Category Archives: Ultra
Chiltern Challenge 50km – well I was looking for a challenge!
by Jo Sharples
Why would you ever want to? Followed with, are you mad? Seem to be common reactions to me running the Chiltern Challenge 50KM ultra. Mad, in my opinion, no but lost maybe. So lets start at the beginning.
Berlin Airport 2017.
I had just run the 2017 BMW Berlin Marathon, and was queuing to check in at the airport. It seemed most other Brits had also chosen this flight home. Berlin had been a mixed bag for me; I was overall pleased with my time, but couldn’t quite stop the disappointment I was feeling. I had experienced very difficult family issues in the final part of my training, and had been struggling to work let alone have the motivation and determination to train. This alongside an attempted burglary the day before the marathon in our hotel room had me mentally on the next flight home. There were too many problems and worries I could not solve here and I needed to escape. What was I to do? My race pack was collected, I had even already pinned my number to my LBAC vest. I could not honestly tell you what MY decision would have been if Sam had not been there. His stern, fair, and supportive talk was 100% the reason I made it to the start line. So I should have been happy with 2min shy of a PB- but that had not been the goal at Berlin.
L2M – 50miles Ultra
by David KillickSo anyone goes back through the annuls of time you will see reports from me for 10km, East Anglian League, Being a lonely Thrower so for good measure I decided I needed to write a new report so entered the Liverpool to Manchester 50 miler. Not the full truth but hey makes me look like the strangest athlete in the world. Why Liverpool to Manchester (L2M). After the Wendover 50 failure I had serious beef with this distance. My first foray into the longer mind messing world of 50 milers went completely wrong. So what better than to choose a flattish course with likely to be perfect spring weather and a tail wind on your back. Richard Steely sold it to me as a perfect race, So Mrs K and I thought why not. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the weather gods that I don’t do torrential rain, snow, blizzards, snow, 20mph headwinds, more rain, cold, even colder. Knew it was not going to be nice but when you pull back the curtains at your hotel at 5am in the morning and see flooded paths only 300m away from the start line you know its gonna be a long day. And that it was. Predicted time went out the window as finishing became the objective. First part of the course was ok until 19km where I stupidly got lost for 27mins and 5km. Unfortunately this is where I lost Richard who had gone for a pee and never caught me up (he was deluded enough to think I was beating him). I say ok if you like a blizzard to run in either side of heavy rain. soon after that you hit the pure trails and with it the puddles that splattered the Pennine Way and there was no avoiding running through them as the path was basically a flood., so a good 50km of very wet feet. Check points came and went, gladly people and supporters on hand to open backpacks as hands were frozen and the mind stop coordinating with the body. By 60km checkpoint I was being given a man up talking to by some guy who gave me detailed instructions that the worse was to come (cheers mate) but I just had to dig deep. I would have said thanks but I had my mouth full of cola bottles (my new friend), And off I trudged talking to myself. The next 10km was the longest 10km ever in my life. I am sure it was longer, time passed by as did more distance. so 10km left, stocking up on more food (oh how I love Ultras just for the food). And off I went in 50th place. Unfortunately got taken about 2kms from the end to finish in 51st in 9hrs 27m. By then the rain had stopped, I had sweated to death inside my rain jacket and my club vest didn’t see any cameras on route. Sorry I cant remember much about the route as I spent a lot of time looking down at my feet as I ran through puddle after puddle. I just know it was for me an emotional rollercoaster, banished the disappointment of Wendover, and pretty much proved that if you dig deep enough you can do anything. So after I finished the heavens decided to give those left on the course a much needed wash (and me as I walked to the hotel to get the car). I know Mrs K was going to appreciate the cooling rain as she must have been boiling hot. So back to the finish area to see Mrs K come into the finish area to do a lap (swimming by this stage) of the rugby pitch. Finishing in 12hrs 44, to take the womans 50m club record and 188th place Richard finished in 8hrs 31, down 50 mins on the previous year but an indication of how bad the weather was. We also qualified for the team rankings as we had a team of 3 and came 7th out of 11 teams. I can’t think if LBAC have ever had a an ULTRA team before so happy to be the inaugural team members. So will I do another. hmmmmm…………..
Ironman Copenhagen 2017
by Fiona Towell
All for a Tattoo
Ironman Copenhagen was my first (and last I hasten to add) Ironman.
10+ years ago when I joined the club I heard about Ironman from Joe Hurley and Tom May, the only two at the time that ‘did them.’
I remember vividly thinking ‘Really? – you swim for two and a half miles, cycle 112 and then run a WHOLE marathon? Why would anyone want to do that? What on earth is the point? And even if it IS physically possible it can’t be good for you, surely?’
by Alex Killick
Many people have said to me that they couldn’t do it and early last year I would have agreed with them. I mean I could hardly run 5K at the beginning of 2016 let alone 50K. Mr K did his first 50K towards the end of last year and that got me thinking. I like the idea of smaller more relaxed events and so when I found out about the Chiltern Challenge I thought maybe I would give it a go, then it appeared on the list for the club off-road series and I knew I had to do it!
So training wise I had no plan – I just started running more, going out for hours and getting lost, stressing about everything and anything and taking too many photo stops.