The Thames Path 100 is an ultrarunning race put on by Centurion Running in March each year. Normally it starts in Richmond, London and follows the Thames Path all the way to Oxford.
I got a place confirmed in this years race as part of the early opening program for volunteers (I marked the Marlow to Reading of the course last year). Having run 40 miles a number of times and 75 miles at the Endure24, I thought it would just be a case of carrying on the same, for a bit longer – I was wrong.
This race was a number of ‘firsts’ for me:-
- First hundred miler
- First DNF
- First race I have underestimated
Last Saturday I ran the Devil of The Highlands Footrace. This is a 43 mile ultra starting in Tyndrum and following the West Highland Way to its end in Fort William.
Spoiler – 8:51:05 coming 57th out of 138 starters
This is a race that has been on my bucket list for some time as, over the years I’ve spent a lot of time around that area hillwalking / climbing / munrobagging. It is also a race that I plan to be the first step towards another which is on my bucket list, the West Highland Way Race (the whole length of the WHW – 96 miles).
The West Highland Way being a national trail that goes from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William in Lochaber, on the way, passing through Loch Lomond and Glencoe.
Parkrun are a series of free 5K runs on Saturday mornings all across the UK (and now overseas as well).
They are staffed wholly by volunteers and offer a measured, timed 5K race every week. The idea is, you use them to race, but ‘give back’ by volunteering at the occasional race.
The format is pretty simple, turn up with your (pre-registered and printed) barcode, run the race, let them scan your barcode and visit the website later in the day for the results. As of July 2012 there are over 130 park run locations around the country.
Anyway, enough raving about a fantastic free race every week – I ran my first one last weekend, in Abingdon. There is one at Newbury (Greenham Common) which is closer for me, but my twitter buddy Mike Wells was doing Abingdon, so I popped up there to meet him for the first time (2 firsts in one day !!) and he’d agreed to pace my first 1K, as I was trying for sub 20 minutes.
On 30th June 2012 I took part in the Endure24 ultrarunning event, starting at noon on the Saturday and running round 5 mile loops as many times as possible for 24 hours.
A bunch of people had asked how far I thought I would cover, and I told them 70 to 80 miles, but secretly I harboured aspirations of covering 100 miles. A little ambitious maybe, considering the furthest I’d covered so far was 40 miles at the Compton Download Challenge, but that magical figure of 100 miles in 24 hours was niggling away at the back of my mind.
The training, up to the event, had been okay. I had been running every day (runstreak) mostly averaging 50 mile weeks, with an 80 mile week when I had done a couple of long back to backs. Although, in the 4 weeks leading up to the event I had been doing mostly 4 and 5 milers with a 12 to 16 miler at the weekend – I really should have put a few more longer runs into the schedule.
Last week I ran the Compton Downland Challenge, this is an annual 40 mile (and has a 20 mile option) cross country race over the Berkshire Downs. It is organized by Compton Harriers, by Dick Kearn, the guy who also does the Grand Union Canal Race (I learnt this from other runners on the course). Read more
EEK, it is now confirmed…
I have a place in the Devil ‘o The Highlands Footrace – the second ‘half’ of the West Highland Way. From Tyndrum to Fort William. Looking forward to a good summer of training.
This morning I posted my application for the 2012 Devil o’ The Highlands Footrace. It starts in Tyndrum and covers the last 43 miles of the West Highland Way, finishing in Fort William.
I grew up on the West of Scotland and spent many teenage weekends walking the hills around here, and over 20 years ‘munro bagging’. I’d never really considered doing (walking) the West highland Way, but have really got hooked on the idea of running it.
It’s around 95 miles miles end to end and they do host a race every year in June, but I don’t think I’m up to that distance yet. Fortunately there are two other races that cover the distance in parts – this one (The Devil o’ The Highlands) and the Highland Fling which is at the end of April and covers the first 53 miles from Milngavie to Tyndrum.
The West highland Way race (full distance) is on my bucket list, and my (loose) plan is to do each of the (almost) half distance races to get a feel for the terrain and the level of training/endurance required and then do the full distance.
Anyway, here’s hoping I get a place on this one, this year.
Last Sunday I did the Bimblers Bluff 50K trail race in Guilford, Connecticut. It is apparently 32.5 miles rather than 31 (according to some people Garmins – personally my RunKeeper for Android measured it as 29.15 because the GPS craped out for a couple of miles).
This was a great race. The evening before I headed to KC’s Pub to register and the team there (race team as well as the pub team) were very friendly. I picked up my race pack, stayed for a beer and some good food, we sat outside and had a really good time.
This is a great, local 16 mile cross country race, over undulating ground through beautiful countryside. The race is organised by Overton Harriers, and starts at Combe Gibbet and finishes in the village of Overton.
It follows tracks most of the way, including sections of the ‘Wayfarers Way’, along ridges, through farm fields – beautiful – it crosses under a main road at one point (just past the 8 mile point) and there are a couple of short hilly sections around the 8 – 9 mile point also.
I love this race, it was my third running of it, having done it previously in 2004 when I did 2:37:28 and 2005 when I did 2:33:53 after starting around 15 late. This year (2011) I finished in 2:27:01