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doug




Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 15095
Location: Harrow (Doonhamer in exile)

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doug wrote:
gingerbongo wrote:


Nice, that one looks good. Is it just a different provider then, or a direct rival?


It was set up by someone who disagreed with the management of the other race. Smaller scale but has the advantage of no ballot and no race crew needed

Now on the Milngavie train.

Weather looks warm and sunny Sun Sun Sun


30 years ago I set off with some university friends after finals to hike the West Highland Way, unfortunately I started running a fever so had to pull out at Crainlarich, but vowed one day I would be back.

The original West Highland Way race intrigued me when I started ultra running, but the logistics of needing a crew put me off, then on this very forum I heard of the West Highland Way Challenge Race (thanks Jorgan!), this was the one for me !

The race started at midnight, I was running with a small group, looking up Conic Hill was a long line of head lights form head torches, then once up looking back there were even more ! When dawn came it got light enough to see so I switched off my torch without thinking about how dark it would be in the woods by Balmaha. So about 20 miles in I tripped over a tree root and banged that same knee. Looked superficial and I could still run so thought nothing of it other than cleaning it up. Later it started swelling and made bending more than a little painful, which was awkward as beyond Rowardennan it got quite technical. Was also feeling a bit out of sorts maybe not sleeping or dealing with pain, not sure. Thought about giving up, but instead tried some paracetamol and started on caffeine and thought I'd at least try getting to the next check Point.

Felt a lot better but still had to take the steps and drops with care. So decided to press on.

It was now getting hot and I ran out of drinks well before the Tyndrum check, think I started suffering from mild dehydration and was reduced to a slow walk.

Drank loads at the check and an IRN-BRU from a shop and started running well again. Until I had the same problem again before Kingshouse Hotel, but this time it was much worse and I was feeling a bit woozy and reduced to a shuffle. Managed to get some water from another competitor and made it safely to the check. Took a long rest here to sort myself out, later checks were closer together and I now had an extra small bottle so carried on up the Devil's Staircase at least up was in daylight. Down was dark and I had a bit of a crisis of confidence about nit wanting to damage my knee again so took it very easy down into Kinlochleven.

Determined to press on I was able to run the flats, power hike the ups but only gingerly take the downs. Eventually I completely ran out of gas, fatigue and sleep deprivation finally reducing me to a death March for the last ten or so miles. Shuffled in just under the 30hours (29:59) slower than I ought tohave been, but given my dodgy knee and dehydration I was well chuffed.

The views were exquisite and every one friendly, more like a ldwa event than other races I have done. Thanks Jim Drummond for putting on such a superb event.

At least I finished and having failed to complete the whw 30 years ago I have now ticked that box.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1598496531
(ignore the dodgy distance, Garmin UltaTrac mode added loads of wiggles I didn't do)
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doug




Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 15095
Location: Harrow (Doonhamer in exile)

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done TC !
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FatPom




Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top work TC! Cool
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JeffB




Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 1229
Location: Middlesbrough

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doug wrote:
doug wrote:
gingerbongo wrote:


Nice, that one looks good. Is it just a different provider then, or a direct rival?


It was set up by someone who disagreed with the management of the other race. Smaller scale but has the advantage of no ballot and no race crew needed

Now on the Milngavie train.

Weather looks warm and sunny Sun Sun Sun


30 years ago I set off with some university friends after finals to hike the West Highland Way, unfortunately I started running a fever so had to pull out at Crainlarich, but vowed one day I would be back.

The original West Highland Way race intrigued me when I started ultra running, but the logistics of needing a crew put me off, then on this very forum I heard of the West Highland Way Challenge Race (thanks Jorgan!), this was the one for me !

The race started at midnight, I was running with a small group, looking up Conic Hill was a long line of head lights form head torches, then once up looking back there were even more ! When dawn came it got light enough to see so I switched off my torch without thinking about how dark it would be in the woods by Balmaha. So about 20 miles in I tripped over a tree root and banged that same knee. Looked superficial and I could still run so thought nothing of it other than cleaning it up. Later it started swelling and made bending more than a little painful, which was awkward as beyond Rowardennan it got quite technical. Was also feeling a bit out of sorts maybe not sleeping or dealing with pain, not sure. Thought about giving up, but instead tried some paracetamol and started on caffeine and thought I'd at least try getting to the next check Point.

Felt a lot better but still had to take the steps and drops with care. So decided to press on.

It was now getting hot and I ran out of drinks well before the Tyndrum check, think I started suffering from mild dehydration and was reduced to a slow walk.

