My first ultra of the year in preparation for the 100 miles Thames Path race. It was a very cold morning with some 300 runners ready to embark on the cross country race which then after 20 miles goes onto to the Grand Union canal. Biggest error that Alex and I made on this course was not reccing the first 20 as it didnt follow a natural path and we ended up having to run a slower pace with a kind runner that new the route through Wendover, Pednor, Chesham/Chenies. Also it meant the second lady would be closing us in having raced this course before, as they say better the devil you know :-). Beyond the messy start we started to pick up pace but soon realised that off road shoes on the hard canal section wasnt advisable and therefore a mistake not to make again. Alex suffered beyond 30 miles with screaming quads, didnt have the heart to mention my plantar and hamstring was sore but muscled on through. We needed to pick up pace seeing the 2nd lady in the distance and ended up running sub 7 min miling for the last 5 miles to break the gap. Time finished 5:36 for the race and a little bruised but definitely know that the navigation cost us some 20/25 mins messing around.
Onwards and upwards as despite this I still broke the course record and won the ladies race. The men’s was won by James Elson in a very respectable time of 4.59 and someone I would soon later see at the Centurion 100 race which he organises. Something I love about ultras is the speed you can travel at an get the opportunity to see more of the countryside. http://race-results.info/races/20160116coun/index.php