Running 9:27:28  95.5 km (5:57 / km) +2918m 5:09 / km
shoes: Roclite 290
Ultra Tour of the Peak District (Trace part 1) 60miles - 1st
Been interested in doing an ultra for a while now. Mostly out of curiosity to see what would happen. I wanted a hilly trail one but without much hands on knees types climbs and this seemed perfect and was very happy to be going back to the peaks.
I was semi-confident coming in after a couple of long runs and the hiking without major problems. I knew this would be different game distance wise.
Start at 6:00am and pootled off very slowly at the front and after 1k it was already myself and Graham Watson (ex fairly elite orienteer). My plan was to run all the way to A57 at maybe just a bit slower than long run pace and see what happens.
I had a rough schedule to finish in 10:20 which was roughly previous winning times. I knew I would be up on this to begin with then possibly drop. At checkpoint 1 at Burbage bridge was already 15min ahead after 50min. Oops. Then it was wet and windy along stanage but I started to get a gap then just seemed to cruise the long downhill road/big tracks from Stanage pole to A57 (21min 5k was probably a bit too quick and could feel the quads a bit).
Then on way to Moscar got my coat on as the rain came and it stayed on for the next 6 hours. Coming down to aid station at Moscar I saw Dave Taylor pull up and start throwing drop bags out as I arrive. No control yet but grabbed a banana and set off up to Derwent edge feeling good.
Nice to see Laura on top and got to Marshall for lost lad about 1km from it as I was too early. Then down to Derwent water and no Marshall there yet so carried on. Still feeling really good and managed to run all the way back up the edge and back down to aid station again to grab a bit more food.
The next section I saw as a get to bottom of Win Hill to restart and do the next hilly part of the race. With a cheeky grin after I completed my first marathon in a solid 3:36. Unfortunately it became very wet and windy and started getting cold on Stanage and struggling to eat the food I had. Getting worried how tough Win to Kinder would be with a headwind and realising things were hurting and I wasn't quite halfway. Found Laura with an orange which went down nicely then got to bottom of Parkin and refilled water bottles and set off up the hill. Loved Parkin's clough as it was sheltered and I got to walk and was with loads of the 30milers.
Unfortunately everyone else turned down to Twitchill and onwards to Kinder I went alone. The downhills were now hurting my knees and quads quite a lot. I was paying the price for the fast start. The section on Kinder was grim in the weather and I still wasn't eating well and just was a bit miserable. This was one of the lowest points as still had 35k to go and struggling to keep moving.
Really hurt coming off Kinder down to the main road and was shuffling along. I hit the climb and actually felt okay. I managed to run most of it pain free even getting through a gel with no stomach problems. Laughing to myself as I shuffled from Hollins Cross to Castleton as I know this descent from smashing it down doing Castleton and here I am practically walking down.
Then Laura and fam was in Castleton and I was feeling better and managed to run most of Cave Dale (Garmin change here) and looking forward to getting to final station at Bradwell and join the 30milers again. A painful road descent but got there okay but disappointed that there was pretty much no 30 milers left. I also realised looking at the massive spread of food that I was starving. Stuffed my face as thought I needed it and set off after a 4min break.
What happened next wasn't great. In hindsight I ate too much. I was feeling a bit sick but mostly I got food coma combined with exhaustion meant I was struggling to stay awake let alone run. Another gruelling road descent and then we had a nice flat 5km along the river I was looking forward to. Unfortunately by this point I was stumbling along like a drunkard and purely focussed on just making it to the end of that section.
Perked up slightly over Burbage as sun came out and managed to run all the hills and then knew it was the home stretch and finally back into Limb Valley and over the line.
A wave of exhaustion hit me and I just sat down and just enjoyed sitting. Finally went inside got some food and some Abbeydale Moonshine which just topped it all off.
All in all an interesting adventure and very glad I did it. I think more will happen in the future but back to sprint-o for 2018 after plenty of R&R