I'm very excited to welcome my first ever guest blog post. Wendy joined the Running Adventures North Downs Ultra Run this past weekend and wrote the following blog post about her experience and what she learned. Wendy is an inpisrational polar explorer who is preparing to pioneer a new route across the Transantarctic mountains and will finish at the South Pole in 2020. Find to more here.
If you'd like to submit a guest blog post, get in touch.
Things you only know when you’ve run a trail ultra...
We joined Matt, from Running Adventures, in an unassuming car park in Guildford early on Sunday morning. There were a few nervous first-timers (including me) and some seasoned ultra-runners there for a guided run on the North Downs. Matt is very chilled. I was expecting a big fanfare, ‘this is it guys, your first ultra’ type thing, or even a kit check or something, but he just said hi, and we more or less got going. That laid-back attitude was exactly right, we just pottered off together and Matt was happy to chat as we went round, offering advice and stories. I was super-happy just to finish, having vision beforehand of ducking out and getting a taxi back, but once I was in, I was in 100%. I was surprised – having done a few marathons – how slow the pace was, but it was essential that the pace was sustainable. A really enjoyable day with a really good group of interesting people. Here’s what I learned:
Sign up for your own running adventure here.
When my buddy Danny Bent launched the I Move London Relay...I simply HAD to be involved. As anyone that knows, or follows, me will be aware, running on roads and in cities is not my usual type of running, but this event looked so good and I wanted to support the amazing work that Danny was doing, I thought I'd do it!
What is the London Relay?
4,000 miles. 2,500 runners. 1 Baton. The I Move London Relay was a 4000 mile run completed in 10K and 5K loops, in central London, repeated for 30 days and 30 nights across July. A new Guinness World Record. Groups of 2-50 participants ran each leg. The main rule being...DO NOT put down the Baton!
No pressure then!
Running Adventures 'took over' 4 stages of the event, and I promised to run all 4 of them. I didn't at the time realise it would be close to 40oC on the day, the hottest day of the year!! I invited clients, friends and anyone that might listen to join me for at least one lap.
My laps started at 3:30pm and began with just me and Tanya Raab taking on the course, dodging tourists and having a nice little catch up. The next lap was busier, with some pretty awesome people joining me. We had Danny Bent himself, Annie Ross from Exerk, lovely Sophie Radcliffe (Challenge Sophie), fellow Dragons Back Race survivor Huw Jack Brassington and none other than Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton joining for a lap. As well as some other lovely people...we ran, we took photos, we chatted, we laughed.
The next lap saw me joined by some friends and clients of Running Adventures and we buzzed through London, dodging yet more tourists who were now joined by commuters! I was starting to feel a bit drained by the heat for the afternoon but kept moving...determined to finish my 4 laps.
The final lap, where we were joined by yet more lovely people, was tough...I was dehydrated and battling through, but kept smiling and kept moving. We enjoyed the slightly cooler (prob only 35oC by now!) and had lots of chat and banter as we ran.
We finished to a brilliant reception, with the next Baton holders giving me a wonderful guard of honour on arrival. I was whacked...and had to sit down for quite some time afterwards. Inside I was still buzzing, buzzing in the knowledge that I'd managed the 4 laps in that epic heat, and made a little difference to the lives of many through the charities the run was supporting.
I'm told that next year it will be back, bigger and better, if you weren't involved in this one...you won't want to miss out on this epic event in 2019.
I own Running Adventures.