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Ultra Running in the UK

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Ultra Running in the UK

Post by russwyd on Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:54 pm

I ran the Winter 100 yesterday - a hilly off road 100 mile race around the Thames path and Ridgeway Trail.

Conditions were very good - sunshine during the day and a sharp frost overnight. One of the main hindrances of this race is a 10am start and hence around 6 hours of daylight before runners need to switch to head torches through some quite tricky trails with tree roots, uneven ground and awkward paths. No moon at all, so pitch black, and we had a heavy frost and fog along the river, making visibility quite difficult in the fourth leg.

The race follows four legs/spurs, each a 25 mile out-and-back route. The first is flat, along the Thames Path westward, then the second hilly and difficult along the Ridgeway through Grim's Ditch, the third hilly climbing up to Chain Hill and back on the Ridgeway, and the fourth eastwards along the Thames Path on an undulating wooded trail to Reading and back.

The whole field set off at a quick pace - I went through 25 miles in 3:34 and I was back in 19th place in a field of 96 runners. I backed off on the Grim's Ditch section, particularly as darkness set in and I had to navigate via head torch. A couple of trips over hidden tree roots made me quite wary, plus the ground is quite worn from mountain bikers in places with deep and narrow gorges that can be very dangerous to the ankles.

I went through 50 miles in 8:17 and began the long climb up Chain Hill at a steady walk/jog. By 75 miles I'd moved up to 14th place in 13:34, and runners were allowed a buddy/pacer for the final leg so I picked up Phil, a hugely enthusiastic running friend who is also a fantastic runner (a regular - and I mean regular since he races even more than me - 3 hour marathon runner). We worked hard on the last section, hindered a little by poor visibility and a heavy frost, pulling through to 9th overall in 18:36:39.

Results and splits here:

http://www.centurionrunning.com/live/2013-winter-100-live/

I'm very happy with my run - especially as three quarters of the race was run in the dark, mostly alone. My 25 mile splits were 3:34, 4:43, 5:17 and 5:02. Ever grateful to Sarah for being a great support crew and being there with tea and coffee at the later checkpoints, and Phil for nagging me to eat and drink.

Official PB/PR by 2 hours and 41 minutes (!!) - not often you can say that is it?

Russ
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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by Marc Thayer on Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:32 pm

I read this without believing ...it is so fantastic a concept. Good on ya...that is an amazing event and an incredible outcome.

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by kodi30 on Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:28 pm

Wow, good impressive overall time and really nice splits. Congratulations. Did I read somewhere you're only 25 years old, you must be for a time like that? LOL!!!!!

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by twal on Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:01 pm

Amazing performance. Congratulations.

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by RoadKillBill on Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:32 pm

An incredible feat and incredible performance! Well done! HUGE PR!

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:52 pm

Fantastic Russ!! I can't even wrap my head around what running 100 miles might feel like... And you ran it so fast!

Well done! cheers

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:30 pm

Wow, you are the energizer bunny, I can't imagine doing something like this.  We need to put a "Go Pro" GO PRO on you with the next one, that way you can share the view with all of us here.  

Well done! Very Happy

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by echoguy on Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:06 pm

Well Russ. Your 100 mile PR is about 10 hours faster than mine! But.....as long as you keep concentrating on those ultra distances, I still harbor the hope of out sprinting you at the end of a short race... Hahaaa.

Congrats on a great race and good health!!!

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by russwyd on Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:27 am

Careful Brian, my first 25 mile split wasn't too shabby!

It's great that we can debate sprinting in 'short races' that are actually 26.2 miles long!

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Re: Ultra Running in the UK

Post by Rachel August on Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:30 am

Russ - you are an incredible runner!!! Excellent effort - congratulations on your PR - your running goes well beyond my imagination!!!!

Sprinting the "short races" is seriously incredible in any running circle..... as is running 100 - Russ and Brian you guys are amazing!

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