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Monster Ultra 29 Sept
Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:16 pm Paolo
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1st ever ultra for me this one and wanted to say thanks for the Monster crew for accepting my entry, promised I would train and respect the distance and I did!!

Absolutely no structure to my training other than run run and run, slowly of course and a bit of walking thrown in for good measure. With family commitments and work, I found myself upping the time and distance on my Saturday effort followed by a rough 8 to 12 mile faster paced effort on the Sunday. Putting numbers on things, the slower effort averaged out at 10 min miles and the faster effort at a Mo Farah paced 9 min miles. So time allowed for 2 runs per week.

3 weeks out from the event I found myself thinking Christ this has come round damn quick. Decided to go for a 25 mile Saturday run and was very happy to complete in 4:30 and felt good and fairly strong when finished, recovery was couple of days so felt positive. The Thursday evening saw me do 10.5 miles and I followed this up on the Friday morning with the same effort, hard week for me and by far the highest mileage. Taper time, never done that before and took it literally and did sod all till the race!!!!

Race morning saw the Normal pre run meal of a cuppa and a bowl of cornflakes, high carb stuff eh. The week leading up though I was pizza and pasta monster every day.........

Registration was smooth as ever with the Monster events and in a hotel function room, all friendly with a lot of fit looking people, why is it everyone else looks fitter than you feel eh? Had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Macalad and before we knew it we were stood outside Ely cathedral waiting for the off ski..........boom and we were off.

Results indicate there were around 35 starters and about 25 steamed off and I mean steamed ahead. The initial 5k took us through the town and alongside the river, then onto a trail path still following the river whilst dodging cow pats and the fearsome 'Bull' that was lurking somewhere. For those completed the Monster middle pretty certain the same part of the run route. Even though it were shortly after 8am the sun was out and I felt the heat was gonna play a part.

My tactic really was to run/walk/eat/drink and smile. I was determined not to run for longer than 20 mins without a short break, as this was my first ultra I was determined to finish without influencing any sort of 'bonk' if I could walk and stave it off. After about 4 miles without a break and far longer than 20 mins I got chatting away to Chris, a man doing Dusk to Dawn and a very late entrant to the Monster as he fancied a training run......this helped me nicely as the early miles were behind us, the leaders miles ahead and we were in a groups of 3/4 pushing on. The 1st aid station came and went, cheeky cup of coke, top up on water and then off again.

The next section was trail, cycle path and grass with a cheeky climb over a Gate into the bull field, never run so bloody fast in my life!!! Nutrition wise was going well, snickers, mars, fizzles and water with electrolyte keeping me moving.....kinda found myself along from mile 17ish alongside a dusty trail path heading into Cambridge but not too worried as the Mrs and kids were at halfway ready to cheer me on. The heat began to creep up so I walked a good mile and a bit but were not concerned, I got to halfway in 3:55 and was pretty good.

Difficult for me as a novice and perhaps slightly lacking in the mental department as had to leave the kids and redo the route in reverse. Set off on my own and soon recognised as I past runners still not at halfway, that there we're 6/7 behind me, made me feel positive although the legs at this stage were telling me not to run, with the heat I though stuff it walk till I fancy it......unfortunately this turned into about 2 more miles and the avg was dropping off.

To get myself moving a nice Marshall on a bike cycled alongside me, cheers buddy it helped. Before I knew it,the earphones were in, Metallica having it in my ears and I were moving again nicely I failed to go left when I should of and ended up adding a good 4/5 miles - silly Paolo lack of concentration. Mentally this was tough as I was lost, called in and worked out where I should go, also cheers to the bloke washing his car he also confirmed the route to take!! When back on route, caught up with 'Nick' the pork pie man,it was his fuel for the ultras, tried and tested he assured me.......he was struggling badly with blisters and we kind of helped each other with a run to the tree, run to the plant, run for ten second sand the miles were counting down.

Left the last check point at 7:40 in and struggled onwards with the same strategy, which was move forwards at all times....!! Bout 4 miles from the end, Nick told me to carry on as he was stopping for a stretch, it was all I needed to be told, I was off and running as the wind was up, I was getting cold and I really just wanted to see my kids at the end so they could be proud of me. I was happiest fella about finishing in 10:15 before darkness fell...........

Great event, doing it in 2014 as got at least 2 hours to come off that time and entered in the Gin Pit both days next March. Fantastic start and finish spot outside the cathedral and a nice flat route.....

First ever race report so bear with me on any lack of details, as am sure there's loads!!!
2016: 7 marathons in 7 days Enigma running.....BRING IT ON.

March: Gin Pit double marathon

June: Back to front enigma marathons
Monster Ultra Very Happy Very Happy
Hurden 18 mile run

Cowman sprint

Cowman middle

Grafham water cross country

Bedford half marathon

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