The Dales Way Challenge 2019 – Louis Bortoli

I wrote a race review on instagram for followers of my cousins’ foundation I was running for which I’ll pop in below but my thoughts for everyone here is just a massive thank you, to Ryk and Bev, all the marshals who never stopped smiling you are so selfless to give up all the time you do and never cease to lift spirits when they’re down. To all the other runners especially Collette and Lucy who kept me going through my lowest moments, you are all part of such a fantastic community and I feel very lucky to have been part of it. I wish I was entering this race under different circumstances but having given myself 10 weeks to do a ‘couch to 81 mile’ race, I hope it can inspire people that they can do anything. Much love x

My insragram post

We did it! 82 miles in the longest 29 hours of my life. Some highlights and thoughts
– A less than ideal start when Mrs B’s car didn’t start leaving ilkley at the same time as the dub bus, it meant she didn’t see me until the 30 mile mark having finally got sorted
– feet got soaked through after only 40 minutes, it was to be a sign of things to come, 60 of the 80 miles were run with soaking feet and the other 20 with damp socks, cue a personal battle against blisters and hot points for the entire race! The medics at every checkpoint were a saviour and helped patch them up after every 10 miles
– I buddied up with two other runners Collette and Lucy who I stuck with for around 60 of the 80 miles including the night section which was invaluable, in hindsight I wouldn’t have pulled through the difficult night section without them as it’s a very lonely place when it’s just you and the light from a headtorch for over 8 hours
– with 13 miles to go I was at the brink of handing in my number. Both ankles were screaming at me, I could barely put weight on them and I had blisters the size small toes, I was in agony, then cousin @gruesomeollie pops up having driven over 5 hours from Colchester to see me over the line to then drive back on the same day. After a man hug, I had a word with myself, shed some tears and decided to plod on and plod I did, the last 10 miles taking over 4 hours…
– After miles of plodding I reached the finish to an awesome sight of friends and family waiting to be part of a special moment. Benny was with me the whole time, he never stopped smiling throughout and he genuinely helped me through when I felt my lowest.
– thank you to all friends and family that have been along for this ridiculous journey and travelled miles to be at the finish line, but most of all thank you to Mrs B who has been the best support team I could have asked for, you’re the best and I love you.

My feet are shredded, I don’t know how I’m driving to work in the morning but it was all worth it.

I love you Ben x


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