I purposefully did a bare minimum of route research. I enquired about the volume of portages for shoe choice, and then promptly forgot my walking shoes when packing for the race, and made sure I know how much water I needed to carry but that was about it. On a personal level I wanted the experience to be as new and real and ‘in the moment’ as could be so that I had no expectations to ruin what was happening in the moment. The semi-supported nature of the race meant that I know there would be food to buy and a bed, if I needed it, at reasonable intervals and most else was left to chance. I am so glad that I did that! The places, the people, the views, the terrain, the difficulties, the personal successes, the smiles, the frustrations, the small wins and the new skills all felt so pure, so earned and had such richness to them because I had no expectations and could live each one with nothing clouding them.