Tuesday 21 February 2012

19th Feb London Ultra 50km

London ultra '50'km as easy as following signs! Ideal running conditions if you 
lost the breeze! Played the game 'spot the runner' on the train across to the start generally quite easy on the first trains on Sunday morning. The thought process is something like this.
Is suspected runner wearing some kind of running trainers?
Do they generally stand out as being a bit weird?
Are they displaying an item of clothing that's fluro green?
A backpack that is loaded up with bits wedged into every compartment and a few stray energy gels dangling off it?
Are they twitching with excitement?
Are they chain munching their way through a neverending supply of bananas?
And the real clincher... When asked, are they 'taking it easy'/ 'done no training oh except a few 8hour runs here and there' OR... 'injured'?
Anyhow Bumped into ome familiar faces and met some new ones making the jump up from marathon distance. Found the start quite easy as there was a good stream of runners to follow by now and got in line for race numbers at a pavillion

Race got underway just after 9.15 and I found myself about 6th with a small group pushing on in front. I thought I spotted Stuart Mills ahead there too? With a few twists and turns the group moved out of sight and I ran with a chap who was similar paced for a couple of checkpoints before he moved ahead. I ran at what felt comfortable, a pace that would land me 50k in about 3.45. running through a flooded tunnel at about 5k gave us some nice wet feet. The signs for capital ring were relatively good to follow if you kept your eyes open (it was meant to be a marked out course so no real nav skills required) Somewhere just before marathon distance I managed to miss a sign and proceeded to run about 5mins off course. Looking back at where I should have gone on a map there might have been a group of cycling people infront of where the sign roughly would have been. I reached a river and I realised I was heading back to where I had come from and spun round to follow the river on to the final
cp. Passed through the cp grabbed a quick can of coke and a few jbs. Only actually rented the coke but im sure my body absorbed some of the goodness in the 90sec it was in my stomach. I picked up the pace now with about a marathon on the watch. Following the course happily along the canal crossed the bridge and I knew there was a fork to the right coming up. sure enough there it was. I bounced down and jammed on the brakes. The path had a big fence across and some sort of police notice. bugger.I headed back onto the towpath and carried on slow, deciding what to do. The next runner caught up and we tried to figure a way around. Not much luck and after ten mins of head scratching up came RobbIe and a few others. None any the wiser about directions we set off heading at a guess the direction of the finish. I had reached 50k on my watch in about 4hours 2mins and I figured out a rough position on the map and seemed to turn into group navigator. When I stopped to walk and check the map so did the others. It seemed pretty much 2 straight roads to get us back on course... maybe 2km? then about the same distance onto the finish. Robbie moved ahead and managed to find someone passing by who had actually heard of 'PerIvale' where we were set to finish. As I got close to the junction to take me back to the course I zipped across the road and left my tail and set about chasing down Mr britton over the final field with the finish flags in sight. I think I rolled in 6th. but ill check that. 4hours 23min 54.8km. Pretty disappointed with the time. Although I did get better value for money... more miles for the same entry fee! Running fast is great if your going in the right direction! Vale my transport coordinator... I would still be lost within the tube somewhere without her... and now newly addicted ultrarunner managed a solid sub 5hour time just a whisker behind ladies favourite Trinity, in her first ultra marathon!! Lots of regulars out in force too big well dones all around!

Good finish location. A shower powerful enough to take your skin off. Some nice mugs big enough to drown a triathlete and his pointy bike helmet.

I've been writing this during my coach journey home with the ever reliable N******* E******. Comfortable, cheap, timely and you can always rely on a good quote from the driver
my most noteworthy from a previous journey...
After enquiring if the bus was travelling to London as it had the correct code but the destination said something else... the driver was kind enough to entertain me with the response
'it says f***ing India on the Tyres too but am not going there neither' 
Tonight wasn't quite so exciting....
whilst boarding bus 'wheres ya ticket mate?'
here, as I handed it over
'where ya goin mate?'
'Is that the date?!'
'Get on then'
I felt like royalty being talked to so politely.
There are some photos from Ultra Race on the following link.
That pretty much concludes the race, incredible how lost you can get when following signs!
All in all quite a hilarious/disastrous race.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a bit of a pain Charlie. Good running though.