Gloucester Elite Track 24hour race at the weekend. Great event organised by Severn Valley Events.
It started at 10 am Saturday and finished at 10 am Sunday morning. Had an amazing team of guide runners who were all there to be my eyes, to keep me safe, and help navigate around other athletes.
Thank you, Miki, Paola, Adam, Nathan, Jeremy, Darren, Gary and Nick. Thanks also to John for being the support crew and all the various other jobs which he did.
Wasn't sure how it was all going to go because I did a 24hour race only 5 weeks ago in Battersea where I coveted 197km.
I went into the race hoping to get 200km upwards. I have a PB of 204.6km so I know it's possible.
Aims going into the race were
- to get 200k or above.
- to use the race as a test type experiment to try and resolve the ongoing blister issue that I keep getting on my toes. I had a few new things that I was testing out and some things have worked which is good to know for future races.
From about 2 hrs in my legs felt heavy. I just tried to ignore it as best I could.
On paper, it still seemed to be going to plan as my splits were similar to previous races. That was up until 140k. But by 150k my legs and feet just couldn't go anymore.
Things changed so quickly between 140k and 150k but that is ultra running. You never know how your plan is going to go.
When I took off my socks to check my feet all the skin and nail came away from my baby toe which was quite painful.
At 155k I just had to stop. Once stopped I was extremely cold. I thought if I had a massage on my legs then that would help but I then got very cold and so I ended up in the clubhouse with the medic.
First the medic, John and Miki tried to get me warm. Next, it was to try to fix my toes. After seeing my toes the Med said I wouldn't be walking much with my toe(s) injury for the next 2 weeks.
By that stage, I decided I was out and didn't see the point in going any further than 155k.
I lay down to try to get rest but I was shaking so much that I was too agitated to sleep. Around 730am Adam, Gary, and John came in to try to see could they get me back going and walk another 6k to get to the 100mile mark.
I didn't see the point but the 3 lads were very encouraging and before I knew it I was back on the track at 745am in my sandals walking then running with @nickbutterrun . The aim was to go from 155k to 160K. Once I got to 160K the lads thought I was finished but I said no I wanted to get to 161km. When I got to 161k I told the lads I wanted to get to 170k. I wasn't sure if it was possible with the amount of time left. Then when I got to 170K I wanted 171K and so it continued, I kept striving for more. I finished the race with a distance of 173k surrounded by a fabulous team of people. I am so grateful to them for believing in me, wanting to help me and volunteering their time. I will be forever grateful. Not my best race but one of my best race experiences as it’s when we are tested that we grow.
A memorable weekend which will live with me for a long time.
#resilience #mindset #teamwork #ultrarunning #blindrunner #blindathlete