Drank loads at the check and an IRN-BRU from a shop and started running well again. Until I had the same problem again before Kingshouse Hotel, but this time it was much worse and I was feeling a bit woozy and reduced to a shuffle. Managed to get some water from another competitor and made it safely to the check. Took a long rest here to sort myself out, later checks were closer together and I now had an extra small bottle so carried on up the Devil's Staircase at least up was in daylight. Down was dark and I had a bit of a crisis of confidence about nit wanting to damage my knee again so took it very easy down into Kinlochleven.

Determined to press on I was able to run the flats, power hike the ups but only gingerly take the downs. Eventually I completely ran out of gas, fatigue and sleep deprivation finally reducing me to a death March for the last ten or so miles. Shuffled in just under the 30hours (29:59) slower than I ought tohave been, but given my dodgy knee and dehydration I was well chuffed.

The views were exquisite and every one friendly, more like a ldwa event than other races I have done. Thanks Jim Drummond for putting on such a superb event.

At least I finished and having failed to complete the whw 30 years ago I have now ticked that box.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1598496531
(ignore the dodgy distance, Garmin UltaTrac mode added loads of wiggles I didn't do)


Well done Doug, that looks a bit epic! Especially with your knee in bits, 20+ miles in London with a dodgy knee was bad enough for me.

Part of me fancies an ultra, nothing crazy like a 100 but sadly as much as I like running I don't think it really likes me Sad

Jeff
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FatPom




Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a major effort Doug, can't even contemplate that!
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 1585
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeez Doug, you like doing things the hard way! That sounds pretty epic, and i don' know how you pushed through all of that!

Awesomeness from TC as well! Chap from Mudcrew in Cornwall, Paul Maskell, won the GUCR in a little over 24 hrs. Personally can't fathom a 100+ mile ultra on such flat, boring terrain. But that's just me.

Can't wait for my one tomorrow. Been off with the little one for the last two days which has helped with keeping my mind off it. Today in work however is going to be another story i think! Had a carp sleep last night, waking up early with those pointless worries you get ... which water bottle configuration to go with?! Doubt i'll be sleeping much tonight either with a 4.30am start.

Oh well!
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
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Location: Devon

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ended up being a pretty good day on the trails for me on the weekend. Genuinely had no idea of how i was going to cope, but managed to come in (joint) 2nd in 25:30.

Bloody brutal course, very humid and misty all day friday. Super misty Firday night which made nav pretty tough and then got flippin' hot very early on Saturday morning. Started steady and just worked my way up through the first 12 hours or so, working with some friends and other runners for parts of it before heading off on my own for the last 10 hrs or so.

Caught the 2nd place guy with a few miles to go and we ran it in together.

I'm in miles better shape than after the arc as well. Was able to still think lucidly on saturday afternoon, cheering the runners of the 100 m, 100km and 50km races in all afternoon.

A few bits of swelling and soreness as well as some pretty sh*tty sunburn - weirdly from the misty day! But all in all not too bad.

Finding it really tough to collect my thoughts on it though, which is very unusual for me!!! I like to have a post race download though, so i'll probably write something long and boring in a few days!

Super chuffed though!!! Very Happy Very Happy
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doug




Joined: 07 Jan 2004
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Location: Harrow (Doonhamer in exile)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done GB !
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tunster




Joined: 21 Feb 2010
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Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

South Downs Way 100 this weekend.

Blooming tough. Very warm and humid. 4000m of up and down. Chalk trail baked like concrete with a lot of flint makes it very hard on the feet.

Stunning scenery along the whole route.

26 hours 55 of hard hard work
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

entered the Cateran Yomp 54 miler with a team but was able to leave them at half way and run to the finish...came a credible 8th, but was disappointed that those ahead were not obliged to carry kit...

as a straight trail race, i can recommend it...beautiful countryside and well organised. Hampered by the need to raise charity and the kit issue above...
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smitters




Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 1734
Location: Enjoying my new favourite run

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did Race to the Tower on Saturday. 53 odd miles of Cotswold Way, which is hilly. Hilly as fk. But then I knew this going, so no complaints there. Anyway, if you can be arsed, grab a beverage of choice and hereís how the best race of my life unfolded. If not, spoiler, I didnít win (though they gave me a medal anyway). Apologies for the lack of photos, but I was quite busy.


Sub 12 hours was the goal. Sub 11 hours was a dream goal, plucked arbitrarily because you do want to duck under the hour. What I really wanted to do was lay down the best race I could and throw a couple of monkeys off my back. Iíve been guilty in the past of finding an excuse to slow down, which in hindsight was a neat way of reducing the agony, if only to extend the pain. Time to see if the mental side of my training had been effective.

