By Brian Layton
Some time back, someone in the club posted an ad for the above event, and I distinctively remember thinking, “Why on earth would you want to do that ?”
Well, some time later, I was looking for something to do to top up my base after my little 102.5 miles completing this year’s LDWA annual 100-mile event. By the way, I am the first TRC member to complete this event as a septuagenarian and, although not wanting to wish my life away, am already thinking how nice it would be to complete one as an octogenarian. It’s funny how the mind wanders sometimes.
Anyway, with all of my usual LDWA events still on hold, I remembered this event. I also thought that if I had managed to complete the Incombe Hole 100 Challenge, then, after all, this couldn’t be THAT BAD. So, whoever posted it, it’s all your fault.
The basic event details are thus. Start at 14:00 on 19 June and run 6.55-mile (Quarter Marathon) laps for as much or as little of a 24-hour period as you like. Simples; I planned to run 8 laps to collect all of the badges on offer, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra and Double Marathon plus my finisher’s medal, insulated mug and embroidered towel for turning up. No wander my house is full of so much junk.
Upon arrival at the mini event village, I discover that as the river Ouzel had burst its banks, and that part of the course was now under a foot of water, the course has been shortened to 10kms, 6.25 miles.
As 8 laps would now not be a double marathon, not that they were in the slightest bothered, I didn’t want to collect that badge under false pretenses. The simple solution is 10 laps, 100kms, 62.5 miles.
Well, we started on time, around 300 plus of us, we ran it “Our Way”, as it said on the tin, and all finished sometime later. On my first lap I got chatting to a woman who at the end of that lap told me that she was now done and was going home. At £33 for the entry fee I think that some people appear to have more money than sense.
Anyway, I took a short break every 20kms and kept running ??? all through the night. I like this part of any long-distance event and really perk up when the dawn finally arrives.
The results are in entry number order and I simply don’t have the will power to make sense of them. It really surprised me how many people only completed a few laps, many, many 5 or less. I duly completed my 10 in a pathetic time of 19 hours something. The most laps completed by a soloist was 15, which I thought was equally disappointing compared to the 31 laps completed by the fastest team of 6.
The route was very scenic for Milton Keynes, going around Campbell Park and both of the Willen lakes. It was quite enjoyable, in a masochistic sort of way, and I would genuinely recommend trying it sometime. I’m already thinking maybe next year.
After a shower, and a couple of hours kip, I set off for Whitehaven on the Cumbrian coast in Andy Collings’ camper van. I had agreed to deliver 2 bikes for Andy, who was taking part in the 3 Peaks Yachts Race. They duly arrived circa 01:30 Tuesday morning, having had to row for a while due to a lack of wind. The 2 “runners” set off on their bikes to ride and run to the top of Scafell Pike and back, which they completed in 9 hours 15 minutes. I’ll leave Andy to compile a much-anticipated complete report of this incredible race and journey. I will, however, throw in a spoiler and report that his team did complete the event and that many of the teams did not.
As usual, yours in sport and its myriad of guises,