World 24 Hour Running Champs

The World championships were in Steenbergen, Holland on 11 and 12 May.

I was there to crew for my daughter Antonia, who was representing New Zealand for the first time. It was a very proud moment for me, as well as a very long day.

I plan to write a report from a crew perspective, in the meantime here is the link to Antonia’s race report.

http://petitefeetrunaway.blogspot.co.uk/

World 24 Hour Running Champs

We are currently in Edinburgh to escort Antonia to the world champs in Holland this weekend.

(We also got to meet her fiance Scott for the first time – 4 weeks before the wedding!)

I am planning on posting race updates for the New Zealand team on this web site:

http://www.facebook.com/24HourNZTeam

The race kicks off at midday on Saturday 11th, Holland time. Check in every hour or so to see how the runners are getting on.

 

I’m going to the world champs!

I won’t be running, I am not doing any running worth writing about at the moment.

Our daughter Antonia has been selected to represent New Zealand at the World 24 Hour Running Championships, to be held in Holland on May 11/12.

Yes, you read that correctly. 24 hours.

It has been described as a bunch of crazy people running in circles for 24 hours to see who is the craziest.

I have managed to convince Antonia that I would be good to have on her support crew for the event. She might regret that.

Is it sad that I am excited at the thought of spending 24 hours watching people run around a park?

You can follow Antonia’s build up to the world champs at her blog :

http://petitefeetrunaway.blogspot.co.uk/

Ultra Tales

If you enjoy reading about ultra marathon experiences (and why else are you reading this blog) , have a look at the Ultra Tales e-zine, available for download from either of these sources –

 http://bit.ly/RLhLgc

http://bit.ly/WL6Yr2

It has a collection of race reports and articles, mostly from the UK.

If you have read my full blog you may not need to read my article on page 63. Having said that, I wrote the article specifically for the e-zine, so it flows a lot better than the disjointed live updates and daily reports on this blog.

The rest of the e-zine is well worth reading for anyone even remotely interested in ultra-marathon running.

A Non-Report and a referral

It is just over a year since I ran my first (only – so far) 100km at the Great Naseby Water Race.

A few people have asked about a report from that run, and I realise that I didn’t write one. I will dredge something up from memory and post it here in a month or so.

In the meantime, have a look at Antonia’s report from her first 24 hour race a few weeks ago, it’s a great read –

http://www.petitefeetrunaway.blogspot.co.uk/

My first ultra – a Retrospective

A few people have asked about my two official ultras.

Here is the report I wrote after my first one. This is the original report that I wrote at the time. I had a quick read through it, and think it shows how green we were.

—————————-

I had been day-dreaming about trying an ultra, especially after following MattB’s efforts at the worlds earlier this year. 

Then, while we were planning a trip to the UK to visit our daughter Antonia, she suggested that we do an ultra together. Because, in her words “Marathons are getting boring”.

So we chose the 80 km, 5 lap option at Caesar’s Camp Endurance Runs in Aldershot, mostly because it fitted our potential travel plans. It is a low key event, with a limit of 110 runners across 3 distances. The organiser is a hard case called Henk, who is himself an experienced ultra runner.

It’s an off-road run, deliberately set to be as tough as possible. The surface is a mix of dirt, gravel, sand, and loose stones. The stones are mostly on the frequent steep uphill and downhill sections. There is 1,520 feet of climb (and descent) per lap.

80 of us lined up for the midday start – 23 in the 80km race and the rest tackling the full 160 km. The start was a bit of an anti-climax, with a loud countdown 3 -2 -1 – go! – we rose up onto our toes and … shuffled forward slowly. 

The course itself winds through random tracks, not always following the obvious track at intersections. Although it was reasonably well marked, it needed a bit of attention to stay on the right track, and I was pleased that there were other runners around for us to follow for the first hour or so.

In accordance with the ultra running advice that I got off the web, we conserved energy by walking the steep uphills. There were a lot of these, varying between 40 and 200 metres long, so we got a lot of practice at it. And we were not alone, most of the field had the same tactic. 

After about 90 minutes there were no other runners around, and we lost the track twice simply by not paying attention.  Embarrassed The first time we only overshot by a few metres, but the second time we had to back track about 400 metres.

