Monday, 20 July 2009

A new PB (well, it had to be...)

Phew, that was a good run yesterday. After last week's very slow effort, I wasn't sure what to expect from my first double marathon (52.4 miles).

It was an 8 lap course in the Kent countryside. Pleasantly flat and generally good terrain, with a mixture of road, tracks, grass, field and concrete paths. I managed to fall over twice. Once on soft grass so no problem, then on the gravelly dirt track, just causing a grazed knee which I got cleaned up at the checkpoint next time I went through. We could leave a bag at the checkpoint so didn't need to carry much, as we could pick up just what we needed for each lap. I was quick most times, just grabbing a gel or two and maybe a Nuun tablet for salt. I also grabbed a handful of salted nuts each time. After 4 laps I had a longer stop to put on suncream and vaseline (after which it rained - though that was most welcome as the rest of the day was very warm).

I thought the laps would get tedious, but I really enjoyed knowing what was coming up and it was a pretty route. Plus there was one section that we passed twice on each lap so we got to see lots of other competitors throughout the event, which made it very different from most ultras.

There were loads of Fetchies there, including yet more I hadn't met before, so it was all very sociable. We drank in the pub (which was the checkpoint) on the Saturday night and camped in a local field. Which was handy for the 6 am start.

I really enjoyed the day. I came in fourth (female), though was told my time (9 hours 28 minutes) would have won it a couple of years ago - a sign that the UK ultra running community is improving perhaps?The challenge was really well organised and definitely one to go back to next year methinks.

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