Tuesday 29 December 2015

Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects Ultra   50K  5:27:15

Portsmouth Trail  marathon   4:53:16

Medal of the year

Saturday seen us all off to Folkestown for the Usual Suspects 6 hr challenge. This was on the Samphire Hoe course underneath the white cliffs. I was last here for the Alice ultra. It was 16 degrees in December but a stiff enough wind off the sea made the out portion of the 3.85 mile loop tough enough. It was also hillier than I remembered.

Detail was incredible
Stefan and Susie
This was really the Brenda show today. Not only was she doing her 100th marathon of 2015 she also received her 200 badge from the marathon club.

7 loops was a marathon and 8 was an ultra. There was a great atmosphere around with quite a bit of fancy dress and good wishes.

Mulled wine fudge (the best)
The outbound half of the loop was tough but you got the benefit of the wind on the way back which was nice. The hills back up from the sea front was tough. I ran all of this at the Alice run but decided to hike the steep bit today (its only 100m).

I didnt kill myself today but wanted a steady run.  2:10 seen me through half marathon and I kept a steady pace in the second half passing many. Everyone seemed to be finding it tough today and out of 120 starters there was only 3 sub 4 marathons posted.

Brenda on her 100th for 2015
Coming up to 6 1/2 loops I came across Brenda and Anna who were chatting their way round and stayed with them to the marathon distance. This was about 4:25 and I decided to go out for one more loop and stayed with them for this loop. This brought me in with an Ultra in 5:28 which could have been a lot better if I wanted. This was good enough for 9th place overall.

We were rewarded with the most amazing medal which included the names of all the entrants as part of the medal. One for the collectors.

1Km to go on the prom
Sunday saw me off to Portsmouth for a b2b attempt. Portsmouth isn't my favorite. The weather was worse and the course was sure to be muddy and over contested. This is exactly what happened. In addition this year we had a 50K and 1/2 marathon on the course at the same time.

And Home

The wind was strong, very strong and was into our faces pretty much for the second half. It was muddy, vey muddy and a lot of people fell often. I nearly went myself despite having trail shoes at a boardwalk section.

The beach sections were slow and congested and the narrow trail section was even worse that I remember with the leaders in the 50K coming against us on a track that was only single file at best.

The aid stations were great and the company was great and Anna's Santa
Nice medal
was great. There was a nice buff and medal but it was slow and my time was rubbish. I wont do this one again.

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