The end of the lap provided a brief stop to refuel from the excellent aid tent provided. I had no idea where we were in the pack, Henk said that we were “well up”.

The course looked different the second time round. With less people around we had to pay more attention to the track markers, and with the excitement of the first lap gone there seemed to be a lot more uphill sections. On the second half of the lap we were careful on the two spots where we had strayed earlier, and stayed on the course.  Smiley

As we got near the end of the second lap, with about 30km covered, I was feeling seriously tired. I began to doubt whether I was going to make it. This disappointed me, I had run bigger distances and times in training. I didn’t say anything to Antonia, but started making mental plans to struggle around the 3rd lap with her, then pull out of the race and rest while she ran the 4th lap, with the hope that I could find the energy to pace her through her final lap. 

The end of the lap arrived soon after that, and Henk was toasting the runners with a beer in his hand. I told him I was tired and needed a beer, but I don’t think he believed me. Until I took his beer off him and had a big drink.  Smiley I then made sure I got a lot of electrolytes and food into me. Either the beer or the food helped, because once we settled  into the third lap I felt relatively OK again. 

The third lap was tough. We had been going 4 hours, the novelty of the course had worn off, things were starting to hurt, and there were less runners around to interact with. As Antonia later said “we ran out of conversation after the second lap, and then it just got awkward”. Although we wanted to pace ourselves and conserve energy, we also knew that the rough track would be difficult in the dark, so we tried to keep the pace up in order to cover as much ground as possible before dusk. 

The mid-lap checkpoint was the halfway point in the race. 4 hours 38, we hadn’t quite done a marathon, and we had another 40km ahead of us. It was too daunting to think about. 20 minutes after that I assumed that we had passed the 42.2km mark, so we congratulated ourselves on setting personal distance records.  Grin This was a nice little boost, as I was finding it harder and harder to start running again after each uphill walking section.

We had committed to running the event together, and I was initially concerned that if we each had different weaknesses it would lower the average pace for both of us – if I wanted to walk uphills and she wanted to walk downhills, we would end up walking the whole damn thing. But as it turned out, our different strengths each allowed us to pull the other along – mostly from Antonia insisting that we start running again at the top of every hill.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the third lap, I was running (shuffling) on auto-pilot. Despite this, once we got to the start/finish checkpoint we knew that we were going to finish the distance, even if we had to walk the last 20km or so.

I was surprised that everyone we saw mentioned how well we were running, I felt like crap. By now I was so tired that speaking was an effort. The only word used was  a grunted “walk” whenever one of us ran out of steam going up a hill.

The actual race was confusing, with people running both the 80 km and 160 km distances. We had no idea where we were placed. The woman leading the 160 km race (which she went on to win in a staggeringly quick 22.5 hours) ran alongside us for a while, and mentioned that Antonia was second in the 80 km run. This came as a shock, and although we commented that we were only there to tackle the distance, it was exactly the mental lift we needed at that point.   

This section of the lap has a good surface and easy gradient for about 4 km, and is the longest runnable part of the course. It was fantastic the first few times round, but by now I hated it – we had been running 6 and a half hours, and I was so tired that I desperately wanted an excuse to walk.

Our pace slowed significantly after it got dark and the headlamps went on. The rough ground and confusing course were a double whammy. We had to watch where we put our feet, and also scan the trees for track markers. The mental effort of both staying on track and not wrecking an ankle added to my fatigue.

The only encouraging bit in our seemingly  endless plod was about 2km from the end of the lap, when we saw a light moving ahead of us. We slowly gained on it, and 500 meters before start of the final lap Antonia ran past the leading woman and into first place. There was a short sharp uphill at that spot, and we powered up it in a false show of strength  Cool

We took a slightly longer refuelling stop at the checkpoint, and Antonia started the final lap back in second. This lasted for about 300 metres, when she ran herself back into first place. We had never seriously thought that she might lead the race, but we both knew that she wasn’t going to give up the lead without a fight. And I had to fight to keep moving throughout this lap. My legs were so tired that I had trouble lifting them high enough to clear small obstacles, and I was sure that my knees were going to buckle every time I had to step off anything more than a few centimetres high. 

