Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Stort30 - last ultra of the year... Probably

I say probably, because The 100 mile run was supposed to be the last ultra of the year, but discovering Stort30 a local ultra, it seemed rude not to sign up! I shared my madness with our FB running group and before I knew it six others including my boyfriend, Ian (who thinks ultra running is 'silly'!!) had done the same.
So on Sunday after an extra hour in bed (great timing for the clocks to go back!) race day had arrived. Ian arrived and I can honestly say I have never seen anyone look so terrified before a race, not even my friend Mark before Paras10 last year!! After a slight detour we arrived at race HQ and after the race briefing and obligatory pre race photo it was time to begin.
So myself, Ian, Gareth, Lorraine, Rob, Danny, Trevor and Kerry set off on our ultra adventure, I knew the rest of the guys are faster runners than me and expected them to finish before me. We started our two laps of the field that we had to do before setting off to the river. It was to be an out and back route along the river Stort, and having done a recce of it a few weeks previously was looking forward to the route. It was predominantly a trail run and I had done what every runner knows is the biggest race day mistake and bought new trail shoes the day before as there had been a lot of rain leading up to the event and I was worried about falling into the river in my road shoes and knew I couldn't run 30 miles in my current trail shoes, as it turned out no problems, trainers were great and no issues at all!! 
I ran the first 13 or so miles with Lorraine which was great and I was happy with my pace but had already started to slow down, so she made the very wise decision to go on ahead, one of the highlights was seeing Ian going back the other way, a quick hug and happy to see him looking better and I headed to the turn around. 
Seeing Vicky and Liz two more of our running group at checkpoint 2 and 4 was great, nothing like a friendly face and a goody bag to spur you on, thanks Vicky.
I was happy with my half way time but it all went a bit downhill from there!! Now I can sit here and make a million excuses as to why I struggled during the second half, too many events this year, I'd had a migraine on the Saturday etc etc but who knows why some races don't go as well as others? 
At about 24 miles I told myself I'd get to the final checkpoint and give in, at that point I had no desire to struggle though another 5miles, what was the point. Well I got to the checkpoint, there were a couple of other runners there too and I knew I couldn't quit, (that little phrase my friend Simon uses popped into my head 'pain is temporary, pride is forever') I've never had a DNF (did not finish) and today wasn't the day to start!! So a cup of squash and a banana and I headed out to finish this race! I ran/walked, chatted to a guy who recognised me from The Wall Ultra and finally the finish line, Ian, Lorraine, Rob and Vicky were waiting all I had to do was a lap of the field and it was over, pretty sure that field had got bigger since the start!! 
So medal handed over, hugs and well dones received and that was Stort30 completed. the rest of the guys did so well and I am so proud of them, (Ian still thinks ultra running is silly!!) 
It was a well organised, friendly race with great check points and am pretty certain I will give it another go next year! So thank you to all involved, a great day with great friends, now the aches and pains are beginning to subside it's back to the internet to find the next event ha ha ha!!!

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