Starting again from the beginning!



  • Hey guys! 

    For those of you who like to feast on numbers.....get your napkins out!

    Good news/bad news situation...bad news is the watch didint start picking me up until 1.4 miles into the race! The other bad news is I only have 35.64 miles as the battery gave up! Good news? I can out run a Garmin Forerunner 110! image ha ha ha

    I can now tell you that the Garmin Forerunner 110 on a full charge and an empty memory with continuous use lasts for 8.5 hours! image At least I can beat a Garmin eh?!

    Tasty numbers for the number crunchers...(click me)

    It was a bit of a chilly morning as the sun was still working out if it wanted to get up or not. We arrived and thankfully found a parking space not to far from the school where registration and the starting line was. Once inside two tables and a stage could been seen at the back of the hall. I made my way over for a kit check and to register, filled out my details on the back of my number and nervously made my way back outside for some air.

    I had decided to wear my Montane jacket and trousers as there was still a little bite in the air. I was trying to get my bib number onto the leg of my trousers when we were called for the pre race briefing. With the briefing over we all made our way to the start and already I had a lot of interest in way I chose sandals.

    Little bit of banter later I realised I hadnt turned my watch on and we only had 30 seconds to go!

    8am. Watch error.

    Starting at the back trotting along talking to people on the way helped to settle my nerves a little. 1.4 miles later my watch finally found me and I could see we were bouncing along at a nice 12m/m wonderful! 3 miles in and Mr Sun had decieded it was time to get up and burn away the morning haze. Things were hotting up.

    Getting closer to the first aid station at 6.8 miles I really needed to get the extra layers off as it was going to be a beautiful day, humid but beautiful.

    Aid 1 - The guys I was with left me with a cheery "see you at the next hill!" I never did catch them again as my silky kit changing skills turned into some kind of circus performance costing me a lot of time. The longsleeve top got stuck on the watch, everything fell out of my neatly packed bag leaving me to fight with it like some stubburn deck chair that doesnt want to stay up. Finally I was changed into shorts and t shirt my number re pinned on my leg again, now to just pull this elastic and hook that too TWANG! The hook came of my bag! I ended up taking at least 5 to 10 minutes at that station and ran off with stuff still in my hands!

    I think I was one from last at this point but I didnt care it was going to be a long day and all I have to do is not quit and I wont be last!

    Aid 2 came and went without a hitch and found that I was an hour ahead of the cut off which was very welcome news.

    Aid 2 to 3 I knew would be tough but I didnt know just how tough. It is the only stretch that has a longer wait for aid. Every other point is around 6/7 miles between stations. This one was 11.5 and pretty much all up hill.

    St Marthas to Box hill has to be one of the toughest, soul sapping 11.5 miles I have ever done. You just climb and climb and climb then you find the stairs! Up and up and up and up it just seems to never end. Once you have finished one set of stairs you turn a corner and obviously go UP another draining hill before more stairs! On and on they go before ANOTHER set of stairs! I honestly thought we were going to find some glamorous gates when we eventually found the top with a bearded man with a diversion sign as it was not our time yet!

    Mercifully the s

  • Mercifully the stairs and the hills stopped briefly enough to gain some kind of composure before I got to the aid station. 24 miles in and I could really see why people would drop out at this point. That section was tough but we are far from done yet and I think that can play on your mind.

    Box hill to Reigate hill. 24 - 31 miles

    I had been running by myself for hours when I looked at the pocket in my vest to find my bank card wasn't in it!!! I stopped and looked around but had to just bite my lip and keep running. No way was I going to find it, so angry at myself for not putting  it in a better pocket I pushed on hoping to find someone to keep me company for a bit.

    I saw a lot of people enjoying this stunning trail but it took me a long time to find another numbered runner. I was however joined by a couple of people at different times who were out training for the other events and I owe them a little nod for the company. Thanks guys!

    Reigate Hill!! Finally and quietly I could call myself an Ultra runner! 31 miles and I was greeted by my wonderful parents screaming and clapping as I came across the bridge and headed for the aid station. Reigate hill was the first aid station I volunteered at last year and it was a real turning point for me.

    My dad grabbed me a coffee as I explained to the crew and my mum at how brutal the last bit was and that I wasn't sure I would make it here on time. The crew were amazing and told me I was 40 minutes within the cut off. Re energised I covered my feet in Vaseline and threw on my toe toe socks for a little more protection. My mum chucked a stick of butter in my coffee with a look of confusion but I said I would explain later and thanks for the butter! 

    Off again on the road to Caterham!

    Some of the views I came across were stunning! Beautiful hills, flowers and animals briefly I forgot how far I had already come.

    Met some wonderful people on a canal boat who were giving cake and jelly babies to the runners!!! You guys are amazing and made a tired runner very happy! Ran with another guys for a little while as he was training in the same direction then we parted ways and I headed for the next station.

