Challenge day has a certain buzz in the air - quite unlike anything you have experienced before.
You find yourself among a sea of other crazy people, much like yourself, that have not had much sleep the night before, are unsure whether all the prep they have done for the day is under, over, or enough, and anxious to see what mix of situations they will face.
In amongst your thoughts scrambling to remember what you decided to walk in kilometers each hour, and approximate timing to reach support crews, we encourage you to quieten your brain.
Take a good look around you, and take in some of the faces you will be sharing the track with. Feel the ground under your feet and the excitement running through your fingertips. Hear the messages coming over the PA system blurred in and amongst the voices of the other teams surrounding you, and taste the fresh air as it envelopes your face.
You’re here, you did it - you made it to the start line.
This excitement and buzz is over in a flash, and you make your way through the start arch as you hear the voice of John Williamson singing True Blue, an iconic start to get you moving.
This is unlike any of the training you have taken time to do, there are hundreds of people around you - you’ve never seen the track like this before. But it’s ok - it thins out climb after climb, Checkpoint after Checkpoint, hour after hour.
You will have doubts, you will fight demons and you will push your body past limits that you have never thought possible - this is about learning. Learning more about yourself, about your teammates, about our Veterans, each step is a step into another realm of respect.
Hold your head high, share facts, stories, trade banter with other teams and make these memories to last a lifetime.
When your feet cross the finish line, and sleep and recovery sound like the best two things on offer in this world, you will remember the tough times; where you wanted to give up and where you wanted to not see another rock, tree or hill ever again - these are your moments, your memories, soak it all in.