I really have no idea why I did this event as I have done a track marathon once before that really did not go well and I did not enjoy it. It's not how they are organised, that is usually fine, its just the monotony and lack of atmosphere at the whole thing.
This particular event was in the K2 stadium in Crawley. This was a reasonably modern, fully equipped leisure center with integrated track and grandstand and all the facilities you would expect. The event itself consisted of a 24hr event which Kris and I were in, a 12 hour event that Brenda was doing and a 6hr event that Sean had entered. This was Sean and Brenda's second Crawley.
We set up our stall in the far corner of the stadium in what became known as the Irish corner which was a misnomer as Kris was from Australia and Sean from South Africa as well as Vanessa from England all sharing the facilities very kindly provided by Sean and Brenda. Seans children Sinead and Conor were there with Sinead in particular doing a good job all day crewing.
|Start of 6hr and 24hr race
This meant for a busy but not too busy field. There were also all sorts and standards there, including some members of the elite GB ultra team who were preparing for the World 24 championships in Belfast in July. The amazing Ann Bath was also there who at over 65 years old is a shoe-in for the masters world title in Belfast and duly did well over 100 miles in this event. There were also a multitude of odd ball runners who I didnt know and came with an assortment of crew and amusing race tactics.Kris and I were there representing our club Crusaders and had spent the morning shopping for empty calories and and settled on a melange of Coke, Rice pudding, more Coke, Iron Bru and Mountain Dew. Salt tablets still remain a topic of debate.
After a race briefing where we were told to give track priority to faster runners and if wearing head phones to use lane 2. This eventually had a very significant affect in that my own race was 6 miles further on my Garmin than the official distance which could be accounted for by running the whole race in lanes 2 and 3
There weere some celeb Ultra runners including Dan Lawson of Team GB, William Sichel, a multi-record holder and the first Brit to finish the world’s longest foot race within 52 days (3100 mile self transcendence race around 2 blocks in Queens New York), and Abichal Sherrington who has completed that same race 6 times among dozens of others from marathon to 1000 miles.. Here all of them talk in the podcast at the end of this blog.
We changed direction after every 4 hrs. The most exciting thing that happened was Kris nearly loosing her Ipod down the toilet. It was a long day. The weather became quite warm through the afternoon and most were running in T-Shirts and vests well into the night. Night came at 19:30 and the 12 hr race started at 20:00 under floodlights.
|Cru on tour
|Timimng System (automated and manual)
Eventually I came in for 100 miles 23:12 and had to finish one more lap to get it recorded, which bought the finish time to 23:17. I immediately decided to stop as my goal had been reached. Most of the others decided to walk on gathering a few extra miles. I lost a few places in the overall standings because of this but that was a decision. Kris was back on the track at this stage and one of the few still running and eventually registered 82 miles for her efforts.
Photos courtesy of Sean Smith & John Lavis
Nice outside broadcast from the event click here
More images from John Click Here
Strava Stats for today