It was a huge relief when we got to the far checkpoint, a chance to stop while I filled the water bottles. Then I staggered  back onto the track for the final 70 minutes. Crossing the only stile on the course was hard – it was incredibly painful and slow lifting my legs up the steps and  over the fence. I couldn’t step down the other side, I had to hang onto the stile and use my arms to lower my body to the ground.

Finally we were at the last short sharp hill, which we insisted on running up out of pure stubbornness, and on to the finish in 10 hours 28 minutes, about an hour ahead of my expectations. 

It turned out that Antonia not only won the race, she took over 40 minutes off the record  Grin I am pretty sure that we were also the first internationals and the first family team Cheesy

This is a great run – a testing course, helpful officials and supportive fellow runners. I think it is an excellent event for a first time ultra, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is going to be near Hampshire in early October.

Another Ultra-Running Fool

Our daughter Antonia has taken to ultra-running like a duck to water. We ran our first one together 2 and a half years ago, and she has now got 9 under her belt. The most recent was the 152km West Highland Way Race, which was run in atrocious weather.

I have realised that my post about the Wellington marathon was longer than her report for that race. You can read her race reports on her blog

http://petitefeetrunaway.blogspot.co.uk/

I have posted a permanent link to the side of my site as well.

Wellington Marathon

I wasn’t going to post anything else here. Having achieved my 5 x 50 at 50  I was going to let this blog fade into internet oblivion. There is no point in me writing about my routine running, it would be Just Another Running Blog, and there are plenty of those already, most of them written far better than anything I can manage.

Then I entered the Wellington marathon, which was only 24 days after my final 50km run. I hadn’t intended to, it was a last minute decision and mostly an excuse to visit our daughter Hillary for the weekend.

I knew the distance wouldn’t be a problem, but my ultra training meant I had spent all year walking up hills and taking rest breaks. If the marathon had been another 4 weeks away I could have some recovery time, spend a few weeks doing a bit of pace work to get some (relative) leg speed, and then have a crack at my personal best time of 3:36 – which I set in my first marathon, when I was 18. But I didn’t have an extra month, so I would take what came. If I could dip under 3:40 it would be my second fastest ever, that would make me happy.

10 days before the Wellington marathon I went out after work and did a solo 32km time trial at a pace for a 3:35 marathon. I finished this right on target, but I was shattered. No way I had another 10km in me at that pace.  Never mind, a second best ever time would be fine in the circumstances.

With all the long slow training and frequent rest breaks I had lost any sense of pace judgement. Compounding that, I don’t know where each km marker is on the Wellington course, and last time I ran it I went out way to fast without realising it until I got a time check at the 5km point. So I decided I would use the target time function on my GPS tracker for the first time.

The other major point I remembered from my previous time running at Wellington is that my GPS measured the course at 43.1 km. I assume that the course is the correct distance, so put that down to a combination of my GPS being built into a cheap phone, and the very twisty course weaving in and out of all the little bays. With this in mind I entered a target time of 3:40 for 43 km (about 5:07 per km), and then set the GPS to update me every 500 metres. Being built into the phone, the announcements come through the headphones, which takes a bit of getting used to.

I always have trouble drinking from a cup while running, and I didn’t want to walk through the aid stations, so I kitted myself out as if I was doing a supported-ultra. I had a squeezy bottle with 3 shots of gel in one shirt pocket, a power bar in the other, and I wore my fuel belt with 4 water bottles. This way I could sip from the bottles whenever I wanted, and wash down the gel and power bar at my convenience.

I wandered nervously around in the pre-start area doing some stretching and jogging. I was proudly wearing the 5x50km top that Olivia and Antonia had made for me. Nobody noticed. Then it was time to go outside and marshal for the start. I had a bit of faffing around with my GPS, setting the target and getting a satellite lock, and I was ready to go. Unfortunately the organisers weren’t, they were still setting up the race clock as the start time rolled around. Then, a few minutes late, we were off.

I was trying desperately not to get too carried away with the excitement of the start, as we cruised down the gentle slope to the access ramp, and then zig zagged down the steeper ramp to the street. Got a huge shout and wave from Hillary as we entered the ramp, it was great of her to come down this early to see me off.

“You.are.six.seconds..a-head” Excellent, the first of the 500 metre announcements, and I was right on target. Just settle into this rhythm and enjoy the day. A lot of people came charging past here, I guess they had got caught up in the crush getting off the ramp. It was very hard to let them go, as I was feeling so good, bit I wanted to keep to my plan.

