How do you even begin to describe one of the most epic experiences you’ve ever had? Not a clue buddy, not a clue. This race was the longest run with the most climbing I’d had in one event, so safe to say there was a lot of firsts in this run. Here’s how the Ultimate Trails 110km unfolded for me…
First, there was the race countdown.
Elevation: 14,000ft ascent/descent
UTMB points: 3
5…4…3…2…1…and we’re off. Holy shit. This is actually happening. Too late to back out now. I laugh as I cross the start line, and begin to break into a gentle trot. Within about 10 metres I was being overtaken left, right and centre. Oh man, these guys are fast – they’re storming ahead! I figured I wasn’t in any real rush, and that I didn’t need to worry myself with what anyone else was doing…so on I trotted.
There was something exciting – but also a little saddening – about passing people stood outside the pubs of Ambleside as we passed through the town. Everyone cheered for us, but right at that moment, I’d have much preferred to be the person doing the cheering. I knew I needed to pull myself out of my funk, but I really just couldn’t be bothered doing this. And this was before we’d reached the first mile mark!
Over the shuffling of feet, I heard a guy say – to nobody in particular – ‘is it just me or is everyone running really quickly?’ Well thank heavens it’s not just me who is thinking this! I look at the guy and I stare…he looks like the double of my old flatmate. So much so that I start thinking that maybe Jay was a secret ultramarathon runner. But no, brain, pipe down. I lock in beside the chap, and we get chatting as we jolly along. He was a maths teacher from Manchester. We ran alongside each other for the first 3-4 miles, but I realise that the pace wasn’t right for me, so into the darkness he goes as he moves ahead. (N.B. I actually looked up the results of the chap – 16th place over all! I don’t feel so bad about not wanting to push to keep his pace!).
Around two miles in I got a bit flustered as I was already too warm. I’d set off in shorts, a vest, sleeves, and a light jacket. It was also at this point I thought ‘I know this is bad, but I really don’t want to be here right now’. Not great.
The first climb was fine…nothing technical, just a climb. The descent on the other hand was a different story. The descent was covered in rocks and scree. It wasn’t super technical, but it was enough to make me concentrate!
I could feel from the outset that my stomach wasn’t massively happy. In fact, it’s fair to say that it was positively unhappy. I hadn’t quite managed to time my – er – toilet routine before the race, so I consequently set off with a bloated stomach, knowing I’d need to poop in the next hour or so. Bad luck lass, bad luck.
The tummy situation didn’t get any better. I spent the entirety of the first hour scanning the horizon to see if there was a suitable bush that I could jump behind. With everyone still close to one another and wearing head torches, the poop situation was a no-go…unless of course I decided to go in my shorts, and believe me, another half hour would have seen that happen. So instead of revealing my white arse at the side of the road, I decided to hang on until the first aid station – toilet or not. Thank goodness there were loos. I need say no more.
The aid station was a pretty standard affair: tea, coffee, biscuits, sweets, and some flapjack. Impatient to wait for the water to boil at that first aid station, I picked up someone’s left over cup of tea from one of the tables and drank it. Fuelling like a scruff, why not.
On leaving the first aid station, I nearly took a wrong turn…twice. Talk about a space cadet. Thankfully another runner collared me, and kept me on the right path. This runner turned out to be a geography teacher. It was to be my introduction to ‘teachers who run’ apparently.
Nan Bield Pass
The second climb headed up towards Nan Bield Pass. There were some boggy patches and puddles as we moved off the bigger tracks, so before I’d reached mile 10, my feet were wet. Couple wet terrain with a head torch that was – as I described it to another runner at the time – as effective as eating a carrot an hour before the race: it was to be the beginning of the end for my feet.
My Silva head torch was a massive let down. I’d replaced the batteries, positioned it to its optimal position, but the light coming off it wasn’t enough to guide me at all. My coping strategy until it got light was to lock in behind runners with decent head torches. Drafting for head torch light was a new one for me. I’d used the head torch before on an overnight run the year before, and it wasn’t great, so it was my own fault really for not picking up a better one before the run. As always, trying to fly by the seat of my pants.
The climb itself wasn’t that bad: the terrain underfoot was uneven, but not too rocky, and the climb itself wasn’t overly long. I’m sure if I’d been on a treadmill the climb would have felt impossible, but the views and atmosphere were hair-raisingly beautiful: the moon was out and there was a cloud of mist lingering below the ridge. Looking up to the top of the climb you could see a procession of lights snaking their way up the mountain, and the same could be seen looking back the way. It truly was one of the most magical things I’ve experienced.
