Run, Sam, Run!

Samantha Amend - GB & England Marathon and Ultra Distance Runner

Gower (South Wales) 50 Miler Race – 10 October 2015

by Sam Amend - 10th October 2015 | General News, Race Reports

Tough tough course and having not trained for the ultra due to injury missing 2 valuable weekends with the glute injury it was a case of the strongest survived.  that said oozed confidence with a new challenge and knew my head could do battle and also needed to finish  to enable both Alex and I to qualify for the 100 Thames Towpath race next April 2016….  So the journey was painful (over 5hrs to get too) to get to the site, really was middle of nowhere, I had never carried so many clothes, and kit for a race which will bring a new experience.  With Kit check, race number we retreated to the Pub/hotel down the road into our cabin room which was well maintained and fantastic local welsh service with great food.  I’d describe Alex’s plate of food fit for a “king” and yes he did eat it all….

Moving onto the race, wow what views in the morning as we started at 7.30am with dawn starting to break.  Beautiful views as we started up hill and then along the seafront, across a beach (hard work!!!) keeping the coast to our right and up some high ridges.  Hardest part of the course was going from wet sand to dry sand dunes (hate it in between my tows 🙁 )  regardless made the right decision as most of the course was dry to wear normal trainers than off roaders.  Very tough challenging course and can see where we could have ran faster and the 2nd half there was more woodland, fields, and road to tackle which when your feet tire can be hard-work   We managed to pick up all the clips into our paper card (additional to meeting every checkpoint) to ensure we used the correct route and for sometime beyond 30 milers the lead runners with us dropped.

We made a small mistake around 38 miles in and went off course  but for around 5/6 minutes but got back on track to get to the next aid station at around 41 miles.  Taken by surprise to find that 2 men had gone through when no one had been behind us, so a little demoralized we still carried on to the finish which was in a similar area to the start just in a circular movement and a lovely sand dune to climb at the end to get to the top.  The last 5/6 miles cost us dearly aswell with Alex suffering chest pain from the previous week’s even on riding a friends horse and being bucked off.  We agreed to run it together and with a few miles left continued (at slow pace) towards the finish.  Finishing time 8.37 but could have worked towards 8hrs even on a challenging course.  I won the ladies race on my first ever full ultra and Alex and I should have got the win but convinced the 2 men in the finishing must have taken the road aswell as admitting they had missed one of the Stamp/Clipper points and despite getting a penalty finished ahead.   We worked so hard for this race as rookies and despite my win were flat, a shame as we will need to select the correct races where its fair competition.

On positive though lovely scenery and excellent marshals and well kitted aid stations !  onwards and upwards and one of the most emotional races I have completed yet !   on