Pilgrims Challenge

Getting close now - anyone else entered?



  • Sadly no.  It's my dad's birthday that weekend, we're all going out for dinner on the saturday night, and I know when not to push my luck too far.

    Enjoy it!

  • No - I was going to, but then decided to do the "5x50" in 2013 and the first one I'm running is Thames Trot 50, which clashes, so I've put off Pilgrims until next year.

  • Sorry neither of you will be there but enjoy Peronel and wow - good luck Debra image.

  • And good luck to you for Pilgrims!image

  • Yes I'm in, looking forward to it.  No way I'm sharing a hall with a load of other smelly, farting runners though image 

    ANyone done this before - want to know if I can leave a car at race start (to pick up after day2), and I presume we bring our gear to race start and they deliver to the finish (merstham)?

    I'm doing another recce on Wed - Merstham to Farnham.  Know the route quite well now.

    Hope everyone is fit, just a few weeks away.

  • SMELLY!!!image  FARTING????image- how dare you (Cruel but fair nevertheless).  If the start is the same as it has been previously - a large marquee in a feld - then parking should be no problem, but as well to check with Neil to make certain.

    Did a shortish loop from Box Hill to the top of Reigate Hill and back on Saturday - there is a shortish section on the approach to Reigate Hill where it is almost impossible to avoid going through deep puddles of really evil sticky mud.  Hope these will have dried out somewhat. Planning to do Dorking- Guildford and back this Saturday, then just a final short session of Merstham to Reigate Hill and back as my taper the following week.

  • What about sleeping gear etc - I presume we leave a large bag at race start and they deliver to Merstham?  Couldnt find anything about luggage delivery in the race information.

    Hmm hope not too sticky tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it is.

  • Odd - my reply seems to have vanished - perhaps I've got myself on 'ignore member' image.  Wot I said was yes the bags are transported to Merstham.  I was also wondering where you planned staying.


  • Cheers for that.  Well, I have a friend also entered in the event and his Mother lives in Merstham.  Handy!  However, he's not injury issues and not a lot of time to train so unlikely to do the first day let alone both.  Therefore I booked myself in at the Gatwick white house hotel in Horley (one stop from Redhill).

    The other option is to head back to Teddington for the night but that's a 1h15-1hr30 trip (2-3 stops) and at least 1 mile walking.  Didnt fancy that.

    All of the above would be preferable to the school hall though.  I'm a light sleeper and usually struggle to sleep the night of an event anyway (adrenaline....and pain)


  • Oh,  I ran the day2 course today from the school in Merstham to Sandy Balls.  That was tough!  Sticky mud the wole way (as mentioned before) that's in no rush to disappear.  Also, about 100-200m of the path beside sandy balls golf course is flooded out.  I didnt want to find out how deep it was - ran beside golf course.


    I've run from west to east a few times now, so it was interesting to check out the other direction.  I believe I took a wrong turn 3-4 times. image But knew almost immeditaely, thanks to the gps.

    I had a virtual partner running at 9:00/M.  The bugger was great up the hills!  I finished in 4hr43mins.  That's the time I want to do day2 at pilgrims.


  • Sandy Balls?  Thought that was in New Forest/Hampshire way - or did you do a very long run?

  • Ha, I'll blame that on being tired.  Yes Sandy Balls should read just 'Sands/Sand Road'

  • Ah now I know where you mean.  I must confess I did my first recce - Guildford - Farnham Golf Course and back 2 weeks ago in wellies  (you can tell I'm not a runner).  Must say that having dry feet compensated for the fact that they were uncomfortable and cold.


  • Yes I hope most of the water/mud lifts by race day.  Plenty of time yet.  Or perhaps go the other way like last year and have snow.  That would be fun.

  • I was so pleased that I'd thrown my Yak Trax into my bag at the last moment otherwise Day 2 would have been a total write off.

  • That bad?  from pics just shows snow.  But presume day2 had a nice snow/mud mix?

  • The snow started just before 5pm on day1 when only the slowbees (such as myself) were still out and about .  It continued overnight and was about 8-15cm deep by morning.  The problem was that the first section of day 2 had some very steep descents - Reigate and the Box Hill switchback - and the thaw did not set in until late morning.  This meant it was very slippery for the - yet again - back enders such as myself - the front runners having tramped the snow into ice (hence the need for Yak Trax).  The mud snow ice mix got 'better' as the day went on.

    As for todat - intended doing a Dorking/St.Martha's Hill loop, then it decreased to Dorking/Newlands Corner, but half way through Hollister Wood lost will to live (frozen, damp, hungry) lost will to live and turned back.

  • Hi Bear B.Hind - I'm doing it with Hope to Finish, she met you on the course last year.   I think she used hypnosis or some other kind of brainwashing technique and convinced me it would be a good idea to enter!

    It's my first ultra and I'm panicking a bit now but have done long runs in the mud and snow so unless we have a sudden heatwave I'm prepared for all conditions.

    Daz - HTF said that staying in the hall was a big part of the whole experience - even the unpleasant bits!  She recommended ear plugs to cut out snoring but didnt' mention any nasty smells image

    More rain due here from tomorrow so no chance of it drying out just yet............

  • Missed out on this week's session.  Thought it was probably not best idea to do unsupported session in uncertain conditions, also felt pretty knackered, turns out I was getting a cold.  With a bit of luck will manage one last mud bath before the actual event.

  • HTF thanks for that.  I think I'll just stick the 'bed and bath experience' though image

  • Daz


    Make sure that David starts day 2. I ran back from town with him on Friday and he is thinking about only doing Day 1


    He may not have trained much but I reckon he's good to go for both daysimage

  • At one point he wasn't going to even start it because of lack of training time, injury.  It would be good to see him do day2 but won't push him.  You racing it?

    I may not be able to do both days myself yet.  Have a lower back/hip issue that makes hill running painfull.  Hopefully the taper and rest/stretching will sort it.  

  • All the best with the tapir (wretched beast!!).  Did a cautious waddle up Box Hill to test conditions.  Still a few ice patches, but given forecast they should be gone by next week to be replaced by yet more mudimage.  Knee length Sealskinz arrived today - think I'll be needing them!

  • I was going to ask what the conditions are like.  Not in the UK at mo, back tomorrow. I see there are int showers all week leading in.  Do you think it will be as wet and muddy as pre-xmas?  I wonder if that 100m stretch by Sands Golf Course is still flooded out.!


  • It did not strike me as being as muddy as earlier on - although it's still quite bad.  Fingers crossed the forecast rain will not be torrential.

  • BBH: tapirs are wonderful creatures! They like to be scritched behind their jaw bone, also on their tummy.

  • I ran on streatches of the NDW on Sunday and it was pretty bad mud, though nothing deeper than ankle-deep. Should be showers for the weekend and won't have dried out much so prepare for lots of mud! On the plus side some of the sandier sections are easier to run through. I've done this event twice and still can't remember the golf course, I have complete route-amnesia!

  • Scritching my tapir like mad Debra.  Jennifer the golf course was at Puttenham, a couple of miles before Guildford, just after crossing that quite busy A road.

  • BBH, and others: good luck for the weekend! I'd say "I'll be thinking of you" but since I'm intending to spend Saturday running (with luck) through mud and ankle-deep water along the Thames Path on TT50, I don't think I'll be thinking of very much except staying on my feet and keeping progressing towards Henley ... I'll try to think of you all on Sunday!

  • Good luck to you as well Debra - Thames Path can be a lot worse than ankle deep on some stretches - hope you're not on them.

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