Unofficial, alone ultra run - am I bonkers?

A couple of years after my first (failed) attempt at an ultra, I am ready to try again. But this time I am toying with the idea of making it a really solitary, personal journey and planning on running the approx. 85 km alone. The plan is that family and friends will serve as stations on the way and the finish line is just across the border at a lovely old Inn.

I have run 11 marathons (with no. 12 coming up in April). I run about 68 km a week building up to about 80km at marathon time. I plan to keep the long runs going after my marathon and run the ultra a few months later. I run 6 days out of 7 (I run to/from work everyday), resting on Saturdays. 

Am I completely mad?

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Comments

  • What has your mental state got to do with running ?
  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    Not at all, and if you're using friends and family as "aid stations" it's really not that different to an organised race image

    If you really want a "solitary personal journey" then have a think about doing it without support - your friends and family can always meet you at your planned finish! I don't know what the route is, but you can normally find water en-route, and you should be able to carry enough food for 85km.

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    image That's very true. I think all runners are a bit bonkers - that's what makes us such great people. 

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    That's true, GeeeM. Having friends and family at posts is mainly so I don't get too horribly lost on the way. I will be running along the coastline for much of the run so I will probably have to carry water. I have a backpack that can have a bladder in it and the essentials and I have a belt with water bottles that I usually use for my long runs.

    The solitary part of the journey is appealing - as you say, maybe they can just buy me a pint when I get to the finish.

  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    I do that sort of stuff all the time and am, in fact planning to do 50-miles of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path on Saturday image

    The (welsh) coastal paths normally have regular villages, pubs, toilets and other facilities so are ideal for that sort of thing. A quick recce of the route in Google Earth / Maps normally shows suitable places to refuel. It's also pretty hard to get lost - just keep the sea on your left/right as applicable. 

    Good luck image

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    Thanks GeeeM. I'm quite excited about it and feeling really positive. I will have a look at Google Earth/Maps - thanks. 

    What is the max distance you run as training (or is your 50 mile treck on Saturday training?). I plan to come up to about 45km followed by a 13km the next day maybe as a 3+10. Does that sound about right?

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    Best way to do it SP13.
    I'm still a little surprised by the popularity of things like the spine, the wall race and race to the stones etc. given how much they cost when they are there, free to use, all year round (and less crowded).
    Personally using family/friends is fine. Why not include them.
    If you feel you're missing out, buy yourself a nice medal to give yourself at the end.

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    I am thinking of a couple of steaks and a large pint of beer as my medal (as long as I don't end up wearing it!!!!). image

    I did consider doing an organised ultra but I like the idea of serenity. Plus the fact that I will be able to swear under my breath during the inevitable tough moments (or cry a bit, or both maybe) without offending or scaring anyone.

    I once took part in a long bike race and my bottom hurt so much I ended up shouting "arse" really loudly. It was great therapy but I probably scared people.

    I'm really quite charming, actually!!

  • doing it your way is probably easier as you can be in contact with the family and they can meet you every few miles and have exactly what you want with them.. If you fancy chips then they can get you chips

     

     Not sure why you think it might be mad... just like going for a 5 mile run ..

     If you were thinking of going over the mountains in scotland on your own in winter without any support  or knowledge of the area I might think you a  little mad.but following a set trail with support is sensible and easy  image

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    Thanks seren nos. I just knew this was the best place to ask. When you mention running long to non-runners they think anything over 10km is bad for your health. It's nice to get a real perspective here. image

  • Sounds like a great idea to me, just like a lovely long running adventure with the benefit of some supplies and support from family and friends! 

  • Snap!Snap! ✭✭✭
    Sound awesome! Let us know where and when and we'll all come!!
  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    You are all welcome, of course image. It's from Esbjerg to Suder Lugum - date is yet to be set. Much of the run is along coastline out to the Wadden Sea. Lovely.

  • Snap!Snap! ✭✭✭

    Er - that's not in Sussex, is it?

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    Not quite. But Denmark is great running country..... Flat, plenty of countryside, clean fresh air...

  • You have obviously made up your mind that you would like to do it, and you obviously have good support, so why not?

    Have a good jacket with you in case the weather turns gnarly, and carry cash so that you can use shops as checkpoints, and bail yourself out if you need to. 

    Above all, have fun!

  • Snap!Snap! ✭✭✭
    SP13 wrote (see)

    Not quite. But Denmark is great running country..... Flat, plenty of countryside, clean fresh air...

    Hmmm. Definitely not Sussex. Seriously, have fun. And come and do one of our Sussex ultras sometime. They're really hilly.

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    I have family in Sussex so maybe I will. And thanks. I'm really looking forward to it and have really appreciated all the positive comments.

  • SP13 wrote (see)

    A couple of years after my first (failed) attempt at an ultra, I am ready to try again. But this time I am toying with the idea of making it a really solitary, personal journey and planning on running the approx. 85 km alone. The plan is that family and friends will serve as stations on the way and the finish line is just across the border at a lovely old Inn.

    I have run 11 marathons (with no. 12 coming up in April). I run about 68 km a week building up to about 80km at marathon time. I plan to keep the long runs going after my marathon and run the ultra a few months later. I run 6 days out of 7 (I run to/from work everyday), resting on Saturdays. 

    Am I completely mad?

    Yes

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    I appreciated all the advice on this thread and thought I would update you a little.

    My plans were delayed a little by a fall that resulted in a severe concussion that took several weeks to clear up (blurred vision, dizzy spells, etc). But I have not given up. I have dusted myself down and started up again - and will run on the second Saturday in September this year. I have a few long training runs left (2 x 42km and 2 x 45/46km) and have run 2 x 36km but otherwise I am getting there. I am working on my food plan - testing what non-gel fuel I can stomach when running and have been practising the 5:1 method. 

    Any other advice is of course always welcome - but I just thought I would update on my mad plan. image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Personally speaking I can't see the thrill in testing myself with methods of self destruction. Proves nothing beyond the fact you survived.

    Anything beyond the civilized standard of endurance which we call the London Marathon, is considered unnecessary and excessive.

    Who wants to be labeled mad?

    I guess I must be lazy. But if I had any inclination to go beyond the London M. I'd cut to the chase and just throw myself off the top level of the nearest multi storey car park.

    Makes as much sense.

    And faster too.

  • carterusmcarterusm ✭✭✭

    Miserable chuff

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    Guess I won't be seeing him on my travels!!

  •  I'm jealous, I was in esbjerg last year and it is such a beautiful place (though the statues at the beach are actually kind of creepy!) . I was there in the middle of winter and it was definately a big turning point or me as a runner, I got my first 15k, ran 6 times a week for the first time. 

     

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    Wow - what brought you to Esbjerg, if I may ask? I agree that Esbjerg is lovely - fresh air, clean coast line, plenty of woods and areas of natural beauty. I moved here from the UK nearly 20 years ago and love the place.

    Sounds like you had a great trip. 

  • Go for it, just make sure you have a back up plan incase things go bad :P

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Pete image



    I'm actually half excited and looking forward to it and half petrified about it!
  • In July i had never even run a marathon, let alone ultra before but decided to run the Leeds Liverpool canal (130miles) in 48hour, failed epicly and had to get a friend to pick me up after 60miles at 3am. Great first experience though and made running 10miles feel like nothing image im re attempting it this month but with some light sleeping gear so will hopefully do the full thing image PSYCHED!

  • SP13SP13 ✭✭✭

    Good luck Pete! I hope it goes really well.

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