As we approached the pass, I could see a big rock with a union jack draped over it, with two people stood at the side – one of whom was ringing a cowbell. I’d like to point out that it was probably around 0230 at this point, so when I reached the rock, I told the people I wasn’t sure who was more mad – me for running it, or them for coming out to the middle of nowhere to support us. Mad or not, the sound of those cowbells filled me with a massive amount of warmth. I have a strong fondness of the sound of cowbells after an incredible race in Switzerland last year, so combine the fantastic views with the sound of supporters with a cowbell in the middle of nowhere – my mood was lifted and I was ready to tackle the most technical descent of the race.
I’d been told that the descent into the second aid station was the most technical of the race, so I’d expected all matters of holy hell to be unleashed upon me. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I’d imagined thankfully, but I could feel my quads making themselves known. I skidded on some scree at one point but managed to steady myself on a rock before I went over onto my bum, and remarked to the lady behind me ‘well there goes the manicure’…but no response. Nae luck pal. This descent was a little frustrating in that there was always someone close up ahead, so it was hard to pick the line you wanted and just go with it. A good portion of it wasn’t ‘runnable’ as such, so it felt like fast walking and weaving in and out of awkward rocks. This may well be due to my inexperience on this kind of descent, but I just wanted to either scramble down something really steep, or get a stretch where I could open out and fly. That’s nothing to do with the course route, that’s just my preference!
The main focus of the descent was getting down with my ankles still in one piece. It was prime terrain for a tumble, so I was relieved to reach the second aid station unscathed.
The second aid station brought for me a glass of water, a few bites of flapjack, and a handful of salted crisps for the road.
‘It’s only 10km until breakfast!’ remarked one of the marshals. And with that, I ran out of the aid station with a smile on my face, and a handful of crisps.
So far, so good.
The trouble with tailgating
As I ran out of the second aid station, I decided that it felt like the right time for some music. On went the iPod. In the few days prior to the run I’d downloaded Chicane’s album Giants, but I’d saved listening to it until the event. The album was great – not all of it, sure – but there were some really mellow tracks on there, which worked beautifully with the sunrise over the lake. The only issue was the lyric that ran through the entire album, popping up every couple of tracks, was ‘what the hell am I doing here?’. Eesht, like I needed to be hearing that when I’d set off in such a stinky mood. But alas, it did give me something to ponder. The answer? I’ve yet to work that one out.
Anyway, I digress.
I found myself running behind a lady who was around the same pace as me, so I just followed on behind her, watching where she put her feet so that I could follow suit. Without really meaning to, I think I was basically running up her arse. I was so busy concentrating on where to put my feet that I had rudely got right on this lady’s tail. In the final few kilometres you’d maybe expect that kind of hounding, but not 13 or so miles into a 68 mile run. Whoops.
The lady was clearly peeved, so stopped to let me pass her. Ok cool, that’s fine, you can run right behind me, I don’t mind. But after five minutes or so of running in front, I caught my foot on a rock, and face-planted right into another. I’d managed to zone out big time, and had just lost myself – and my concentration – and went splat. Thankfully my knees broke my fall and took most of the bash, but I still caught my face on the rock, grazing my upper lip and splitting the inside of my top lip. Now that was a sharp awakening if ever there was one!
I was still in a daze when the other runners asked if I was ok, and told me that I face was bleeding. I think I just stared at them, nodded, and then set off running again. I hadn’t appreciated how much of a space cadet I was being until I fell. Sod’s law, I had to fall on a flat section!
The stretch between the second and third aid station was mostly flat, with a few puddles and rocks thrown in. It was at this point that there was also around a mile or so of road, bringing us into the aid station of glory – A.K.A, the one with breakfast.
Breakfast time, mistletoe and wine
Never have I been so pleased to see a town hall!
Running into the aid station, there was the promise of tea, coffee, porridge, jelly sweets, crisps, flapjacks…and bacon sandwiches. Yes, bacon bloody sandwiches!
Not only were there bacon sandwiches, but those little squares of joy were made on Warburton’s white bread. No supermarket value bread here, no no. Not that it would have mattered at that point, but it really was a treat.
I had a two cups of dishwater tea, a few squares of bacon sandwich, some flapjack, and then nabbed a few jelly sweets for the road. I call it dishwater tea as I’d put that much milk in it to cool it down, that it resembled the contents of someone’s used washing up bowl. Delightful.
