Friday 25 September 2015

North Downs Way 100 Race Report - Putting the "end" back in NDW

Well, I have to be honest - I had almost forgotten what the finish line of a Centurion race looked like. I seem to have a habit of DNFing these particular races, despite the fact that they are some of my favourite races to run in the UK. Previously this has been due to injuries or not wanting to ruin myself for other A races for the year. This year, I decided to have a crack at the 100 mile Grand Slam (Thames Path, South Downs Way, North Downs Way and Autumn 100) to polish them all off in one go, but as you may have noticed that didn't quite go to plan. Dysentery on the TP100 (Sophie Ellis Bextor's follow up hit) and a sense of humour failure on the SDW100 quickly buggered up any chances of that Grand Slam buckle.

There wasn't much I could do about the TP100, but I sacked the SDW100 with only 8 miles to go. I could have walked in for a sub 24 hour finish, but I was just taking things too seriously and trying too hard for a PB. I got so annoyed with how whingey I was being, especially given how hard everybody else was working out there (not just phoning in their attempts like me), that I decided to pull out until I got my head back on straight.

So I hit the NDW start line with two aims in mind - to have fun and to reach the Centurion Running finishing arch in Wye. Well, I say hit the start line, but I actually managed to miss the start due to an urgent call of nature that I figured would be best taken care of sooner rather than later. I wasn't too bothered though, as I was in no hurry - a very different approach for me. I was chatting to Dan Park and Bryan Webster (who were both on race 3 of the Grand Slam) when I heard the horn go, and said good luck before heading off through the field.