Prior to running the full 100km/63miles I think the furthest I'd run would have been one of my regular 1/2 marathons. I'd upped my general fitness/stamina and was running more frequently but I hadn't put in the longer distance work, so I was putting my faith into the fact that I was feeling fit. What I hadn't planned for was how much of the distance was actually proper x-country. Only about 5% was on roads, a whole chunk of it was on bridleway but the vast majority was full on nasty X-country. If any of you have done the Dursley Dozen in the past, much of the route was like that and in some places I really hated it - it was wet and flooded in places and impossible to run through.
The oddest thing to hear me say is that the first full marathon distance was actually OK. I felt pretty good as I crossed what would be a finish line after just over 4hrs of running. Even the second marathon distance wasn't too horrible but the last 1/2 marathon distance was just about slogging-it through to the finishing line. There was nothing pretty about it in the last 20km and very little (if any) running. My left hip had frozen, the sun was going down (it was pitch black for the last hour) and I'd foolishly left my head-torch behind, thinking that I'd have been in the pub for a hour by the time I eventually finished.
In the final push, I teamed up with another runner - he provided the light and I provided the motivation (so glad I caught up with him as with out his light I don't know how I'd have managed some sections) - and together we crossed the line. Both a little bit broken but at a running pace we were cheered into the finish area. I was scanned in, received my finishers t-shirt and slugged-back a glass of bubbles. Lisa ran over and hugged me and she then took me to get my finishers meal....I think I only managed to chew down about 3 chips and a couple of mouthfuls of burger.
Will I be doing it again next year.....I thinking NOT!
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