pilgrim challenge 2012

ell I've signed up for it, started the early morning runs. For those who have done it before do you have any tips- preparation and equipment on the day itself!




  • It's a brilliant event which I hope to do again next year.  Last time I made the mistake of doing day 1 of my back to back training sessions on the hilly sections of the North Downs Way , but doing day 2 on the flat in London which meant I found the start of Day 2 quite hard going.  If you can recce the route in advance it will be of great help.  Good headtorch (unless you're super speedy) a must.
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    I'm in too another first timer. What time does it get dark that time of year 3,4? don't runners start at 9am?? Not that I won't be bringing a head torch of course!
    Just hoping it's not snow and ice around!
  • Nearer 5 - managed to clear Reigate Hill by 4.50 and it was still just about light.  I'm a w*lker so will still finish in the dark in spite of an 8a.m. start.
  • Hi all, done it last year for the first time and was my first ultra, found it tough, however, just signed up for another go next year. Great event, nice people, but get some hill training in. My only advice is to take a comfortable sleeping mat to sleep on, if your doing the 2 day.
  • I'm in too and will def. be at the back of the field.  I have checked out the route from the start to the church at Newlands Corner  as I am hopeless when it comes to direction. 

    Looking forward to this with a mixture of excitement and total dread!

  • If  all well hope to sign up for this (providing it's a squirrel free routeimage).
  • Hi Hopetofinish, glad to read that you have signed up, didn't we chat back in june/july time?

    Bear B Hind, can't remember if it's squirrel free or not, I spent most of my time looking where I was running to check out the animals, don't worry though, we'll all make sure you get round, without being pestered by any rodents.

    Not done any running for 2 weeks since Beachy Head Marathon, really enjoyed the run this year, but suffered a groin strain for my troubles. Doctor gave me some pain killers and just rest and ice for the minute, starting to get frustrated, as wanted to start training for pilgrims.
  • Hi aha- sorry to hear about your injury - I did BH as well but fortunately no ill effects.  Gearing up for Druids' next week.  Really hope to be able to do Pilgrims' as I find it the most challenging. 
  • Yes, Ahapartridge, we have chatted!  Hope you are on the road to recovery real soon. 

    BBH, read about your squirrel encounter on the other thread.  Thought it was very funny, but would have freaked me out.  Good luck with the Druids.  You really like the events run by this company.  This is my first time out with them, but I won a buff for signing up for their newsletter, so have a good feeling about them.

     I too did Beachy.  Told myself from about mile 17 that never, ever again, but fairly sure I will be there at the start line next year.  Pain is a transient thing, and my memory is getting worse with age.

  • bear b.hind, im looking at doing Druids next year..so i'll be interested in what you have to report about itimage
  • hp - love these events - realy friendly and trust you to know what you're doing.  Last year due to various probs got to penultimate cp well after time, but instead of being hauled off course was allowed to continue. 

    lb - race report - watch this space image.

  • thats encouraging B.H....i get all worried when i read about CP cut offs...i think its a bit mean to not let people have a fair go at even finishing by hauling them off or switching them to shorter routesimage
  • I've just registered and looking forward to it! My first multi stage image Did my first ultra in October... the Longmynd Hike and loved it.

    How did Druids go B.H?

    Is there plenty of room at the school hall? I was thinking of taking a big fat airbed! (am I right that we don't carry our sleeping gear, and that it goes in a mini bus?)
  • Druids went fine.  The black eye is nearly gone..... Bit of a race report on the wannabee thread
  • Hi Emily, yes, there was enough room last year, if I remember there were 2 individual halls, the quicker you finish the better spot on the floor you can pick!
    You can put the sleeping bag and a bag in the minibus and they take it to and fro, unless you want to carry it, I had enough trouble getting myself around, let alone my kit.
  • the druids was my first ultra and multiday and i have to say i think i may have found a new passion in life....i loved it, it was hard going on day 3 as my ankles got swollen quite badly but i was damned if i was going to pull out....lesson learnt though and will probalbly go for the pilgrims next year image
  • Thanks for the info. I wonder what the weather will be like? I've never ran in the snow image Only started running in April!

