An Open Letter to my Teammates

Dear Zander and Jimmy,

What we have been through together over the last 12 months has been nothing short of incredible. If I had done this on my own, the truth is I would currently be sitting in my chair, having re-enacted Bill Murray’s role in Groundhog Day for the last 365 days — I would not have even attempted nor had the motivation to do what we did.

Zander

It was your reckless enthusiasm that got us into this. And blimey am I happy it did. The way you approached training with the same joyous nonchalance we had playing football in the Crabtree School playground was always so motivating. Nothing could stop you and thus me being with you meant that nothing could stop me. The relentless message of, “Boys, we are going to win the Wadi Rum Ultra”, was so far fetched it made it believable and worth all the late nights and early mornings.

During the race, the small things you did kept our spirits up.

  • Your constant taking the piss out of Jamie Sparks when something went slightly wrong.
  • Every time something got hard, the fact that you laughed highlighted the fact that what we were doing was ridiculous, therefore mere completion of an uphill 5km sand dune was sufficient for us.
  • On that 3rd day, you had nothing left. NOTHING. Yet for the team, you decided not to drop midway through a stage, but put yourself through living hell and complete 50km when your body was screaming out in agony. INSPIRATIONAL.
  • You were on a drip, down and out. Yet somehow you crack out a joke about Ribena.

Timeless memories that one cannot forget.

Jimmy

How could either Zander and I have done this without the solidity of your character? Simply put, we couldn’t have. Your mental toughness is truly astonishing. From the moment we started training, nothing was stopping you. Whilst I was running away with Zanders ideas of world records, you kept us grounded, realistic and most importantly, sane.

The fact that 5km would put your knees and joints in pain pre signing up was a worry. However, you transformed your aching body into a 250Km desert running beast.

During the race, the focus, drive and determination you showed was such that it made me want to emulate. When I was hanging out my backside, I saw you to my left or right and felt that focussed energy coming off you— it made me carry on.

Your music taste, however. What the fudge? How can a song with every other word being f*ck motivate you? I don’t care, it kept you going therefore it kept me going.

The silence we were in for the last 2 days together was one of those silences where you know you don’t have to say anything. Just running with the determination we had was a moment and feeling that will never leave me.

In short, guys, this was a challenge I could not have achieved without you. Both of you in different ways have inspired me to do better, to change and to make a difference. You have both helped me realise the potential of the human mind and body. Maybe more importantly, you have made me realise the potential within myself. I am forever in your debt.

We may have crawled along the sand, but forever we will fly like vultures.

Yours,

Spence