“You.are.forty.two.seconds..a-head” Oops, I had picked up a bit of pace without realising it. Ease off slightly. The announcements were going to work wonders.

This pattern continued for several km, people would ease past, I would ignore them with difficulty, and my pace sat between 30 and 40 seconds ahead of target.

We got to the first drink station, and I happily cruised past sipping from my own bottle as everyone scrambled to get a cup and then tried to drink from it on the move. Hah, that was working for me as well.

Mindful of the extra distance that my GPS recorded here last time, I was trying to straighten the road as much as possible, cutting all of the bends (within the race rules of course). In the early part of the race this made for some interesting running, as the filed was still fairly bunched up, and I was ducking and weaving through other runners as I cut from the side of the road out to the centre line and back again. It was interesting to note that by the 8km marker the 500 metre announcements from my GPS did not line up with the km markers on the course, so I started counting steps between them to try and see how far out I was. I think I was out by about 200 metres, although mostly it was just something to keep my brain occupied.

By the 10km point the field had thinned out and I was starting to pass people. That felt great, although I had to fight the temptation to deliberately run them down. I forced myself to keep to my pace, and if I happened to catch someone, that was a bonus.

“You.are.forty.five.seconds..a-head” This was about the 13km mark. I wasn’t too concerned about this, as it had happened very gradually over the last 5 km or so.

It was here that I realised that perhaps I had over hydrated, and would need to relieve some pressure on my bladder. We were running on a stretch of road beside a bush covered cliff, that was closed to traffic and had no houses around, so the ultra-runner/multi-sporter in me took over, and I simply stood in the ditch with my back to the oncoming runners and did my thing.

“You.are.twenty.seconds..a-head” Not bad, I only lost 25 seconds. While I was stopped a group of 4 or 5 runners had gone past, so I picked up the pace for a few hundred metres and got myself onto the back of it. I was now back to 30 seconds ahead and happy with that. I worked my way toward the front of the group and settled back into my stride.

The group was being led by a young woman who had someone following on his push bike, giving her encouragement and gels. Whenever she paused to grab a gel I just held me pace, and she would work to get back up with me. I never once looked behind me, but I sensed that we had dropped most of the other runners in our little group. We carried on this way for several km, swapping out the lead  every now and then. Past the 17km point we met the race leaders heading back. Man, they would have been about 7m ahead of us already, and they were flying.

I was feeling so comfortable along here that I let myself play with the idea of ignoring my GPS pace reminders from the halfway turn around, and just running with what I had left in my legs – it might be the first time I had managed to run a negative split for a marathon.

Just past the 19km mark we start up the Pass of Branda, a gentle climb that takes a kilometre to rise less than 40 metres – hardly worthy of being labelled a hill really. Although I was trying to hold myself to my target pace until the halfway point, there is something about seeing a hill rising in front of me that gets my blood stirred, and I tend dig in and enjoy the climb. The same thing happened here, I just couldn’t stop myself from attacking the hill. I must have passed half a dozen people, and the woman that I had been running with dropped off my shoulder. She can’t have dropped far though, because she came back on the downhill to lead me toward the turnaround.

The other side of the pass is a bit steeper and the course drops down to sea level quite quickly before continuing around the coastline to the turnaround.  I remember the turnaround being a lot further than I expected, and unsurprisingly it was still in the same place this year. The kilometre or so seemed to take forever, and then we were turning and heading for home. Right before the turnaround we caught and passed another woman who had been slowly coming back to us for the last 20 minutes or so. Once we turned she seemed to get an enormous boost and surged away from us to build up a large lead again. Not a problem, I am just trying to run my own race here anyway.

By now I was over a minute ahead of my target pace, and over halfway, so I stopped listening to my GPS and started listening to my body. It was telling me to go and have some fun, so I did. A strong push up the steeper side of the hill and then a bit of a relaxing drift down the other side. Having turned around on the out-and-back course, we were now running toward the people behind us, and I recognised a few who I had run with or past at various stages in the first half. Some of them had dropped quite a way back, and it gave me quite a psychological boost to know that my pacing strategy was working for me.