After going to the loo, I bumped into my friend Vicky – a seasoned runner, and all-round top egg. I’d always thought of myself as a bit of a lone wolf when I race, but I was instantly relieved when she suggested that we head off at the same time and run together for a bit. But first, a mashed-up face breakfast selfie.
Running out of the aid station, I felt good – fed, watered, toileted…
We left hollering over to runners heading towards the aid station that they were only a few minutes from bacon sandwiches. When you’re excited, you’ve got to share the love. There were smiles and relieved faces a plenty.
An apology and a scream
If I’m honest, the next 20km or so were a bit of a blur.
Of what I can remember, I remember apologising in advance to Vicky for any wind that would inevitably slip – I was, afterall, like a human whoopee-cushion in those hours.
There was, however, one memorable incident.
Deep in conversation about crappy old cars, Vicky and I were disturbed by the blood curdling scream. Oh fuck, a runner has fallen.
No, it was just a sheep. A sheep making the most ladylike, human scream imaginable.
We laughed. And we laughed. And we laughed.
A few miles off the next aid station, I was tripping some more, so I was ordered to eat something sugary. It seemed to do the trick, as I managed to stop running like a moron. Kind of.
How do you like your eggs?
It was also on this leg of the run that I was jollying along humming.
‘Are you singing Dean Martin’s ‘how do you like your eggs’?’ enquired Vicky.
Why yes, yes I am.
This song lead to a whole new game to play for the remainder of the run.
If I could have had eggs at that point, I’d have had poached. Vicky would have had scrambled.
From that point onwards, each runner we passed – or who passed us – was asked ‘If you could have eggs right now, how would you have them?’. And for each time the answer was poached or scrambled, Vicky or I was awarded a point. Team Poached versus Team Scrambled…ain’t nobody messing around here.
You’re only bloody half way there
Huzzah! Hurrah! Whoop whoop!
Half down. Half to go.
There was a bag-drop and aid station at the half-way point.
The half-way point was of particular importance to me. Sure, it brought the reassurance that I was at the half-way point. But it also brought my long awaited peanut butter and jam sandwich.
In my bag drop I’d left a number of food items. Unsure of what I’d actually want to eat, I covered all bases and threw in a mixture of goodies.
My bag included:
- Peanut-butter-oat bites
- A square of tablet
- A few Minstrels
- A PB+J sandwich
- A Double Decker bar
- Some gels
- Gummy sweets
- Spare socks
- Blister plasters
I ate my double decker bar, a few minstrels, and my square of tablet. On top of this, from the aid station’s provisions, I had some peanuts, a mouthful of pork pie and some sugary tea.
Don’t ask me why on the pork pie…it had been years since I’d last had one, and it’s not something I’d eat in day-to-day life. But at that moment, it ticked all of my imaginary boxes – whatever they were at the time.
My feet were sore at this point, but nothing too serious, so I didn’t bother changing my socks or addressing them.
I’d eaten plenty (as it turned out, too much), and was watered, so Vicky and I headed on our way. PB+J sandwich in hand.
Why am I even doing this?
Leaving the half-way point, my legs felt good, but we were faced with a hill through a bit of forest-type scenery.
It was warm. There were midges. There were forest stairs.
Why am I doing this kind of race if it’s not possible to run the whole thing?
I think this was the first time it had ever really crossed my mind – what is the point of doing an ultra marathon? Ultra marathon or not, I didn’t care for distance, I just wanted to run. And this race wasn’t allowing me to do that. Or rather, I’m not yet at a point where I can fly up hills in a 110km race. And being honest, I’m not sure if I ever will be that fit!
On top of mentally beating myself up about what the point of it all was, I felt really sick. My mouth felt like sand. I groaned to Vicky that I’d eaten too many peanuts.
I never even thought that such a thing was possible: I’m a peanut groupie. Peanuts’ biggest fan. But at this particular moment, I was pissed off at them, and pissed off at myself for eating them. Here comes that stinky mood again.
My watch died around this point, but thankfully I had a back-up.
I didn’t tell Vicky this at the time, but on the second climb of this leg, I decided that I would throw in the towel at the next aid station. We were only around 35 miles in, but I wasn’t having fun, I needed to sleep, and my feet hurt like hell. It was the first time that I’d ever thought about a DNF.
I love a good climb, but the second one of that leg seemed to last forever.