    I was met by wonderful crew once again at Caterham (38 miles) where I chowed down on everything in site and they even had a little bit of music on! By this point my Garmin had died so I had no idea of how I was doing. They told me I was still within 1 hour of the cut off so I had made up some ground somewhere! The next wonderful bit of news was the next station was 5 miles away!

    The 5 miles to Botley hill felt really far and had some really tough sections but I gained a lot of ground and just tried to keep my mind on it being 5 miles and not getting close to 40!

    Botley hill at last! (43 miles) Just 7 miles to go and I had 2 and a half hours to do it in!

    The wonderful crew hooked me up with some water and food and off I went to try and get this done. I was getting tired but was pushed on by the thought of that finish line getting closer with every step. My feet at this point were a little tender to run on so I just picked my ground. If it was really really stony I just walked fast, softer ground I ran, hills I walked up and ran down. I pushed on and on hoping to see some indication of how far I had to go.

    I had got into some kind of autopilot for the last maybe 2 miles and was pulling some ground back with some good consistent running checking over my shoulder as I really didn't w

  • checking over my shoulder as I really didn't want to be the very last person and I knew maybe one person was behind me. I came up a gentle hill and came across a guy that I had been walking the stairs with at Box Hill!!!! I couldn't believe it! I asked if he was ok and he said yeah go on without me and he told me we had done 46.5 miles. I thanked him and wished him luck for the rest of it then I took off with a little boost that I had actually caught someone!

    I started to find signposts for Knockholt Pound and it made me smile each time I read it. Every gate I checked behind me, nope not with me yet! Push harder! Across the next field, still nothing. Keep the pressure on not long to go! Field after field I pushed on waiting to see that big inflatable arch.

    I went through a gate and I could hear shouting and see flashes of light from my left, I looked across the field and could see the finish line!!! Unfortunately the finish line was on the other side of the field and over a hedge and all of my markings were leading me away from the finish!

    I headed around the top of the field and eventually came to a road, turned left and made my way down the hill. Past the pub and village green where the finish was last year, left up a little hill and I could see a man with a clipboard.

    I turned left into a car park and was joined my a man who ran halfway up the hill with me towards the beautiful blue arch! He said to me "I shall let you get your glory!" turned around and ran back down.

    13 hours 11 minutes and 3 seconds I crossed the finish line to screams and cheers! Thank you to everyone who came out to see me you guys are amazing!

    Huge thank you to the crews you guys are a light in the dark and make the race what it is!

    At last but not least....never underestimate the power of a jelly baby!


  • B2B

    Great report and again, well done !!

  • Thanks for posting that B2B, after those tweets and updates - we vow the full story - it really was an amazing achievment

  • Thanks guys! That is pretty much my latest blog with the exception of it missing the pictures. If you want to see them you know where they are by now image

    So who`s next? What next on the agenda folks?

  • (erm I'm looking to do a parkrun in a couple of weeks!!)

  • 3:30 - just watching that spirit of the marathon link...pretty cool!

    might join ya! image might be able to do a 5k by then lol

  • How are the legs today?

  • B2B would love to see the pics but unsure where they are.

    I am afraid I am letting the side down tonight. Last week I ran Mon, and Weds - Sat giving me a massive week of 20 miles, and 42.2 miles for the month so far.

    This is the biggest weekly and monthly mileage I have done for at least three years ! I am feeling a wee bit tired so will take tonight off !!

    Also I had a few beers to celebrate B2B achievement on Saturday !!

    Hope the legs feel like they belong to you again B2B and your wearing you T Shirt with pride !!

  • Grendel - right leg is a little stiff but its ok once I massage it for a few minutes. I have a sharp pain in the top of my left foot, going to ice it and see how it is tomorrow. Possible stress fracture but unsure just yet! image

    Thanks 3:30! You can see some of the pictures on my blog from the main blog or there is a "photo fun" page on the right hand side image

    Beer you say? hmm think I may have one now!

  • I am going to wear the t shirt and medal at work tomorrow! image

  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭
    Gammineez wrote (see)

    Not toooo far off 3:30.... It's a crusty alternative music type festival in Derbyshire.  I think the Levellers played, last year it was New Model Army.

    There are a lot of beards though! image

    The Levellers!?!.............."There's only one way of life.....and that's your own...your own....your own..."


  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭
    Grendel3 wrote (see)

    (erm I'm looking to do a parkrun in a couple of weeks!!)

    And i'm going to do a park run Saturday morning.....not quite 50 miles but it all adds up eh?

    Great write up B2B, you can wear that t shirt and medal with pride.

    Just going to check out your photos....

  • B2B - how long ago did you decide to do the Ultra ? was it a long term plan ? (purely out of interest I may add !)

  • Erm a year maybe a little over? Well July will be one year since I got my Luna so hmm...a year and a half max... getting the bug are we? imageimage  Caution ultras bite hard and don't let go! Before You know it you will be posting about your first one! 

  • Every mile counts JR!

