Ultra Runners


Ultra...well, it was more than a marathon: RR (Read 304 times)

Into the wild

    Run to the Hills: Clayton 30 Mile Downland Challenge. WWW Barely 24 hours have passed since I put my shoes on the first rung of the ultra running step ladder. Barely 24 hours ago, as I approached the turn at 15 miles of an out and back trail, did I realise I would fulfill my ambition of finishing something I'd started. The sun, its passively aggressive stance and limited shade, and the day's humidity would all play their part in a difficult day on the South Downs Way (SDW) in Sussex. I, curiously, found myself more concerned with finishing The Beachy Head marathon later this year: it is a marathon after all... With little planning or specified training I found myself shoulder to shoulder with the other 100 plus souls looking for their own stories facing 30 miles (48km) at the height of Britain's summer. My aim for the run is a sub 6 hour finish and not to get too sloppy so, hydration and nutrition are likely to play their part. The route is to follow the SDW from Clayton east to Southease and return the same way. The starter sends us away: a tough climb up to the escarpment confronts us which, given the humidity level soon has me losing my valuable fluid. As usual (I think I can say that now...), I find comrades eager to join my for short stretches. Stories are exchanged, good lucks offered. I love this sport. As for the run, I felt good through to 15 miles and remembered how a few short years back I'd been laid waste by the half marathon distance needing 24 hours bed rest with a bucket close by, just in case! Times have changed. The day was hot at 25/26°C and clammy-close-sticky; I was eventually to suffer some despite S-Caps and gels. I'd opted for a litre back-pack seeing there were 3+ water stations - 12, 24, and 36km; as long as I arrived hydrated and drank well at each aid station I should be alright; I'd already ignored the urge to go lite after looking at the 500ml bottle-carrying competition. I can envy their water efficiency but have learned that my needs are greater than most runners and sensibly stuck to my pack. From the off I was at the back of the field, running sensibly with a true goal of a finish. I estimate that there must be some who had gone off too quickly so I might run them down if I can hold it together. Where I got that confidence from is beyond me but I was confident and carried a little smile most of the way. So, to the half way turn around. I whip off the hydration pack, drink a load, re-fill and head down the reverse trail. We're greeted to a 3km climb which I opt to run as I don't feel like losing my momentum. Over this stage of 12km I run down 12 positions to one loss; not bad! This point however is where I realise that although I'll finish it might not be pretty. There's another long climb at here back on to the escarpment, my core temperature had leapt up, the water I'd just taken on left my nauseated but I knew I needed to get an S-cap and gel in. I dropped to a march get the food in and waited it out. By the time I'd covered the steepest part I was starting to feel the ship right itself and was glad of the knowledge I'd heard so often from other distance runners - expect to have low periods: try to keep going, your mood and demeanor will improve. They did! Once on the top of the hills again I found running suited me again, albeit slow. Around this time, 5h 20 I noted that I'd hit the marathon distance and afforded a grin: I was out there, in no-man's-land neither impressive or trying to impress just running. I cared little for my lowly position. I was simply elated to be out beyond the marathon at last, to have passed a couple of low points without caving in, to have stayed sensible in regards to nutrition and hydration and to have got it about right. The run in from Ditchling Beacon was a formality; mostly descent then a steep drop back into Clayton with a lap of the sports field to finish. My brother clapped me over the line unaware of the emotional impact of my effort. He didn't notice the tear trying to free itself from behind my eyes and probably mistook my silence, as the lump in my throat became too much, for fatigue. Splits The big spikes are the aid stations! I finished 92nd from 108 with a time of 6h 18m. 24 hours on I am happy to admit this meant a lot to me. Happy Trails Smile MTA pics

    Shut up and run

      Great job - have fun on the "ladder"! Nice report and pix - especially like the one with the wide-open view.

      Speed my steps along your path, according to your will.

      Into the wild

        Thanks Carl...I'm lovin' it atm Big grin

        Shut up and run

          Hey Johnny! That was awesome. Magnifique. See you there next year? Hopefully my shins will have decided to recover by then!

          Into the wild

            You bet Purdster....I might bump into you before that though Wink

            Shut up and run

              Congratulations, Johnny! Great report! I'm usually a crying blob at the end of my runs, so I totally understand the lump in the throat and the tear in the eye. Big grin

              Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain

              2015 Wish List:

              Jan 31 - Clam Beach Run (8 3/4 mile); April 4 - Peterson Ridge Rumble (40m); June 20 & 21 - Double FatAss 50k; July 25 & 26 - Lake of Death 24 Hour; Oct 10 - Dick Collins Firetrails 50.

              "The farther you go outside, the farther you go inside." (Unknown)

              Trail Runner Nation


              You'll ruin your knees!

                Sweet! Congrats!!!!!

                ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                who knows...

                  Nice job!
                  "There is no I in εγω." --Unknown author, source of possible, but in no way certain, Greek origin


                    Sweet! Johnny! You did it!! Nice report and great attitude going in-thinking you'll pass the ones who go out too fast-you know it! Congratulations on your success! Kelly
                    If you never go fast, you'll never go fast.

                    Into the wild

                      I give my thanks to everyone. It means a lot to me to be part of this community.

                      Shut up and run

                        Purdey/Johnny and anyone else Big grin You up for this on 26/7/2009?

                        A runners blog-updated daily

                        Into the wild

                          I'll hold your hand Jerry Evil grin on the other hand....would you mind if I tie a bungie to your back-pack Clowning around Take that as a YES Smile

                          Shut up and run

                            Excellent news Big grin I'll keep an eye on the organiser's site until nearer the time, Tom will probably be concentrating on his 100 miler

                            A runners blog-updated daily

                              Nice job, that's awesome!!