To break the funk, I asked Vicky an important question:
‘Is it socially acceptable to ask for a triple gin and tonic?’
I can’t remember the exact response, but the gist of it was – ‘if you run a beast like this, you can have whatever the hell you like!’.
Somewhere along that climb, Vicky pointed out a hill that looked like a giant gorilla’s head, which provided some amusement for our weary minds.
Thankfully Vicky picked up on this, but I was – for lack of better phrase – royally hanging out of my arse on this climb. She suggested I eat something sugary, and boom, within around ten minutes I was back in the game.
I’d been running since the half-way point with my PB+J sandwich in hand – ‘The runner with the foil parcel’. I can see the book now…! Vicky asked if I wanted to put the sandwich in her bag. Initially I was reluctant because a) I didn’t want to make her carry any additional weight, and b) clutching the sandwich had become the norm. But alas, I bid farewell to the sandwich and popped it in her pack.
Thankfully both Vicky and I were back on form when we passed another runner who had totally bonked. He was sat at the side of the trail looking forlorn, so we stopped and made him eat. He didn’t have anything on him, so we gave him whatever we had to hand – gels and crystalised ginger.
This section of the race brought a gnarly downhill. I actually had a lot of fun on this section. Running interspersed with some scrambly go-down-on-your-arse bits. That’s my kind of fun!
We met some interesting people on that section too….
‘What are you guys doing?’
‘An off-road race.’
‘How long is it?’
‘Oh, I’d enjoy you.’
‘Oh, I would join you, but…’
Alright pervert, jog on.
A non-descript aid-station
The aid station following this section wasn’t overly eventful. Crisps and flapjack for me…the usual!
We were happy to see the bonked runner come into the aid station just as we were leaving. He looked much better, and was all set to continue.
This was the aid station that I’d planned on throwing in the towel, but after the fun descent and realising that it was probably more faff to try and get a lift back than it would be to run the rest of it, I kept going.
Getting boggy with it
The next section – we had been warned – was very boggy. And boggy it was! Thankfully my feet were already a shit-show, so the bogs didn’t provide any extra discomfort, other than ‘Ew this feels gross’, and making it a little harder to run.
The biggest issues along this stretch were that Vicky and I were closely followed by a couple of guys doing the 110km. This provided and additional hurdle on the toilet front. I was desperate for a pee. So with Vicky blocking the view, and the guys a decent-ish bit behind, I took my chance and tried to ninja-pee before they caught up. Peeing and seeing a group of guys closing in wasn’t much fun at all…but I think I just about got away with it!
In this section, the next aid station seemed to be ages away. Some mis-information and two weary runners made for two very sad faces when we ran past a barn that was in fact just a barn, with not a morsel of fuel to be found. On the plus side, there was a little lake at this point where I could splash myself in clean-ish water to cool down – the sun was beating down at this point, and I was getting HOT!
It was also along this section where there was a lot of Duke of Edinburgh hikers. Lots of young girls with enormous hiking packs were struggling up the hills. There was one girl in particular who was suffering, so we gave her a cheer. It’s odd, even when you’re feeling ropey, if you see someone who is suffering more, you immediately forget your own pain and offer support.
After a stunning section and a downhill, we hit a small section of road. That could only mean one thing….the aid station was close!
Penultimate aid station
Holla holla whoop whoop! After being on what felt like a wild goose chase, I was elated to see this aid station. This was the second bag-drop and shoe-change point in the race.
I’d not had a chance to break in my second pair of trail shoes before the race, so even though my feet felt like hell, I decided to stick with the ones I had on. Better the devil you know, and all that. I did however change my socks. Afraid of what beast might lurk beneath, I changed my socks without once looking down at my feet. I’m not entirely sure that ignoring the situation was the best tactic, but I’ll know for next time that I will probably have to grow a pair and address my feet if they get to that stage again.
It was at this aid station that there was pizza. No, there had been pizza. There was none left when I got to the aid station, but in some ways I was relieved. Pizza is my all time favourite food…and I’m not sure that it would have sat too well for the remaining miles. So instead I ate the square of tablet that I’d squirreled away in my bag-drop, a few minstrels, milky tea and some flapjacks. So many flapjacks.
As Vicky and I headed out of the aid station, one of the marshals said that we were looking good – a lot better than a lot of people who’d passed through. This was exactly what I needed to hear at this point. I was doing ok, and holy smokes, I’d only got 12 more miles to go. Yes, I can do this!
