‘Twas the night ‘fore t’ultra, when all through the wood
Not a runner touched home-brew, they were all being good;
For sure, they carb-loaded and watered til fill,
But celebration must wait til they’re over that hill.
The race kit was folded, their number pinned square,
With hope at result time, they’d find it in there.
The runners now settled all snug in goose down,
Dreams of neg-splits and PBs in their heads dance around.
They toss and they turn with excited fervor,
Til awoken by clanking pots and a low breakfast murmur.
Porridge and caffeine; drop bags loaded with gels,
Sunscreen applied and shoe-laces tied well.
Gathered near start line, they’re briefed on the weather
Reminded of cut-offs, route changes, etcetera…
But they’re drifting away to their own mental place
Or amazing at all who’ve stepped up to race.
The start flag is dropped, as are all good intentions.
They gallop away before returning their senses.
Now! Jurek, Now! Jornet, Krupitca and Roes! On Ronhill, Ndereba, Gebrsalassi, and Coe.
Heroes or memories, scenery, or cheer…
Some reach for the iPod when the low points are near.
They battle on through until they’re high once again,
One foot, then the other, just repeat to the end!