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  • Tom Crossland

Day 7 - What is an Athlete?

Hadleigh - Rendlesham Forest - 46.4 km (2886.6 km to go)

Start Time - 8.47 am

Finish Time - 4.27 pm

Moving time - 6 hours 22 mins


Starting weight - 80.6 kg

Ending weight - 80.7 kg


Garmin Temperatures

Average - 29 C

Max - 34 C

Min - 25 C



First of all thank you to everyone for all your kind words and wisdom about the run on Sunday it means so much to me to know that people are following and interested in what I am doing.


Today started well, I slept really soundly all night. Still strangely waking up with a saturated bed from my sweat (or dribble). This is not usual and I am not concerned about this but this is just interesting. Another, now obvious, but interesting thing, is that eating and drinking (basically) sugar all day everyday makes your mouth really sore, don't worry everyone, I've now got mouthwash and things are settling.


It was another hot day, but now with more acclimatisation time I am doing better in the heat and so no issues with it today. My legs had recovered remarkably well over night and I felt good to get going again and today turned out to be a crusey day, if a little slow but fun, yes you heard that right fun. I had no issues at all. Ate well and drank well.



I had constant company from about 5 km in to the finish from about eight different people, handing me over like a baton. A common theme that emerged in the running chat today was about how impressive what I am doing is. Now those who know me well will know that this is not something that sits easily with me. I'll keep saying it I'm just a person going running everyday for a little while. Anyway, back to the theme that emerged from chats. It seems that many of the people I've meet on this run would not describe themselves as an athlete, just like me. We all just see ourselves as people going out and doing what we enjoy (some of the time). I was talking with Gary about the first time his physio described him as a athlete and that seemed so far from his self concept that he refused that label. This was after completing his first 50 mile race (I think, sorry my mind is not functioning brilliantly) now to an outside observer this seems pretty athletic, but I agree with him, I really struggle to see myself as an athlete. I think someone a few months ago even called me an elite athlete, I think I laughed and dismissed this.


I have spent time today trying to reflect on why this is and where the refusal to be an 'athlete' comes from. I have yet to come up with a very good answer, I think some of it stems from senior school. I loved my school and it was the best school for me, but I was not good enough to be in the school teams (where the athletes were) so the idea of that as part of me just had not entered my conscience. And I think now, it is due to, there are always people doing what I think are better things than I am, so they are the athletes.


Sorry it is late now so I have to go to bed. I am feeling good in myself, confident about tomorrow, but maintain in my head the knowledge that the beauty of this infinite game we play is that we never know what tomorrow holds and so tomorrow could be...


Tomorrows plan


Plan for day 7 - 42.5 km Rendlesham forest to Southwold (I see the sea tomorrow yippee).


Setting off from Rendlesham Forest W3W ///part.rocked.shatters between 8.00 am.


CP1 - The Crown Inn, Snape - W3W ///retailing.soaks.rotation at 12.8 km at 9.45 am

CP2 - Thorpeness - W3W ///ratty.jotting.hazy at 22 km at 11.15 am

CP3 - Dunwich Forest - W3W ///twice.flashback.dockers at 32.8 km 12.45 pm

End - Adnams Brewery Visitor Centre, Southwold - W3W ///upgrading.shield.bullion 42.1 km at 2.45 pm

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