I had been super chilled up to race day, as I'd had a great run in; a solid Newport Marathon, a great local trail marathon with a mate and a last training run of 50 odd km that felt very doable and had me running strong at the end. Iíd even got on top of most of my niggles and so was as uninjured as I could remember my porcelain body being since I was young and indestructible. A week in Ibiza sunning it up and hunting nice quiet trails in the heat did me the world of good and I was Mr. Relaxed when we landed last Tuesday. In fact, I was Mr. Relaxed until about 70 mins before the gun, when the child we were hustling out of the house decided he wanted toast there and then.


Sunny training in Ibiza

Cue a knock-on effect of me eating porridge in the van while the OH drove. I'd normally have porridge at home and drink about 500ml of water in the van. I was full of porridge, so didn't drink the customary water. Those of you who were outside on Saturday may see where this is going already. Shame I didn't. Itís the little things sometimes.

This late guzzle of food also made my tummy rumble a bit, so unusually for me I had to make use of the portaloos for more than a piss, meaning I wiped off all the lube so lovingly applied to bits I'd rather not rub raw. This meant with five minutes before the gun, instead of lazing in the start pen listening to the briefing, I was legging it from loo to Mrs, grabbing the keys, then legging it back to the car-park, which was about as far from the start as was possible. I proceeded to shove handfuls of Udderly Smooth chamois cream into my pants in front of some startled non-runners (runners would understand) and then leg it back to the start pen. I also remembered to hand the mildly soiled van keys back and so not strand my heavily pregnant partner with an unruly, buttery and becrumbed child in a field in the Cotswolds. Thus, my heart rate at three minutes to go was about a million bpm. Deep breathsÖ Deep breaths.

There was some shouting, some counting, some low-key and terribly British whooping and then some running. Then we all stopped, as the start funnel was a bit thin. Then we ran again. The race was, in fact, on. Iíd only recently decided to actually ďraceĒ, as opposed to playing things safe and holding a pace I knew would see me to the finish. This meant, to butcher a Chris Boardman quote, I was trying to run as a pace I wasnít sure I could keep to the line. Not fast enough to be certain of blowing up, not slow enough to be certain of finishing. It turns out this is a mentally tiring place to exist.


And theyíre off!

The course itself runs from just north of Stroud, Gloucestershire, at around the mid-way point of the Cotswold Way and heads north to Broadway Tower. It mostly follows the National Trail route, deviating a few times for the aid stations, or to mercilessly take you further from your now visible goal, just to make up the distance. The bds. While the Cotswold Way nominally follows the Cotswold scarp, the high point of land before the Severn Vale to our west, the scarp is peppered with east-west valleys and the path meanders up and down the edge anyway, meaning almost nothing was flat. This is a bit of a bugger as gently rolling terrain, especially in the first half, is the nemesis of an ultra runner. Do I stow my ego and walk this slight rise, while all around me run on? Do I back myself to be iron-clad in nine hours time and mug these weaklings who are already strolling along like itís a Sunday picnic?

Such were the thoughts rolling round my head as I tried desperately to get my heart rate, pace, and perception of effort to somewhat align. In the end, I started looking around and chatting to folks around me to take my mind off things and try to calm the adrenaline surge that could so easily derail things early on. It was a blue-sky day, about 15 degrees and slated to hit 20 that afternoon, with little in the way of cloud, wind or kindly spectators with portable AC units predicted. Essentially, very similar to the London Marathon, and that all went well, right? Right?

The first few miles were through gorgeous beech woodland but it wasnít long before the climbing began in earnest. The first aid station was in Painswick at about six miles. The support through the town was polite and somewhat confused, as most folks wandering about at 9am donít expect hundreds of runners hoofing through their pretty little village. I hoped to get to aid station one in about 70 minutes. The clock said 60. Gulp. OK Ė I donít need anything, so Iíll run through I thought. I soon had my mood lightened, as my now de-crumbed boy was waiting with his Mam, Nana and Grandad, shoes on and ready to run. He did about 100 yards, then I got a kiss and the lure of the picnic rug and something chocolately from a grandparent pulled him back down the hill.

