Friday 17 June 2011

Well I'm officially an ultramarathoner - just with no sense of direction

Well there we go. I finally broke my cherry and ran my first official ultramarathon. I woke up very excited in the early morning of Sunday 5th June, wolfed down a bowl of porridge, collected my gear, and drove to Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire to take part in my first ultramarathon; a 35 mile jaunt around the grounds and surrounding area of the country park. This event was run by Go Beyond, and is one of the races in the Run Further series of races that make up the UK ultrarunning championships. I have managed to sign up for enough of these races to get a qualifying position, so it will be interesting to see where I stand.

Anyway, I was very excited when I arrived, and was able to chat to lots of other runners. Some were old hands who gave me some good advice, and had some great stories about their race experiences. Others were, like me, running this as their first race, and were as excited as I was.

It was a very different experience than any other races I had been involved with. The start, as seen in the photo, was much more subtle for one thing! About 120 people gathered together ready for the start, clutching their route maps, and waiting for the off. I spotted Andy Mouncey, the ultrarunner that I saw speak at the London Running Show earlier in the year and whose talk helped me make the leap towards long distance running. Before I could say hello however, the shout went up to go (no gun necessary) and we were off!