This was an accidental 100 miler. My preparation was awful, in that since I fell in early April I have been really struggling with knee problems, and frustratingly it has only very very slowly been getting better. It has meant that I have not been able to run mid week and May was the least that I have run in years.
I was encouraged however that Tullaroan recovery had gone well and my knee seemed reasonable and I was confident at the very least of making the start line.
I traveled over with Kris who had been in brilliant form recently and was using this as a training run for her big 48 hr attempt in July. As this was to be held in Aldermaston in Berkshire, it was very convenient to my house in Basingstoke and a nights sleep was followed by a lie in and a trip to M&S and Asda for breakfast and supplies. For me today it was mini men, rice pudding, coke , fruit and Irn Bru.
We arrived at the venue at around 10am for the 12 noon start. I have to say I have never seen such facilities in a running venue, with a bar, massive village and as much camping as the eye can see (great toilets and showers). It really is setup for teams, families and supporters. As we were both running solo we had no tent, family nor supporters. We were also late and just about managed to squeeze into the solo parking area. I was amused about being given out by a duo team who had a massive tent and lots of family and supporters for us taking up one car space. Beside us was Chrisie and Ellie (supporting). Chrisie was on her second attempt having run 95 miles the first time in 2014. As it turns out I never saw her at all as we were on the same lap the whole time. I'm glad to report she came 4th lady home and managed her 100 miles.
Also close by was Jools ably assisted by his partner Kat. They had prime position and knowing Jool's form recently that he would blast this race. We spent some time with them before the start.
that was blasting music out all day (quiet at night). 4-5K was gently down hill past a lake and you eventually got to a very well equipped aid station. This was a prelude to "Heart Break Hill" that again was an unrunnable 900m hill that crested at the "Dark Damp Swamp". I was glad to see this every time. Then came a very technical part of the course as we went downhill through the "Fairy Forest" with lots and lots of trip hazards (it
was all lit up with fairy lights at night and even had real fairies at one stage). Coming out of the forest there was a short very steep downhill section before a more gentle 1K downhill section that wound its way back towards the start. Another twisty bit through a forest brought us back to the campsite which we ran around before coming across the start finish line at 8K. It was hilly. Just over the start finish line there was a tent with water and a drop off zone for refreshment.
|VW Cocktail bar
I did out a plan, but early on because of the hills I was way behind. But as the plan was for 22:30, I always knew I had a little in store so never felt under too much pressure. Because of my knee I was always prepared to drop out at any time particularly when I went over marathon and Ultra distance.
|Start at night
|Men's 100 mile club (YAY!)
the 2nd longest distance by a woman on the course since the event started.
Well done Kris.....
It was back to Basingstoke for some sleep and a bath. PHEW!!!!
Video of the event (Click here)
Stats for today (because of forest cover GPS is a little short).