We’d been warned about this next climb: Stake Pass. Or as Vicky and I had come to know it, Steak Pie.
This climb wasn’t nearly as bad as either of us had expected. The bark was worse than the bite. It was a longish switchback, winding up the side of the mountain. But as with all climbs, if you keep your feet moving, sooner or later you’ll get to the top. This was one of the nicer climbs in the route for me as it wasn’t that long.
The real trouble was when we got to the top and the marshal told us ‘2 miles until the next check-point’. Amazing. Not far at all until the final aid station. Talk about excitement!
It became clear on the descent that the next aid station was NOT two miles away. The descent wasn’t technical, but just long. The winds were up and the weather was closing in on this section – I put my jacket on for the first time since the start-line, and pulled my buff over my ears. I had horrible earache at this point. Thankfully though it didn’t last too long.
Around ¾ of a mile from the final aid station, Vicky and I started getting passed by some of the 55km people. Naturally, we start whooping and hollering encouragement at them. It lifts your own spirits when you’re able to give another runner encouragement and support, so all round it’s a cycle of positive feedback.
We saw one chap who was out supporting his son, and he said to me as I passed ‘every time I see you, you’re smiling’. That was an incredible boost to get me into that last aid station. It really goes to show, the smallest gesture, or piece of encouragement can have a significant effect on how you’re feeling at the time.
Final aid station – Sticklbarn Tavern
We’d been promised chips. And chips we did receive!
Unfortunately by this point, my feet were so sore and I just wanted to get this thing over with, that I had very little interest in the chips. I had a cup or two of milky, sugary tea, two chips (smothered in salt), and a handful of crisps for the final leg, and then I was on my way.
Leaving the tavern Vicky and I decided we’d run. It was flat and runnable, so why not. Why not? My feet. Oh boy. My legs felt fine, but my feet felt like they were on fire. I’ve never had anything like it.
It was at this point that I decided to open my first gel of the run. Salted caramel GU. I generally don’t use gels, but if I do, I’ll always go for GU. They are so damn tasty!
Let me tell you, these last few miles were the hardest of all for me. They were nearly all flat (bar two smallish hills), and the terrain was perfect underfoot, but they were horrible miles for me. By this stage, my watches and my phone had died. Mile to mile, I’d no idea how long I’d taken, and more importantly, how much further I had left to go. One of the marshals cycled past and said ‘you’ve not long to go now’ – so I was thinking we had a mile or two left. When he said ‘only 4 miles left – that’s only 40 minutes’, I wanted to punch him. My feet were unbarably sore, and I thought I’d only got a mile or so left. I was so annoyed that I took a bite of my PB+J sandwich (yep, I carried it the whole way and didn’t find ‘the right time’ to eat it), and then threw it into a bush. Haha.
We ran through Conniston, where lots of friendly pub-goers were outside cheering us on. That was a big lift, albeit temporary.
I’d been told that we’d pass a tarn in the final few miles. The word ‘tarn’ now makes me feel sick. I’d been trudging along in pain saying to Vicky ‘where the hell is this tarn??’…’where is this shitting tarn?’…and when I did reach the tarn, I just felt annoyed.
I seemed to have an ultimate rage on in those final few miles. I was in pain, I needed sleep, and I didn’t know how much further I had to go. I would actually consider not switching my watch on now until the half-way point in a race now, purely so that the final stages of the race didn’t pan out like this one!
The most frustrating thing of all wasn’t being passed by other women in my age group – . it was having legs that felt fine to run, but feet that were too painful to let it happen. I’d always thought ‘if it hurts to walk, and it hurts to run…RUN!’, but I just couldn’t. The whole of the underside and ball of my foot felt like it had blistered.
Over the entire run, we had been blessed with an interesting array of sheep to look at. We had brown ones, big ones, little ones, lambs…even a Michael Jackson sheep! So in the last two miles when we stopped to look at some lambs, a lady who passed us was surprised and remarked ‘are you really stopping to look at the sheep?’. All we could do was say yes, and then laugh at ourselves. Sometimes, it’s nice to take the time to stop and smell the roses. Or look at the sheep in this case.
Crossing the line
About 500 metres from the finish line, we ran into Luke – who’s first comment was ‘what is that on your face Cat?’ – it was blood from where I’d fallen. Cheers pal. Ha.
Knowing that finish line was definitely only around the corner, Vicky and I began to run…than did a sprint finish together over the line. It probably wasn’t a sprint by normal standards, but I felt like I was flying.
