feeling out their checkpoints now.
taking times at various landmarks along the way.
as the hours pass they will come to know exactly what lap time they are on pace for as each landmark passes.
pacing is critically important
as each runner tries to hit the sweet spot
just the right amount of rest between loops to stay fresh as long as possible.
just the right pace to not create any unnecessary fatigue.
as the hours pass,
and the physical toll begins to accumulate
they will have to vary their speed at times.
meals, repairs, bathroom breaks;
sometimes they will need to run a faster loop to buy more time between starts.
sometimes they will be forced to go slow
as they need to reduce the stress on their bodies…
but all of these things are far in the future.
right now it is just the relief of finally being underway.
and the feeling out process
of learning the loops
that will be their world over then next few days.