Still swapping the lead with the young woman that I had run with since the 14km mark, we picked up a few more runners as we headed back up the Miramar peninsular, and I think there were 3 or 4 drafting off us for a few km. When we had gone about 29km I realised that we were again slowly closing on the woman we had passed at halfway. She was still three or four hundred metres ahead, but the gap was closing. Unfortunately my running companion stopped here to grab another gel and I never saw her again. We had run together for about 15km and hardly spoken. I never got her name or race number so can’t check on her result. I hope she finished well.

At the 30km marker I was over 3 minutes ahead of schedule and started let myself think about a PB. In fact I briefly thought I might even go under 3:30 – I tried to do the math in my head, but it was all too hard when I was tired. And it didn’t matter anyway, I was going to run as hard as I could until the finish and then see what time I did.

We were nearing the end of the unpopulated closed road, and I had almost caught the woman from the half-way turn around (again) when I had to stop for another “nature break”. This again cost me twenty five seconds, and let her extend her lead back out. Not much further on we hit the turn around for the half marathon, at the same time as people who are running 2 hours or more for their half marathon. Suddenly we were in amongst hundreds of people, all running slower than us. It was impossible to keep track of any marathon runners that were ahead of us, they just got swallowed in the crowd.

So now I was running alone in a crowd, with no-one ahead to focus on. I had to think a bit about working my way through the crowd of slower runners while trying to maintain my pace, that kept my brain occupied for a while. Only 10km to go, I was still holding my pace but starting to feel it a bit. I had used my three gels and eaten my power bar, I was now starting to wish I had carried one extra gel shot.

Then I realised that I could still see the woman that I had been tracking for so long, her distinctive shirt stood out in the crowd, and I was slowly gaining on her for the third time. When she stopped to take a drink at the 35km drink station I just kept going and ran past her. I was starting to tire, so it was nice to have this little mental boost. I think My GPS said I was about 8 minutes ahead of plan, I wasn’t really paying attention to it by then.

By now the km markers were counting down, so that the half and full marathon runners would not get confused. With 7km to go I glanced at my stopwatch and saw 2:57. Good grief! 5 minutes per km for 7 km, that’s another 35 minutes, I am definitely going to get a PB. And if I can push it a bit harder I might smash the old mark and sneak under 3:30 – that would be huge. Although I was excited at the thought, my body couldn’t quite keep up with my brain, and was starting to remind me that I had already run faster for longer than ever in my life before. My legs felt pretty good, but my stomach was getting gentle cramps, I was starting to run on empty.

OK, so the 3:30 dream was shelved pretty quick. It was going to be a matter of hanging on as long as possible and taking as much as possible off my previous best. 5km to go and the half way woman passed me again, going strong. Good for her, I was giving it all I had and felt like I was not getting anywhere. I was still passing half marathon runners and now some 10km walkers, although this didn’t give me much of a mental boost.

4km to go, I was really struggling as we came to the last drink station, and there is the half way woman again, stopped to have a drink. I cruise on by sipping the last from my water bottles, seriously wishing I had a gel to take with it. She passed me shortly afterward moving at an incredible pace for that stage of a marathon, and I never saw her again.

We were into the last 2km along the tourist waterfront walkways, dodging Sunday morning strollers as well as half marathon runners. This gave me more to think about, and distracted me slightly from how bad I was feeling. 3 or 4 people passed me between here and the finish, and although I couldn’t see their race numbers to tell which event they were in, I am fairly certain that they were not doing the half.

I wasn’t concerned about losing places, only that it confirmed that I was slowing down. I have had a look at my splits and the last 3km were fairly uniform, all 15 seconds slower than the previous 10km. Come on, come on, where is the damn “1km to go” marker. It finally came into sight, but of course 1km is a long way when you are tired, and the stadium took forever to come into view.

And then the steep-ish ramp up from the street to the stadium approach just killed me. All the energy was sapped from my legs, and that 135 metres felt like the hardest thing I had done all year.

Around the last corner and we were in front of the spectators all yelling and cheering, encouraging us along the final 250 metres to the finish. I was working as hard as I could to keep some momentum going, and not really achieving much. I heard my name called from among the spectators, but didn’t see who it was (pretty sure now it was Ann and Hillary), just focussed on trying to keep my legs moving. The finish line just wasn’t getting any closer, and then finally I was there and could stop. I was shattered. My friends Stu, John and Yvonne were all still waiting for me just past the finish line, despite having completed their half marathons 10 minutes earlier, which I certainly appreciated.

