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Saturday, 26 October 2019

High Weald Challenge - 28 miles #102

Not to be confused with the High Weald 50k, this is a lovely local run organised by the LDWA. Out of about 90 starters I picked out old running legend Robert Cameron Wood...the running doctor. I've run probably 30 or so races with him and we always have a bit of a catch up. I think he is on his way to 500 marathons now...such is his prowess!

A low key start. Off from Forest Row. I am keen to explore as many local ultras as possible and this was on the other side of the Ashdown, somewhere I had not run the southern part before.

Slightly dodgy instructions and a GPX file from a wanderer helped us the more miles than this was supposed to be. I had 29.9 at the end of the race. More problems. Great.

I probably was bothered in the last 3-4 miles....however a downhill finish saw me over the line in 6th.

Weald 50k #101

Room 101 is a place where we put things that we don't like or get on with. For some reason this was a bit of a bogey number. For my birthday I had planned a big one. The Butcombe 56 mile ultramarathon. I think that having lost my mojo totally after passing 100 and with work, kids and the amount of work on our house taking its toll, I think this year will be the lowest running mileage since the broken leg in 2010.

Anyway I toed the line low on mileage and low on morale.

I didn't feel the best but this was my first outing at trying tailwind having DNF'd at Butcombe...having been top 5 for the first 25 miles and then dropping 20 places in 4 miles with 9 hedge stops.....guts were awful. I finally bailed at 38 miles. Empty.

This was a bit of a revelation as it felt good all the way round. I enjoyed the race, despite being low on miles. I had run this in a much higher position in previous races. I have run 5 HWC or WC races now....Sue sends me out on them as the mugs are a welcome addition to the 'hot chocolate' or 'chinese tea' late drink...putting me in 7th position in the 'all time' list.  Nice to see Paul Thomson at the start.....However this time round, I started at the back.....took the first 30k so easily it was an enjoyable run with no lows or flat spots. I was loitering in about 120th place out of nearly 200 runners.....part of the pack that I don't often familiarise myself with, but it was lovely and friendly. With the gut-bomb not happening, I put my foot down. The last 20k I switched on some middle-aged after burners......jumping from 120 ish to 52nd overall. I overtook 15 in the last 3 miles.....all 3 miles were run at sub-7s. I guess with more confidence and training I could have gone out harder and gone into a better position....but you never know. 5.35 and 101 done