Monday, 28 September 2015

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who followed me during my 100 Mile Master Cutler Challenge. Thank you for all the messages, tweets and very generous donations.

Out on the road I had no idea how well Cheeky was working – but having seen my tracking afterwards it was really pretty good so thank you Cheeky!

So what was it like?

As you know I have a foot injury and have not reached the levels of fitness I would have liked. Having said that the relatively slow pace meant I didn’t have to use my foot too actively. And although a bit achy it didn’t give me any particular problems.

I’m sure I could have completed more quickly – and could certainly have finished on Thursday. But I did promise those who care about me that I would do it over 3 days, and finishing with nobody around on Thursday evening seemed a waste – so I left 15 miles to have a run in on Friday morning.

As it was I felt great on Friday – legs had got used to it and I flew from the off to the extent I had to stop for a cup of tea at my favourite café in Sheffield to give everyone time to get to the Cutlers’ Hall to welcome me home! Total actual running time was just over 23 hours.

I had to start straight away on day 1 rather than wait for 8.00am – it was too cold to hang around. And I got to Hathersage before anything opened so after a short break I pressed on to the first off-road section. Tough climbing up to Hope Cross and then loose rocky descent before another huge climb up above Ladybower and Derwent.
A break for a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea at Fairholmes and then onto the toughest, bleakest and most remote section over the moors to Langsett. It was also more boggy than I expected so this slowed me down as I didn’t want to get horrendously wet, nor trapped up to my waist in peat bog.

After this section I was no longer at significant personal risk but as those of you who know the roads it doesn’t get much easier – very hilly and I logged over 8000 ft of climbing.

I was alone most of the time – briefly seeing Eleanor Tillotson and David Grey on day 1, and Muniza Brazier with Ed and the very speedy Maya (aged 3!) on day 3. But this doesn’t bother me – I never even used my newly acquired MP3 player, although I almost certainly had some good conversations with myself!

Self supporting meant that I had to carry a fair amount of stuff – food & drink, communications, spare clothes, rain gear, just in case first aid, just in case survival gear. It’s amazing how quickly you get cold even just stopping for a break – hence down jacket and survival jacket. As it happened I didn’t need them, but had to carry them.

And the time just passed by. As promised I didn’t set myself any goals – ran but with patience at the start so as never to go into the red zone of over-exertion. Deliberately walked at times and had to walk at others. I only took a couple of café stops as they never seemed to be there when I wanted. But did stop at various shops and garages to buy food and drink so I never fully depleted my stocks.
Rest break under M1 !
To be honest I didn’t eat enough – but it was a calculated risk. I find eating difficult during events but reckoned that I wouldn’t run out of reserves in such a short time. So 1 bacon sandwich and one tuna sandwich plus some flapjack was day 1. Day 2 was just 1 sandwich, chocolate, piece of cake during and apple crumble at the end! Oh and a gin & tonic…

I did lose weight – but not energy. And it’s all back now!

Overall persistence, patience, being able to keep raising a run when your legs are tired, wobbly and sore all at the same time and not really thinking about distance or time all came into play. I know now I can do this sort of thing. Didn’t really enjoy it – but equally it wasn’t too horrendous. I’d like to have been fitter – but I don’t think I’ll be having another go when I am!!
Thank you Gina for picking me up and dropping me off very late and very early. And thank you for all donations – over £2700 raised for Brathay Trust which makes it all worthwhile.

Finish - Cutlers' Hall

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