Saturday 11th November – After packing our bags, filling our water and getting an energy bar down, Scott and I set off to register for the Endurance Life Gower Ultra Marathon. Waiting in line the wind was picking up and it wasn’t looking too promising. Scott got in the pre race espresso’s from a little van, it was a good espresso before you ask!
Once registered we had to go and listen to the briefing. Normal race stuff, sign posts and things to look out for. When the guy giving the briefing said “some of you will be running in the dark” I knew it was going to be a long day.
It didn’t start out great, I forgot my trail running shoes with loads of grip. Instead I had my road shoes, these turned out to be like ice skating in the mud. We started the race around 0900 in a mass start. It was fairly narrow until it opened out at the first massive hill. You know its a hard race when the first hill is a calf killer.
We had a good race where our fuelling was concerned, I had a mixture of bars and gels, plenty of water and Scott went for bars and sweets which when he gave me some really helped. Haribo tangtastics, a god send 20+ miles in. Fuelling well for a long race was an area i’ve been working in getting right and thankfully it seemed to work out well! The only thing that let me down was not bringing my trail shoes (and my speed…or lack of!).
So having entered for the ultra race (instead of the Marathon and 10k options) the course was a loop of around 28 miles (Scott’s Garmin) and then a 10km loop heading out the same way to finish. Scott left me around 22 miles in and so I was expecting him to be on the 10km finishing loop when I got told I couldn’t continue as I missed the cut off time by around 20 minutes. As I headed towards the finish line I saw Scott.p had already finished. He also hadn’t been allowed to complete the last 10km loop, which was unfortunate as he was running really well and smashing it. So we only managed to do 28 miles. Whilst not what we had set out for, this is the furthest either of us have run before. We both felt good at the end of the race and strangely annoyed we couldn’t do the 10km as we had it in us.
There was a lot of ups and downs thought the race, that includes me falling over about 3 times. A lot of changes in terrain and although the weather didn’t look great it stayed nice for the run which definitely helped. I can see why the Gower was designated an “area of outstanding natural beauty”, it is beautiful and having the chance to run around it was awesome. We ran through woods, along the trails and on the beaches, a great experience!
I need to take this race and make myself better. I need to work on losing weight, speed over longer distances and water intake. Ive posted a blog post about 4 tips for over coming failure Click here Check it out.