I was ecstatic. My official time was 3:31:21 – it had taken me 32 years and 3 intervening marathons to finally beat my previous best, and then I reduced it by over four and a half minutes. I was also a staggering 10 minutes quicker than when I ran this course two years ago. And I had run negative splits for the first time – around 1:47 on the way out and 1:44 on the way home.

To top it all off, and keep the father daughter rivalry alive, I now had a faster time at Wellington than Antonia. OK, she has run more marathons than me, most of them faster than me, and her Wellington one was her first ever. But she is so far ahead on overall points that I need to take whatever small wins I can 😉

There was a bit of beer consumed that afternoon 🙂

Then and now – the two marathon certificates that I am most proud of :Image

ImageCruising through the first few km, concentrating on the next 500 metre time check-Image

A bit under 3 km to go, and the strain is showing –Image

1,500 metres left, hang in there –Image

Finally, the long run up to the finish line –Image

A brief wave for all (both) of my devoted fans –Image

And just hang on for the last few metres –Image

The Last Word

This is my final post.

The blog was set up to share my experience of running 50km per day for 5 consecutive days once I turned 50. This is a very specific event, which has now passed, and so this blog is now obsolete.

I will leave it on-line, in case it entertains anyone who happens to stumble across it on the future.

Before I sign off I would like to share some thoughts on the whole lunatic exercise. I am not much of  a deep thinker, nor I am a particularly good wordsmith, here goes anyway –

A week ago today I had just finished my final run. At that time I didn’t have a sense of achievement, so much as overwhelming relief. Relief that I could stop running for the day. Relief that I did not have to get up the next day and run another 50km. Relief that I absolutely won’t do anything this crazy when I turn 60.

And I had only been focussing on each day’s run as it presented itself to me. Not yesterday, that was in the bag. And not tomorrow, that wasn’t today’s issue. Then within each run there were milestones (almost literally in places) that I was ticking off. A lot of these involved food breaks or rest breaks, two of my favourite activities, so that helped. The net effect was that I was only ever thinking of about 5km at a time, so that at the end it was difficult to look back and see 250km.

250km in 5 days. Freaking awesome 8)

I have had some time to reflect on it since then though. The biggest emotion is the satisfaction of setting myself a tough challenge, and managing to complete it. The fact that it involved an activity that I love is the icing on the cake. So every now and then I daydream about the experience, and how enjoyable it is in hindsight. I am not sure how much I enjoyed it at the time, although I never hated any of it.

There is also that small satisfaction of having done something that not many (any?) other people have done. Plenty of people run further, faster, more. And I admire them all. But this is my own personal achievement. And I doubt that anyone has run all 5 of those specific tracks, ever, let alone consecutively. So the 5 days are unique to me. That is pretty cool.

I wasn’t 100% confident going into it. People whose experience and achievements I admire were commenting on how tough they thought the challenge was. That gave me some moments of doubt. And then I was told that I had chosen some very tough tracks.

Hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it 😉

I want to stress that none of these were negative, or “doubters”. They were all simply saying “wow, that’s a really tough challenge you have picked, possibly made harder by the tracks you have chosen”. They all concluded with a variation of “good on you for taking it on”.

This level of uncertainty has contributed to an even bigger sense of achievement – if I hadn’t seen it as a challenge, with a potential for not making it, then the achievement would not have been as significant in my mind. I found a definition of adventure that reads “a bold undertaking;  action of uncertain outcome”. My 5×50 fits that description, so it I will declare it officially an adventure. How many of us desk jockeys get have adventures these days?

A large part of my success is down to the support that I received. Ann was fantastically understand during the training phase when I was running for large chunks of the weekend and uselessly tired for the remainder. Once she accepted that I was serious about it she encouraged and supported me through the long build up and the Big Week.

Our daughters also encouraged me as much as they could. They are used to my wacky ideas by now, and all three of them helped to keep me motivated even if it was simply by showing some interest in my training missions. And then surprising me with shirts and banners.

My local running mates just enjoyed giving me stick about not being able to keep up in the club races – mostly because I had run for 2 or 3 hours before fronting to a 10km road race.