About half a mile past the family, I stopped for my first piss. It was yellow. Really yellow. Like I had just finished a hard half marathon, or a long run. Whaaaat? Ohhhhh. The water in the van. Rookie error - deviating from a tried and tested routine. Well, the advantage of an ultra is you have a long time to solve problems. A disadvantage is that if things get bad, they can be bad for a long time. So, proactivity, responding well to unforeseen obstacles and keeping your head straight is the order of the day. Probably not high on the list was running into the second longest leg without restocking your water, whilst already being dehydrated. bks. And thus mission Do-Not-Wrinkle-Like-A-Raisin began.

Leg two continued to climb over Painswick Beacon and stayed mercifully wooded around Coopers Hill (of cheese-rolling fame - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNj67kwWBoQ), before plunging off the escarpment and into aid station two in Witcombe. Here, much flat coke was drunk, water bottles were refilled and my first NUUN tab was deployed. The NUUN were pretty much my first and last line of defence, though I hoped the Gu gels and peanut/chorizo mix would also provide some help in keeping me from cramping into something resembling a dog-chewed slinky before half-way.


Enjoying the views still. Iím not even pretending to run for the camera here.

Leg three went up Crickley Hill. So, so up. However, up seems to be my forte, relatively at least, because my various injuries over winter meant many long runs were reduced to hilly walks. Win, I think. The sun was still low enough to mean we had far-reaching views away to the west. Again, the folks out for walks were politely bemused, but there were increasing levels of support now as locals were coming out to cheer us on and friends of runners around me were leapfrogging ahead and popping up. The friendliness of strangers never ceases to amaze and cheer me in races like this and so it proved. All too soon I was into aid three and necking back the fluids again using my trusty Hydrapak Speedcup, for this was a no-plastics event, which was nice. In fact, the litter post-aid station was almost non-existent, which says a lot about events setting the tone. Aside from being extremely nice, cheerful and helpful, the aid station teams always encouraged us to bin litter we were carrying, keeping the trail nice and tidy.

Somewhere on leg four I linked up a lovely Scots lady, who became my angel of sorts. I was starting to realise that I was on a very thin tightrope as I wasnít feeling 100%. Already I wasnít up to stomaching much of the food I was carrying. The contents were sloshing a bit, then cramping and the effort felt too high for 20 miles in, but I had committed to a race, so race I would. We chatted when we both felt like talking, but through aid four at halfway (5.0Cool above Cheltenham, and down to Winchcombe at 37 miles I spent a lot of time starting at her heels and wishing sheíd stop bloody running the uphills.

Aid station five had been a run-through affair, only pausing for water and we pushed on, seeing as aid six was a mere 10km away. I lost my Scottish angel as I briefly paused to chat to some friends whoíd come out to support, bestowing me with ice-cold water for my bottles and pouring over my head. Thank you the Gravestocks. And thus began the longest ten k of my life. I knew it was coming. Thereís always a stretch when it just never seems to end. At this point, I was very fuzzy. I couldnít remember if there was another hill or not (there was Ė the rule is, thereís always another hill). I couldnít remember what distance the aid was supposed to be at, or if my watch was tallying with the course markers (it wasnít). I was just about sensible enough to know the wheels were close to coming off with some style and to keep trying my food. Fortunately, the Gu gels were going down and staying down, with minimal stomach complaints, burping or gassiness. For one thing, my shorts were light in colour, so any errors in the wind-breaking department were going to be pretty obvious. At this stage, I had started to get twinges of the dreaded cramps in my left hamstring and calf. No. Bloody no. I tried to chill out and let the gels do their job. Then my OH rang and in my sweaty ham-fistedness I hung up instead of answering. There were naughty words. Many. Iím grateful the runner nearby had his headphones in.

The upside was I now had my phone in my hand, so some music seemed a good idea. I had a selection, so started with Mobyís 18, designed to be upbeat, but not too aggressive. This, combined with a caffeine gel served to perk me up mentally. This in turn allowed me to take stock properly and to my surprise, all was pretty pukka. Feet were good, knees a bit sore, but all in all I was just dog-tired. Thatís to be expected and there isnít much to be done about it. If anything, the solution is to go for it, since this ends the pain more quickly. This realisation represents a significant shift in my mid-race thinking, partially due to being in better shape physically than I have been and partially because I was mentally prepared to buckle down. I was invested in getting the best finish possible, not coasting. And if my fuzzy maths was right sub 11 was still on the table with 15 miles to go. I just had to keep to five miles an hour, 12 minute miles, for the next three hours. Oh, and climb three of the biggest hills on the course. Itíll be fine, my befuddled little noggin said. Just keep running.

