|Starting at the finish!!!|
I knew quite a few people running and Richard and I had agreed to start together and see what happened. I didn't want to hold anyone up and was happy to run alone if necessary. It was good to catch up with some ultra friends at the start who I hadn't see for a long time, and there was an impressive posse from Great Notley parkrun either running or volunteering.
|Raring to go!|
The weather was good and we set off in good spirits with John deciding to join us as well, it was his first ultra. The route was no where near as muddy as I have seen it in the past and the running was good. My heart rate was a bit higher than I had planned but I felt good so went with it, after all it was a race! We soon arrived at CP1 and I ate some melon, pineapple, grapes and cherry tomatoes (loved the fruit on offer at the CPs this year!)
We met Jody early on in the race and she more or less stayed with us for the whole race, we were all a similar pace most of the day so staying together made sense.
|Check point 1|
Leaving CP3 my legs were aching, which was to be expected due to lack of long runs so I instructed Rich that we needed some in race entertainment. We played our usual town game, this time towns and places beginning with W (there are lots!), snog, marry avoid which we will leave out on the trail and never speak of again and the alphabet band/singer game with the twist that you had to sing a line or two of chosen band song! I apologise to anyone that had to endure me singing, still smiling at Jody's comment that she had always thought ultra runners were crazy people and we had proved it! Anyway before I knew it we were heading into Steeple for the long mile through the village to CP4 where Len was waiting with more bacon! Bacon is the way forward in ultra running.
|Posing along the trail!|
Richard finished slightly ahead and John and Jody were close behind, awesome effort by all. Lindley handed me my medal and out of the four it's a pretty special one!
All in all in was a perfect day on the trails, there were some very impressive performances by lots of friends, well done all. For me it was one of my happiest race experiences and I thank each and everyone of you who played a part in making it that way. For me the Maffetone Method, LCHF eating and being so much more relaxed before the race than usual all played a part in what was a very special day for me.
Thanks to all at Challenge Running for another brilliantly organised race, the volunteers were amazing and couldn't have been more helpful and I will be back for number five next year.
Special thanks to Richard, John, Jody, Andreea, Holly, Len and Karen for awesome support throughout the day xx
Happy running xx