This is my fifth time running an ultra marathon, but by far my least-prepared for. I put myself on the waiting list months ago as I thought the route looked really nice and the completely forgot about it until, a week before, they emailed to say I had a place. I haven’t been doing long distances recently as I had nothing I was training for – and longer distance puts you in danger of injury, which in turn would burden the NHS. So my longest run had been 7miles in the previous week, but then I just thought ‘sod it, I can always walk’.
It was a perfect day for it, I was able to take the train and then walk to the start line and the toilets were really good, clean and properly plumbed in, so before I even started I was glad I had gone. The route itself is very hilly, but I live and train in Crystal Palace so I didn’t especially notice that, and just really enjoyed the countryside and being on my own – I find ultra marathons, although challenging of course and, sometimes, mentally breaking, for the most part are a lovely way to ‘find yourself’ and just meditate a bit on your own with no pressure to run fast, to talk to anyone to finish, even. And just being out in the fields away from city life, is fantastic.
I had an issue with my knee about 20 miles in and even called my husband to be on standby to pick me up, but it eased off after a bit of walking and I finished fine, even managing to walk to the train station again afterwards. Not my fastest ultra. My slowest in fact. But brilliant to be getting back out there and just forgetting about pandemics and stuff for a few hours. Loved it.