Thought I’d post a memory here – my first Ultra distance run – Pedders Way Ultra (48 miles), excellently organised by Positive Steps. I felt so crap after 30 miles that I really thought I’d have to pack it in. Walk breaks and fab support by @juliayelloly kept me going though – 35 ex 130 runners, not too shabby for my first ultra, in 8:49:27! Good support from @Stevedred too, although he should have been effin’ running the damn thing as it was his idea for all of us to enter originally…
Fellow Tri-Anglian Vince Butler (@ironcockney) did stupendous, pushing through to 21st place in 8:24:40 for his first Ultra too, despite being a REALLY grumpy bastard at half-way…
As training for the PWU, I’d signed up for the Positive Steps Kings Forest Festive Challenge on Sat 28th Nov 15, with other PWU victims Steve Dickens and Vince Butler. Other Thetfordites were there, inc. Sabine Schaefer. It’s a 20 mile, or 32km, flattish cross-country race, in the forest obviously! Was cold (about 2-3 degrees, but sunny with moderate wind – shorts!), but really nice – three laps around an area I’d never investigated, and Julia cycled out to shout at us for a short bit of the race, just when we needed it. Mostly dry, open tracks, and mostly sheltered, although some long straights straight into a cold, harsh wind.
Turned out to be nearer 21 miles (33.2km according to my Garmin 310xt), but I managed to flog it (run) the whole way and came in 7th in 2:45:25, with Vince and Sabine in 8th and 9th respectively just a couple of minutes behind (74 completed 20 miler, 102 did a 1/2 marathon, and 85 did a 10km). Vince should have been up with me, but stopped for a pee, and Sabine should have been ahead of me except she went wrong for a bit, and then both had to run/walk nearer the end. Steve had some issues – not sure his run/walk practice rate for PWU is quite right at 4:1 ratio, or if his feeding regime was just off, but he limped over the line, bent-double, in 4:05 – took him about 10 mins before he could stand straight!
Recovery? Ankles buggered the following day, but back to swim and run sessions a couple of days later. Superb event, and necessary training leading up to PWU.
Although I’ve been back into the running since early mid-October, I’ve only been doing a few hour-long sessions around town each week, and one longer (1:47) off-road run which included Brandon Parkrun. Yesterday I went to the start of the Pedders Way to see what it was like (Ultra training session 7). Having signed up for this Ultra distance run a while ago, I thought I should check out the route a bit more, and get more used to off-road stuff. See Strava include below…
Starts off in a wee car park near Knettishall, and follows lovely leaf-strewn trails northwards. Can be a bit narrow in some places so potential ankle-twisting, but on the whole easy to follow and run. There’s a stretch of boardwalk near Brettenham that skirts the river, which can be slippery and also flooded (I’ve been caught out by this in the past).
Only downer!? Bastards fly-tipping near the West Harling Road. Rubbish everywhere. Also smells of pigs LOTS throughout this whole area, but then at least it’s semi-natural.
So – I’ve managed to run a paltry 8% of the total run (but did have to run back to where I started, and only had an hour…).
Thetford (Norfolk) is fabulous. Well, the forest is anyway. A morning run on trail and track, in the sun, lifts the spirits, but tires the legs – 19km! Amazed to hear Cuckoo calling near the range (juvenile bird? I thought all adults were back in Africa, or maybe just leaving) and glad to see and hear Woodlark in the clear-fell areas north of Mayday Farm [Yes, these are now in BirdTrack].