I went a bit crazy on sunday, and decided to run 30 miles across the North Downs, no idea why I decided to step up from a nice easy on road half marathon, to a silly off-road, cold, icy, rough, muddy, hilly run, but insanity is what I think.
At 9:07 I was standing in a near deserted carpark in Leatherhead, slightly cold, with nothing but a phone, a GPS, detailed route instructions and a camelback full of energy drink. (okay that’s quite a bit, in fact everything I really needed) Setting off with Simon, who’s done it before, was really helpful as he pulled me through 15 miles without too much to worry about, but then I started to tire, and told Simon to go on ahead whilst I had a little walk to regain some energy, and then I was on my own…
except about a mile later I was at a checkpoint, and there was Simon again, he rushed off though, and it was a couple of miles on my own, with some very steep bits where there really was no choice but to walk, then coming into a field I saw the white map of Simon’s flashing on his back in the distance, I’d caught him up again… Shortly after though he shook me off for good, as I fell over for the 4th time on some ice.
I now found myself on my own for about 2 miles, this was worrying, as I was sure I was going wrong, and it coincided with instructions which said “go on for 1400yards etc.” so the cost of going wrong could’ve been a very long backtract. Then some fast guy came sprinting past, and I knew I was right, just slow.
By this time the camelback was empty, so I had lots of biscuits and some coffee at the last checkpoint, and left with 5 miles to go, but not carrying any fluid.
Still I made it back, in 6:46, which wasn’t all that bad, I would’ve liked to have gone faster, but seen as it was all unknown territory it wasn’t too bad. The GPS said it was 30.9miles, so with a couple of gaps (when we were running in the forest) I reckon it was over 31 miles, it also had over 3000ft of ascent (and descent obviously…) I drew a graph: Tanners altitude graph, which shows how most of the hills were at the end, which is hardly fair, is it?
Hopefully all good practice for a marathon.