Monday, 9 April 2012

The next challenge!

Last year I set myself the goal of running a half marathons, three marathons and an ultra marathon. Up until this point I had run three half marathons in my short lived running career. I wanted to do something that would be a significant challenge and one that I could conceivably fail. Add into the mix that I gave myself 8weeks total to get this done.

Training for this challenge was up and down and I was confident mentally I could do it, but unsure if physically my body would hold up. In 2009 I tore my ATFL (a ligament in my ankle) and it put pay to my Taekwondo and it seemed my running. Over time I have built strength up in my ankle and this challenge was a good way of testing how far I'd come.

My previous blogs will give further accounts and confirm that i successfully completed this challenge. A challenge that culminated in the beautiful Brecon Beacons Ultra.

This challenge was planned with a view to also raising money for St Wilfrids Hospice. I wanted to raise as much money as possible for this amazing charity and was fortunate to be able to raise over £800 (including gift aid) for them.

Once one challenge finishes it seems only fitting to replace it with another challenge. Having now undertaken the Devizes to Westminster 125 canoe race and this recent challenge i decided that the 100 mile mark should now be reached on foot.

My best friend Sam Robson has previously run the South Downs Way Ultra. A 100 mile race across the South Downs. My first point of call was to look at this race as I could use Sam for advice and reference points. Upon inspecting dates for the race it became apparent that it is around the date at which my son is due to be born. This was obviously a no go. I revisited the excellent Centurion Running website. I figured I could rely on them for anther option and without fail there it was.

A few clicks of the mouse and a couple of lines to confirm my previous experience and it was done. So here i am with a confirmed entry into the North Downs Way 100 on 11th August 2011

The NDW100 starts in Farnham and finishes in Wye with nearly 10000ft of elevation. It has a cut off time of 30hrs and a special award if you can finish in under 24hrs

Prior to September 2011 I had only ever run three half marathons. It goes against most advice to progress this quickly to 100mile runs, but I'm confident that this is something I will be able to do. I have found a passion for the Ultra approach. It feels much more or a mental and personal battle and every single competitor seems supportive of the next competitor completing their goals. I can't imagine the winner of the London Marathon waiting around 3hours to cheer home tail end runners. In the ultra community it's not uncommon for runners to wait several hours to cheer home other runners. The atmosphere of such challenges makes all competitors a winner in their own right.

I am training hard for this run and shall be looking to finish in under 30hrs with the faint hope of running in under 24hrs.

I am still looking to raise money for St Wilfrids Hospice and so if you wish to donate please follow the Link.


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