Next week will see the annual Virgin Media Business VOOM competition attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the longest ever business pitch marathon. As the entrepreneurs and judges prepare themselves for the slog, let’s not forget the one member of our team readying herself for the marathon of her liveblogging life…
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Is the question our ancestors used to muse over, but today we ask ourselves something far more pressing. "If a pitchathon happens and Natalie Clarkson is not documenting it through a liveblog, does it actually take place at all?"
We’ll save you the brain ache, the answer is obviously an emphatic no. By checking back to virgin.com on June 1st at 11am you’ll not only be able to watch the 160 entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to an experienced panel of judges over a mammoth 29 hour session, you’ll also be able to take in the liveblog of the event in all its glory. Expect exclusive behind the scenes footage, witty asides and increasingly typo-laden entries as the sleep deprivation really starts to kick in.
If you’re starting to feel a little concerned that Natalie won’t make the distance, rest assured, this is a role she’s been preparing for her whole life. "I think the longest I’ve ever been awake for previously must have been about 30 hours when I was finishing my dissertation at university,” knowingly reflects Natalie.
"In true student style, I’d left a lot of it to the last minute so I worked around the clock to get it all finished and handed in on time, and then went out to celebrate. It turned out alright that time though as I passed my degree, so I guess if I can do that, I should be able to manage liveblogging for 29 hours, right?"
In terms of tactics, it appears as though our own Paula Radcliffe of the blogs is relying on caffeine and sugar to get her through. "I’m thinking lots of strong black coffee (all donations gratefully received), probably lots of sugar, and making sure that I keep moving around and chatting to people (my theory is that I’m less likely to fall asleep if I’m keeping busy!)."
If anyone has advice for a 29 hour liveblogging diet that doesn’t have crash written all over it, then do let us know in the comments below. Any suggestions for music, exercises or preparation that will give Natalie the edge will also be warmly received.
UPDATE: Natalie puts out a brazen SOS call for kittens ahead of her 29 hour stint