This is a hard section to put in an overview of highlights, mainly because all my races have had some sort of meaning. Started really from the marathon journey and then races that were used as a build up for bigger races. I have met some great mentors and athletes along the way and hope this will continue.
9/10/11th November 2011 – XNRG Multi-day Druid Ridgeway Challenge – This really was my first dabble with longer races and over the marathon distance. At the time I hadn’t really done anything more than marathon training but had done a few trial runs on a few sections. In particular, this gave me memories of running some of the legs for Handy Cross in the relays. I remember feeling very vulnerable and alone… Now I was planning to do back to back days. John my good friend/agony aunt and mentor who had run some crazy races encouragement to this event alone with Eddie another friend from a local club. We all started off in Herts Ivanhoe Beacon charging down the hill in fog. the first day was quite challenging incorporating many climbs towards Wendover, I ended up 5th on day 1 and way ahead of the 2nd lady.
I had intended to sleep over in Watlington until I saw a number of people in 1 room and the snoring men gathering around my gym matt. I wimped out and went home and back the next day which the terrain was very technical and quite chalky but enjoyable and finished up a green hill climb in second place ( this time beating Eddie). The final day for me was the toughest on heavy legs, very hilly and hard sections along with the crossing in Swindon towards Barbury Castle and climbs with exposed sections. I remained strong all through and on the road section and the end pushed myself through to 3rd and first lady overall. Little did I know I would later meet again Nathan who won the race in an amazing time. This for me was an emotional journey I knew I would return too and a bit of fun.
10th October 2015 – Gower 50 Miles – this was being used a qualifier to do a 100-mile event in 2016. Always hard when a winter race and also so far away. Anyway, we stayed in a pub that had some self-contained rooms with great hospitality but the band was playing late which meant broken sleep sadly. We headed to the hut to show our kit bag before the race start. This brought back memories mainly from the pain of running through sand, soaked feet, nearly falling off a cliff edge and climbing sand dunes. Out of all my races to date, this was the toughest mentally and physically as it was the first single race that was over an incredible distance and very challenging. I learned a lot from this day, however, disappointment set in although first lady both Alex and I crossed the line together but denied an overall win due to 2 other runners cheating and cutting the course to finish overall in first. We won’t be going back to a RunWalkCrawl Event again, but to finish on a positive qualified for TP100
29th April 2016 – Thames Path 100 – Has to be the best highlight to all of the running achievements for pushing myself the most. It was done purely from marathon training, having run Manchester a few weeks before and not feeling to well could have been my benefit. I never at any stage felt i couldn’t finish it although I had a tough section around Tilehurst Reading on tired legs running up steps to the station ( lots of them). I had to get my head running through a housing estate until I could then get back onto the section next to the water. The cold and darkness when it set in with the company of a pacer for safety, this also allowed me to pick up some pace. It still brings back emotions having friends follow my journey and be there throughout the day/night and then hug me at the finish when I broke the course record. A fond memory where I will return again….
11th November 2016 – GB Doha 50k – the highlight of 2016 and a great honor to be selected and asked to run for GB. Sadly though my hamstring issue had really elevated itself and probably not helped by having capsulitis on my left toe putting weight onto my right side. I gave it my best shot against the internationals finishing 7th overall in 29/30 degree heat which tailed off in the evening but affected my drinking plan and overdrank causing stomach cramps. The good news though was as a team we pushed ourselves into a ” Gold” position overall which gave us a great platform for future events having all run as a team well. This also included the men coming home with Silver. Great experience and proud to have been part of it.