I am back home tucked up in bed after an amazing and tough week. Unless you do the Sup11 – City Tour you will never comprehend how hard it is. When you choose to race it you are signing yourself up for a whole world of physical and mental pain. For 5 days all you do is eat so much you feel sick and are actually tired of chewing, prepare your kit for the day, paddle and sleep. Your hands, and in my case, my feet were down to raw skin and every inch of your body will hurt.
This race can mentally and physically beat the largest of men and they cannot finish it. It is heart breaking when you see someone sitting on the bank crying because they are having to pull out of that day stage.
I am really proud to have competed and taken 2nd place, I pushed myself to the max and made the decision to do that on day one as I stood next to Bart de Zwart on the start line and thought this is exactly where I want to be, on the front row battling it out.
That is the tough side but it also has a side that is amazing. From the moment I arrived in Leeuwarden I met some of the best friends I feel I have and I have not seen in one year. They greet you with the biggest smile and the largest hug you will ever receive. These smiles and hugs are the best you will ever get and they will be there for you every waking moment of the day and believe me, you are in some really dark, low places during this 5 days. The race competitors look after each other on the water and help you through it. This race is all about kindness.
Last night I left some of my best friends and I will miss every one of them but I will definitely see them next year. Though, I will categorically not compete in the 5 day event again, I only have two 11 City Tours in me. Time to do my bit for this race and be a volunteer and maybe I can compete in one day of the race if anyone fancies being in a team with me
The help and support I have received from everyone at home has kept me going. My husband, and best friend, gets home soon and it will be great to see him as it is hard to not have him there to lift my spirit when I am struggling. I did have Ali and Mark with me and I could not have received better support, they were both absolutely amazing and I am extremely lucky to have them as friends. Finally, Andre Le Geyt you are a great travel buddy, you made me laugh so much, sorry I did not find a dress to paddle in for the last day