At some point, Moby was exchanged for some dance music, and with six miles to go, Rage Against The Machine. There were ups. There were downs. There was a house on a hillside with the most inviting swimming pool Iíve ever seen, but mostly there was a hunched, cold-sweating bald man muttering ďsuck it up princess, you chose to do thisĒ and grumbling every time he had to lift his legs across a stile. With five miles to go I was running west, AWAY from Broadway Tower, and the choice phrases uttered are not to be repeated here. I was amused to spot a pile of sick that was half pink and half orange by the side of the trail, presumably from someone who thought nailing large quantities of watermelon and orange segments was going to bring on a sprightly finish. At three miles to go I was running behind a man who, despite walking, was never getting any closer. It was extremely surreal making my way through Broadway itself, which is literally a chocolate box Cotswold village, getting cheers from supporters, pub-goers and confused but game tourists who were entering into the spirit of things. At two miles to go, I had closed some of the ground to the walking man but as the path tipped skyward one last time he raised his saunter to an amble and put me away for good. The final mile and a half was steeply uphill and though the watch had said 10.xx in Broadway, the dreaded 11 appeared and the tower was nowhere in sight. 7 minutes and 51 second later I had sucked in the tummy and put on a bit of a jog for the last wee flat to get me across the line.


Yes Iím running. Yes, itís for the camera. The smile is real.

I ended up finishing in 11.07.51, 54th from 537 starters. I covered the first half in 5.07.42, placed 81st at that point and made the majority of overtakes in the second half via DNFs and being efficient in aid stations. The race was won by Mary Menon in 8.46.52, who, having gone wrong in the final couple of miles was called back to course by second placer Greg Price who was clear he wouldnít take her win away. Iím still not sure how I feel about it, but if Gregís happy, thatís what counts.


Finished at last. Good medal, good view.

Last yearís inaugural event was won by Tom Evans in 7.30.17, which is not to take away from Mary and Greg, but highlights the difference between the good and the world class. Tom Evans had just finished 3rd at the MdS and went on to finish 3rd at the World Trail Champs this year. I try to benchmark my performances on a 1:1.5 ratio. Thatís to say, if the worldís best runs x, and I run x and a half, Iím going to be very happy. A 1.30 half would make me happy. A sub 3 marathon would make me (very, very) happy. So getting under 11.15, which is Evans x 1.5 makes me very happy. Did I have a perfect race? No. Did I set out to achieve what I wanted? I think so. I had some issues, dealt with them as well as possible, surfed the line between success and disaster and came out ahead. In short, I got everything out of myself I could on the day. Short of eating my porridge sooner and drinking that 500ml of water, I wouldnít change a thing. And thatís why itís the best race of my life.

Hereís to some parkrunning in the summer. Flat parkrunning.


Just in case you doubted the salt loss. I, a 72kg chap, lost 4kg during the race.

Having perused the Hammer Nutrition website which sets out the symptoms of dehydration, I can say they're about right.
0% --- none, optimal performance, normal heat regulation
1% --- thirst stimulated, heat regulation during exercise altered, performance declines
2% --- further decrease in heat regulation, hinders performance, increased thirst
3% --- more of the same (worsening performance)
4% --- exercise performance cut by 20 - 30%
5% --- headache, irritability, "spaced-out" feeling, fatigue
6% --- weakness, severe loss of thermoregulation
7% --- collapse likely unless exercise stops
10% -- comatose
11% -- death likely

A lot of the second half is mentally quite fuzzy still. Ah well, time to eat and sleep. And I have 4 UTMB points... stage 1 of 2 for Cham 2019 is done.

Well done everyone above. Some epic performances. I've long hankered for a sub-24 100 and this makes me think I could get close in a few more years.
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FatPom




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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Smitters. My very good mate did the event running over the two days. He went 10.20 accumulative and won his AG. Sounds like a great event.

I would like to do Race to the King one year as we live in Winchester.
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tunster




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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice one Smitters - haven't done this race before but have done the Race to the Stones a few times which is organised by the same lot and which I have enjoyed a lot.

Chrissie Wellington did it last year and came an overall second in 8:35 - a very tidy performance.

Just finished my 6th 100. A lot of factors seem to have a bearing on timings but most recently the weather which seems to affect me. Having gone sub 24 at Thames Path 100 in 2017, took me 2 hours longer this year (perhaps not quite as fit but more likely the hot weather). Autumn 100 is great event for going sub 24 - cooler weather (assuming it isn't totally rubbish) and course with just the right amount of ups and downs plus nice long flats.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to my mate, I now know a lot more about Billy Yang than I used to! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilian having a crack at Bob Graham today. After first leg about 10 mins up on record pace Exclamation
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