We woke up early to get some breakfast in and get to the registration before the crowds got there. We had specifically rented the AirBnb closer so that we don’t lose much time moving back-forward and can get easier to the start the day after.
I woke up uneasy on the 24rd of July. I didn’t have to go to work as I was off, but I still couldn’t sleep, full of excitement and a head playing a reel of images. Images describing how I imagined things would be in the next couple of weeks.
It was 6:20am. I couldn’t sleep. The sun was starting to cut through the darkness outside. I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling but didn’t see it. Not because of the darkness but because of all the thoughts going through my mind like a movie reel, speeding in front of a project’s light. I was tense while my mind rushed around like a goat just let loose from entrapment.
All Points North was my first ultra endurance cycling event. I’ve been preparing for this for a long time and so it is useful to verify what went well and what didn’t.
Some rustling noises. I open my eyes, it’s still dark. Two more minutes.
Eventually I wake up. It’s still dark, 5:30a.m. That’s plenty of good sleep, time to go. I realise Chris has packed his stuff and his bed is empty – machine.
I woke up without an alarm, it was a beautiful bright day outside. I looked at the time – 7:35. Why was I in bed so late? Oh yes, I remembered, I’d be cycling tonight, and the next few days. I turned around and went back to sleep, trying to add a bit more in the basket.
My phone rang and almost instantly Sasho’s too. It was dark in the room and we were exhausted. About two hours after I fell asleep a mosquito (or four as we found out) had an absolute feast on me, to the point where I couldn’t sleep anymore from the itchiness. I got up and went to the toilet to see the damage… my legs were minced by those flying piranhas! It was really warm in the room, the windows were open and along with the mosquitos there was a constant wave of noise coming from the relentless traffic outside. Lovely.
It was a very rough night, I must admit. Our “beds” were right next to the road (see photo below), not more than 50 metres away. Anytime a car would pass its headlights would be straight in my face (that’s the side I normally sleep on, so I faced oncoming traffic). Turning around wasn’t much better as the cars were obviously very noisy. I put headphones on, but once or twice cars stopped in the carpark (also about 50 metres from us). I didn’t know why did, but obviously that woke me up and I kept an eye on what they would do.
Sasho was unhappy, we had the habit of sleeping with our window open to keep the fresh air coming in, but since our room was right next to the street, which was adjacent to the main square there was a lot of traffic. Early in the morning (around 6:30am) a car had stopped and two guys were “talking” (read shouting) to each other about something. I was blissfully drooling with my headphones on.
My Fitbit vibrated on my hand and woke me up. With a difficulty I convinced myself and got out of bed, it was 6:30am. It was very chilly in the room, I put my trousers, shoes, jacket and hat, took my wallet and left the tiny room while leaving Sasho to joyfully enjoy his slumber.