Yesterday I completed my first Ultra marathon
. 48 miles around Jersey in the Greenlight: Round the rock Ultra Marathon, over 1000 metres of ascent.
I finished in 9 hours 27 mins which was completely beyond my expectations to be honest. It was a hard day although felt good for the first 2 thirds of the race, which was a pleasant surprise My friend Steve and I went out cautiously as the longest either of us have run in one go is 26 miles, so we started with run 7 mins walk one minute as the first 10 miles are on road. We then switched to walking the uphills and running flats/downhills as soon as we hit the cliffpaths. It seemed an effective srategy and we passed alot of people on the paths which was encouraging. I remember feeling so good that I was waiting for the crash! I tried to keep eating and drinking and this seemed to sustain my energy and definitely between that and Steve and I just chatting for the whole thing to keep us in good spirits were the reasons a) I completed it and b) managed to complete in under 10 hours and gain the Silver Medal standard.
The cutoff time was 12 hours and the standards split into Bronze for completion under 12 hours, Silver for under 10 hours and Gold for under 8 hours. The winner came in at 6 hours 15 and was Daniel Doherty from Ireland. The great thing about the day was there was 115 runners, which was great for this inaugural event here in Jersey and over half the field were from abroad; The UK, Finland even a lady from Korea and a 76 year old lady from Welwyn Garden City which was truly inspirational to see!
A great day, especially to do my first ultra at home, friends coming to run with me at certain parts of the course as well as being at aid stations, and I dont feel too bad this morning to be honest.. I just got out of bed and can actually do an impression of walking which is great! I have however lost 4 toenails but who needs these?
For the run I used Inov8 Roclite 295's which I can heartily recommend, great traction, lightweight shoe. But the real success stroy for me for the day was some Nike Drifit Anti Blister socks I purchased from JD sports one day when I forgot to bring socks with me to go running. They were £12.95 for a pack of 2 and I took them off at the end and I did not have a single blister, which was amazing for me. I usually suffer from blisters on 10km runs so was expecting something resembling a crime scene at the end of yesterday!
I heartily recommend entering next years event if you want to do an ultra with stunning scenery and great camaraderie.