I’ve never been emotional crossing a finish line before, but after crossing this line I felt the biggest surge of relief. The relief to get it finished was unbelievable. I gave Vicky the biggest hug and then headed to the tent to hand in my tracker. It was only as I sat down to take my shoes off that I started to well up. I hadn’t expected this at all, but the relief that I could finally take my shoes off made me tear-up big time. I didn’t quite cry, but I was close to it.
After a quick check over in the medical tent, I was ready to hit the showers and get the hell out of my running clothes!
The showers were cold. I felt so tired and cold at this point that I just stuck my legs under the shower to rinse of any blood, and then headed to my tent for a sleep.
After an hour’s nap, it was time to get up and get some real food.
The food provided by Ultimate Trails was lovely. We had a vegetarian chilli with cheese on top, and a pitta bread. The food was at the top of two flight of steps…but the promise of non-aid station food made the steps doable. It was over dinner that it started to sink in what I’d just done. Vicky – bless her – was asleep with her dinner on her lap, and her phone in her hand – mid-text. So it was in this time I text and called my family to let them know I’d survived. It began to start sinking in. 110km is a long old way to run. And I couldn’t – I still can’t – quite believe that my mind and body had allowed me to do it.
A quick text from Luke…did we fancy going out for a drink? Ha. Nope. Bed for me!
The next morning
The next morning wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. My legs felt reasonable, but my feet felt like death.
Walking to Apple Pie for breakfast was a delicate affair, and getting up the stairs to my table even more so! A guy at the table next to me remarked ‘you’re walking like a granny’. I looked at him, said nothing, and watched his face as I took my jumper off, revealing my finishers t-shirt. That shut him up pretty quickly!
After some delicious pancakes, unlimited re-fills on coffee and some bacon, we headed back for the prize giving.
It was incredible to see the podium finishers of each race.
What I love about mountain running is that most of them look like normal people. If you saw Paula Radcliffe on the street and you didn’t know her, you’d know she was an athlete straight away. But with mountain and fell runners, those quads are hidden under a pair of jeans, and they look like normal, everyday people. Perhaps they are just ‘normal people’, but in my mind, the people who smash up these courses are superheros. Their fitness and endurance is just mind-blowing, so for me, these people are a different breed. Kim’s new course record of 10:48:57 was truly heroic.
The shit-show of getting back to craggy island
After the prize giving, I managed to miss my train – which in turn meant I missed my second and third train, my boat AND my bus, which might mean I wouldn’t get back to my island that night. Thankfully some lateral thinking allowed me to get back onto craggy island on the last boat, but it did mean that I had a bit of a wait until someone could come and pick me up to take me home. There was only one thing for it…
‘What can I get for you ma’am?’
‘A double Tanqueray and tonic please’.
That gin and tonic at last! I couldn’t quite bring myself to order a triple. Maybe after my next big race….
The foot aftermath
When I took my shoes off after the race I looked like I had trench-foot or something. They were all white, soft and mooshy, but to my surprise I had no blisters. I thought that maybe I was imagining that I had blisters, and that maybe I’d just been a wimp in the race.
Fast forward 6-8 weeks and the blisters finally started showing up. Those badboys were DEEP! It’s the end of August as I type this, and the skin is only just starting to peel from the blisters. In case there was any doubt, here’s a delightful picture of my ratchet trotters. You’re welcome.
So if ever you think you’ve got blisters from hell but you can’t see them, you’re not being a wuss…your pain is very real, and you’ll have the fun of gnarly feet a month or so after the event has finished!
Women: 23rd female finisher
Under 40 women: 12th
The results in this one don’t even matter – I’m happy to have finished! Around 50% of people on the start list seemed to finish the race. I’m guessing though there were quite a few DNS’s, but I imagine I fair few people would have dropped from this beast. Even if I’d come last in this event, I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to test my mettle, and learn all the things that I did!
The Ultimate Trails 110km was a fantastic race. It was tough going, and it’s not for the faint hearted. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to run this. Although it was testing, I learned so much from it, and saw parts of the Lakes that I did not know existed. The route and scenery were incredible, the marshals were all top-notch, the aid stations were great, and the event all-round was well organised. And those emails in the run-up to the event were hugely appreciated! It’s always nice to know that the race organiser understands that you’re starting to get nervous a few weeks prior to the event!
Would I do it again? Absolutely.