Ultra Marathon Men!
Discovering an ultra marathon event was taking place in Lincolnshire and fancying a challenge, it was a moment of utter madness as I put my name down.
Suddenly realising what I had done and that I needed to recruit some experience, I searched the Fire Section here at Marham. The first person I met was W/O Simon Marsh (52) I casually asked the question “fancy running 30 miles” to which he calmly replied “yes,” having already raced the London marathon previously I knew that if I got in trouble he could easily run for help which helped somewhat to calm the nerves!
We decided to run in aid of Macmillan’s cancer support as it is a charity close to both of our hearts. Unfortunately the official supported race was cancelled due to lack of interest shortly before our departure day. However after already receiving very generous sponsorship from a great number of friends and family we decided the show must go on.
I would like to say that we meticulously planned and researched our starting point however knowing the full cycle route was 33 along the Water Rail Way path between Lincoln and Boston we simply took two miles off and ended up in Antons Gowt a small hamlet just outside Boston.
Armed with water and energy gels we started out. We had decided that to aid us mentally we should divide the run in to five 10km runs with 50m rest in between giving us time to take on sports gels, protein bars and stretch off.
I had received some advice to not do anything different on race day than you do in training and I hadn’t listened I stupidly taped my feet up too much resulting in massive blisters within the first 500 metres of the run, this was going to be a long day…
Whilst researching the route I found some “interesting” facts these pearls of wisdom included The story of the Werewolf of Dogdyke and the 150 steps to the top of Tattershall Castle. This information was passed between deep breaths.
As we steadily ticked the miles off the Bardney Sugar Mill came into sight telling us we were still ten miles from the end, I didn’t think things could get any worse until the Lincoln Cathedral came into sight and this was even further away and it didn’t seem to get any closer until we were stood right next to it. As we passed the marathon distance I must admit to choking up a bit although it could have been my groin pains after a badly aimed deep heat session.
As we closed in on Lincoln we still had a massive hill to climb to the Cathedral and on tired legs this was no mean feat, several walkers passing me offered their encouragement. We completed the 30 miles in six hours. However our lack of planning meant we had actually run 34 miles to the archway where our families and friends had gathered to see us cross the finish line. After all the photographs and celebrations had ceased we did what all good athletes do and went straight to the nearest pub for a well earned pint and plate of chips.
We are very grateful and would like to thank everyone for their extremely kind donations which have helped us to in a relatively short period of time raise £500 for an amazing charity, Thanks also to all the family members that came to see us finish and to my running partner for your help and encouragement during the day and to ask, what’s the next challenge?