And the ladies in the office covered for me when I would finish work early to get in a long run before dark.

Then once the actual 5×50 got underway I had amazing support. Friends ran or biked with me, Hillary gave up her weekend to accompany me through two days, Denise, Noeleen and Fiona from work came and saw me whenever they could, and those who couldn’t be there sent messages of support.

Ann not only had to put up with me being preoccupied during the week, she got me to and from the run each day, sorted and washed my gear, and spent 2 of the days with me.

At the time I was fairly focussed on getting through it. Looking back the level of support is quite overwhelming, and I would like to thank everyone who helped out in any way they could. You all helped me survive my adventure, and made it a significant lifetime experience for me.

I don’t have plans to do any more ultra running for some time. I have promised Ann that I will be normal (at least in relation to running 🙂 ) now that I have achieved this. Mind you, we didn’t discuss whether there was a time limit on this promise…..

No, I am looking forward to enjoying a harrier season at Athletics Nelson, just rambling along in club races over the winter. I might build some speed (that’s a relative term for me) onto my endurance base and see if I have a decent half marathon in me this season. Or not. I’m not keen on those sprint distance events 😆

So for any of you who have read this far without falling asleep from boredom, I hope you have enjoyed the blog and my week of suffering. Maybe it will encourage someone else to tackle their own personal crazy challenge one day.

I wanted to finish with a quote from Forrest Gump, which I thought was appropriate –

” And that’s  all I have to say about that.”

Then I saw a lesser known quote from Forrest’s mother, which might be even more appropriate –

“What’s normal anyways? ”

 

Soundtrack to 50km

Maree wanted to know what I listened to while I was running. Here is the list from my final day. I don’t listen to music while I have people with me, that would be rude, so it really only covers a bit less than 40km .

 

Legs ZZ Top
Let Yourself Go Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Lets Get High
Lets Ride Airbourne
Lets Spend the Night Together The Rolling Stones
Life in The Fast Lane The Eagles
Like the way I Do Melissa Etheridge
Li’l ‘Frigerator Elton John
Listen Like Thieves INXS
Little Bitty Tom T Hall
Livinh After Midninght Judas Priest
Living in The Real world Blondie
London calling The Clash
Long cool Woman in a Black Dress Vince Neill
Ling Line of Cars Cake
The Long run The Eagles
Looking Good Frenzal Rhomb
Love Hurts Joan Jett
Love in Stereo Warrant
Love Is Allanah Myles
Love Rears Its Ugly Head Living Colour
The Loved One INXS
Lovers Touch Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Lyin’ Eyes The Eagles
Misfits Cold Chisel
The More Things Change Bon Jovi
Mother We Just Cant Get Enough New Radicals
Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go to School Today) Extreme
My boyfriends Back Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
My Life Billy Joel
My Old School Steely Dan
My sharona The Knack
Need you tonight INXS
Never Had so Much fun Frenzal Rhomb
Never Tear us Apart The Who
Next go Round Nickelback
S.E.X. Nickelback
The Night Chicago Died
Nights in White Satin
No Feelings Vince Neill
No future Sex Pistols
No Plans Cold Chisel
No Reason to Cry Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
No Sign of You Thomas Oliver Band
Nobodys Fault Vince Neill
Ol’ 55 The Eagles
Old dogs, Children, Watermelon Wine Tom T Hall
Old Man Down the Road John Fogerty
On my mind Luger Boa
Once Bitten Twice Shy Great White
One of These Days Thomas Oliver Band
One of These Nights The Eagles
One Said to The Other The Living End
One Way or Another Blondie
Only The good die Young Billy Joel
Opera Singer Cake
The Other Kind Steve Earle
Our Old Fleame Cold Chisel
Out in The Street Bruce springsteen
Over the Edge Ratt
Oxycontin Blues Steve Earle
Paint it Black The Rolling Stones
Peaceful Easy Feeling The Eagles
Pencil thin Mustache Jimmy buffett
Permission to Shine Batchelor Girl
Photograph Nickelback
Pictures of Home Deep Purple
Pinball Wizard Elton John
A Pirate Looks at Forty Jimmy buffett
Pretty Flamingo Rod Stewart
Pretty Fly (For a white Guy) The Offspring
Prisoner of Society The Living End
Punk Rock Prom Queen
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. John Mellencamp