Altitude gain: about 100m (flat then)
Aid stations: 5
Food: 2 flapjack, 1 pack of jelly sweets, 2 cliff bar, 1 quinoa bar, 2 gels.
Water: refilled a little water bottle 5 times
Time/ place: 7hr:15 / 56th of 254.
I was pretty chuffed to have made it to the start line because I had caught some weird chill from the cold weather the evening before and had three hours in bed shivering with some short weird fever. Luckily everyone else had brought their excuses with them in the morning so I was in good company. Only 1 guy I met there was well prepared, he’d given up alcohol 4 days beforehand so he was bound to do well 🙂 Still, we’d all clearly had our morning pint of ‘man the fu*k up’ as we had made it on the early train to Wendover and were about to run 43miles back into London via national trails and canal path.
I had a great day with great company as you’ll see from the photos. 22 miles of boggy trail and 22 on the Grand Union Canal starting in Wendover, finishing in paddington.
Best bits to shout about were:
– hearing the 10 second to start countdown whilst still in the bathroom! I got out pretty quick! At least it meant I wasn’t to be tempted into joining the dash to the first turning which is a blockage, this becomes a race within a race to get there first as a bit of fun.
– the hills weren’t steep but mud was of the slippy variety and it made for a good laugh
– joining a path to see other runners coming from a different directions – I don’t think we’ll ever know the correct route! No one I know of got properly lost though. Thanks to everyone who I followed, I didn’t look at the map once – what!… I was carrying a camera!
– watching people jump fences because they didn’t want to queue for the kissing gates/ styles… They must have been foreign because everyone else was queuing so nicely! How very British of us!
– reaching the canal, what a great feeling
Overall I was running in a really big chatty and friendly crowd of people which was lucky given there were only 300 or so runners and it was again proof of how great and friendly the running community is. It only thinned out along the final 15miles of the canal where I ended up running to the finish with my running club friend James Adams, clearly it was going to be a tough run to the finish then with few chances to rest! Luckily he was happy to wait for me here and there and had his excuse ready that he’d drank 6pints last night. Brilliant. Silly runners.