    I guess warm clothes, waterproofs and changes of socks etc etc is a must in Feb.
  • Yes to the above + headtorch if slow. I take a complete change of clothes - including shoes - for each day.  Also am a great fan of Sealskinz socks - but mainly because I get awful blisters if my feet get wet.

    np - sorry about your ankles.  Hope you get them sorted.

  • Congrats all those who completed the Druids.  BBH - I read your report on the other thread thank you.

     Seriously questioning my sanity for entering this.  This morning off to check out the run from Newlands Corner heading east (I have bought a guide book/map/book on how to read the said map), so looking forward to running somewhere new.

     Loving all the advice on this thread.  I too am really slow, so will be needing the services of a head torch.  If location in the hall is dependant upon our arrival times then I shall be just outside the toilet doors!

     All ultra runners look amazingly thin.  Hoping there are some chunky runners out there somewhere doing this!

    edited to change west to east - I am doomedimage

  • Hopetofinish

    Don't worry HP, I am a what you would call a chunky runner, although I am on a diet of dust at the moment, to try and lose a pound or two. As they say it's a marathon, not a sprint, so, slow but steady will be my strategy.
  • I actually put on weight when I started on ultras!!  I was having a lot of problems and not eating much, but once I stepped up from marathons to ultras I had to eat.  I am now a very chunky walker image.

    Hopetofinish- good luck with the recce.  I do most of my training on the Farnham/Merstham section of the North Downs Way.  It was very useful as I now know it like the back of my hand  and in places the signage can be ambiguous.  I know quite a few participants went astray at various places.

  • Thanks for the kind words! Thinking a diet of dust is what I should be on for the next few months.

    Ran 5 miles out and then 5 miles back from Newlands corner (beautiful sunshine, above all this pea soup).

    This part of the NDW I thought was better signed than a few place from Farnham. Bear - I fully intend to have run it a few times, as I am really keen not to run any extra miles!

    What's sort of mileage are peeps up to on their long runs at the moment.
  • Hoping to re-start training next week.  Planning on a slow waddle from Guildford to Pilgrims' start at Farnham Golf Course then back next weekend.  Afterwards will introduce mid week session from Box Hill to Reigate Hill and back .  The worst bit is the Box Hill steps - generally have being avoiding them and going up by another route, but must bite bullet soon image.
  • Bear BH, I bow to you, I still have nightmares about the steps at Box Hill, even coming down them was a challenge.
    In terms of training, I'm still out with a groin strain at the moment, so I'm having trouble getting up the steps in doors, let alone Box Hill.
    I do remember last year I did go wrong once, but on the whole, as long as you have your wits about you, it's not to bad to navigate.

  • Another one bowing here! That is some training.
    Hope you are on the mend real quick ahapartridge. Have you been out since Beachy? If so, I imagine you will have to balance doing enough training to complete this whilst looking to stay injury free.
    Having looked at the training plans, a lot recommend running 40 miles plus a week. Not even close to that!
  • H2f, yeah, not really run much since Beachy, I think what caused it was me over stretching on some of the down hill parts of the run and maybe caused some muscle tear? Initially couldn't lift myself out of bed, but has got better recently, keep icing the area and taking some pain killers, have also yesterday put some special tape around the area, which is supposed to lift the outer skin away.
    Only put tape on yesterday, after some very delicate shaving and probably a placebo effect, it does feel better today. Starting to get frustrated not being able to run at the moment, however, did do my first spin class this week, didn't affect my injury, so may have to look at other ways of keeping fit for the next month!
  • Well I hope it's not too difficult to navigate!!
    Doing 50-60 mpw at the moment, long runs of 20+ but I have my 3rd marathon of the year in December so have been in training pretty much the whole year.
    I'm assuming that these box hill steps are part of pilgrims?! Yikes!
  • Jeremy, great mileage per week, keep that mileage up and you should fly round. Yes, the Box Hill steps are part of the route, don't worry, I'm sure there are others as well, just in case you can't get enough of them.
  • Don't know about flying round - just going for completion as it's my first! Was just looking at the route /elevation map on the website - yikes! At least the last part day 2 will be relatively flat!

  • Sounds like your training is going very well Jeremy.
    I used to say for marathons, that as long as I am home before dark then I'm doing fine. Can't even say that for this one!
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