  • Mornin!

    managed to get out for an easy 3.4 (mustn't ignore the point 4) briefly considered what it might be like to continue for another 46.6m...... Brain struggled with the concept!

    So dare I ask, what's next B2B?!

  • Good one Gammineez, they do all count!!!! (and yes the mind does boggle a bit) - saw the video clip B2B even at 31 miles you looked as fresh as a daisy!!!!

    Bit tired this morning but felt if B2B can then I can so up and out the door - kept off road as much as possible to give the legs a break so about 2 miles on road 3 miles off road - felt quite good - saw two ducks and spooked a fox. 5 miles run (actually 5.23)

    2013:  700:48  43.75% of target.

  • Gammineez - well my first goal is to figure out if the pain in my foot is a stress fracture or not. Might just take a bit of time off anyway just in case. Never ignore the point 4! image My official distance was 50.8 with an overall elevation gain of about 5500ft!

    Thats a lot of up! image

    Grendel - thats what relief looks like! image i had been waiting for that aid station for a very long time! The strangest feeling was at around 40 miles when I stopped while looking for my next marker and actually said out loud "im built for this!" in that moment I physically felt the same way as I did when I hit 20! Strange!

  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭

    Brilliant B2B.......image

  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭

    ......50 miles up for the month!

    At last, a 50 mile month. Started off nice and easy this morning, deciding early on that 3 miles would do. Got a mile into it and decided to throw in a few short intervals over the next mile before easing down again for mile 3. Did 6  x 30 secs with a 1 minute recovery at about 80% hitting on average 6:30m/m with the last one at 6:11m/m.

    Easy one planned for Friday morning before Saturdays park run.

    Month - 51.72

    2013 – 179.38



  • JR - I am on for 50 as well if I get out tonight - my first 50 mile month for about 5 years !! but you are a LOT faster than me.

    B2B - not getting the Ultra bug just yet, see the winner averaged 8 min/mile pace - mind boggling. It fascinates me the whole thing would love to sit down with you and ask a few questions ! Watched a few you tube bits about Ultras and a woman who runs the West Highland way (100 miles) every year

  • The winner basically ran approx 2 minutes per mile slower than his Marathon PB pace which is 2:36 so around 2 minutes per mile slower - but given the terrain the race was run over a phenomenal performance -

    Legs felt quite stiff this morning, so after a half mile warm up I went for it, ended up running 7 times a minute fast off a minute recovery follwed by a jog and then 7 times 30 seconds strides off 30 second recovery and a quarter mile jog warmdown - Hamstring is, touch would, fine when I run, but when I drive it is really quite painful - I suppose I am lucky, it could be ok when I drive but painful when I run!!!!!

  • 3:30 - hey ask away dude! image The main thing I have done really is read a lot!

    Yeah the guys up front are just bananas! I would be pushed to cycle that in 6 hours and 47 minutes! Different breed and awe inspiring!

    Well done JR on hitting 50 for the month! Its a great feeling eh? 

    Grendel - After doing that route I just cant work out just HOW?! How do you keep up that pace over that terrain! It was the most technical trail I have ever run and I just thank the powers that be that it wasn't wet! Beautiful and brutal in equal measure. Have you had someone take a look at your hamstring? Mine bothered me for nearly 2 months before I actually took a week off then I did the 50 ha ha ha image to be fair though the hamstring never bothered me once!

  • hmm possible stress fracture could just be tendinitis as this morning I have developed creaking in my foot and I can hop on it without any trouble....

    Ice and rest then!

  • B2B - OK here goes -

    When you decided on the Ultra as a long term goal did you have any plans ie to be able to run a set distance in a set time by a certain date ?

  • Hopefully good news about foot - Would like to be the fly on the wall if you go to the doctors -

    you  "Doc my foot hurts"

    Doc "what have you been doing"

    you "just run 50.8 miles over the north downs in flip flops"

    Doc "next patient please"


  • Grendel - ha ha ha ha ha brilliant! image Pretty sure it would go exactly like that!

    3:30 - Well the plan really was to research as much as I could to get more of an understanding of if I could actually do it or not! After reading a whole bunch and getting more interested in other peoples backgrounds I came to realise that an ultra isn't just for the elite. For me running has become a personal experiment to just see how far I can go before I break and really really don't wont to do it anymore. Working up to the race that I wanted to do took a lot of baby steps to get there. Can I do a half marathon after working all day and still feel ok? Yes! Move on. Can I run 15 miles after work and feel ok? Yes! Move on. I topped out at 20 mile runs only because of the shocking winter we had and picking up a hamstring issue. Without those I would have ideally moved up to 28 or 30 miles before the ultra.

    I truly believe one of the main reasons I was able to finish was down to how much I had trained my brain. Like I said before I really think 50 mile ultras are just the next step, not some elite race. I believe we are built to do this and it is in no way out of your physical reach. Your personal mental reach is the only thing that will stop you. Train yourself till your mind breaks then stop, take a deep breath and keep running! You will be amazed at what your body can overcome given the right mental  attitude

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