Sulphur Springs 100 Mile Race Report

100 Miles is a long way, so I apologise for the length of this report!

Sulphur Springs is a great race put on by the Burlington Road Runners.  They offer race distances from 100 miles to 10 km. Dan and I have both run the 50km.  This time around I took on the 100 miler.  This required me to complete 8 circuits of the 20km loop.  The loop is well supported with aid stations at the start/finish, the gatehouse and headwaters trailhead, you go though the latter two aid stations twice on each loop.  It’s a great set up so that us runners get to pass each other on a few different occasions, especially nice when there are only 100 milers left on the course.

The 100 and 50 mile race sets off at 6am, it was cold about 6 degrees, but not a cloud in the sky, it was a great day for a long run.  I didn’t have a specific race plan, I would’ve liked to have finished in 24 hours but my training hadn’t been what I had hoped, so I was just going to focus on being consistent and finishing.  But mainly just finishing.

It was chilly, but at least it was light out...

It was chilly, but at least it was light out…

Loop 1

I headed out at the very back of the pack, I knew I couldn’t go out hard, 100 miles is little long to try to “muscle out”, so I stripped off my layers at the one minute to go mark and of course realised that I hadn’t turned on my watch or attached my gaiters, oops and set out just about dead last, perfect.  Like I said I didn’t really have a plan, so I just tried to run comfortably slow.  I chatted for a while with a woman running her first 50 miler, she was so ecstatic to be out there but super hyper about her pace on her garmin, so I eventually pulled away because I couldn’t handle that, I figured I’d look at my time after each lap.  I was trying to be good and walk the ups but some are so slight it drives me insane to walk them so I ran them, I was also trying to take it easy on the downs since that’s what will kill your quads.  Before I knew it I was on the lollipop section and suddenly these super fast guys were thundering by, I looked at my watch and figured out that the 50km and 25km race had started and it was the fast 25 km guys flying past.  It was a little unnerving as they didn’t give an “on your left”, it was also tough to not get caught up in their excitement.  The rest of the loop was uneventful, I drank my bottle of Vitargo and ate my Justin’s almond butter as per my nutrition plan and finished loop 1 in 2:26.  I took a 6:44 break here, using the washroom which is opposite the gear area (bit of a bummer), refilled my bottle, and grabbed another Justin’s, oh and read my little note.

The note

The note

Loop 2

As I headed on lap two I was kept busy for a while wondering what kind “parking skills” Dan was on about, I mean he parked the car!  And then I wondered why he’d put all my stuff into a different bag….oh, I think the note said packing skills, and you know what fair enough, that is really not my forte.   After I’d worked that one out I met Cameron, this is something I love about these races, meeting new people.  I knew who Cameron was and mainly that he was way faster than me, but he seemed happy to be plodding along at my speed.  We just chatted away the whole lap, and before I knew it we were marching up Martin Road back to the start/finnish area.  I figure that was the last I’d see of him, loop 2 done in 2:26.  Dan was back from the his 10km race (which was why he was missing at the end of lap 1) and he helped my refill my bottles (we realised a fatal flaw in his crewing me was that I never actually told him how I like my drinks mixed, he was a quick study) packed some more Justin’s and finally peeled off my arm sleeves.  Break 8:18

I have no idea what we were talking about here, but it looks like I had to fart and told Cameron to pull my finger!

I have no idea what we were talking about here, but it looks like I had to fart and told Cameron to pull my finger!

Loop 3

As I headed out on loop 3 feeling fantastic I was surprised by Cameron falling into step with me, he had decided to wait for me so we could run together.  I was happy for the company, it never ceases to amaze me how just being runners some how immediately makes you good friends and how easy conversation can flow.  Cameron seemed to know everybody in the race so I was introduced to loads more runners and at every aid station Cameron would stop and have a gab, I would just trudge on knowing that aid stations can be a total time killer for me.  They’re so fun and social that I sometimes never want to leave!  Cameron never had an issue catching up so our little system worked just fine.  On the lollipop section we caught up with Peter, Dan’s co-worker, so I had chat with him for a while, but he was not having a good day and I eventually said goodbye, and then it was back up Martin Road, not going to lie, that hill sucks.  Loop 3 done in 2:34.  I was feeling like my right big toe was starting to blister so I decided to take the time to pop it and tape it up, I also decided to try to eat a lot, I was feeling hungry so I was worried that I wasn’t quite hitting the calories I needed.  This break was 10:28.

Still smiling before heading into loop 4

Still smiling before heading into loop 4

Loop 4

Cameron had decided to wait for me and as we headed out for loop 4, I could just tell this was going to be a tough lap. First of all going down hill was really bothering my hip flexors, secondly I was getting strange pains at the back of my knees as we entered the trail I realised there was no way I would keep up with Cameron this lap and I didn’t want to hold him back, so I kept telling him to go ahead, he tried to get me going but finally set off at his own pace.  I was feeling really nauseous, I was bummed out by it too because I had been feeling so good leading up to this point.  It finally occurred to me to pull myself together because I wasn’t even half way there yet and this was way too early in race for tears. So instead of thinking about how crappy I felt I thought about how I had just become an aunt, (my nephew was born on the Thursday before the race) my sister had handled her labour with such strength, determination and grace.  She gave birth to a beautiful 7 lbs boy  completely drug free, that was her 100 miler, now I was at mine, time to find some strength and determination (I didn’t worry about the grace as I’ve never had that!).  As I passed through the gatehouse aid station a second time, I was already feeling better, the amazing people and the awesome atmosphere at this aid station gave me the energy to run out the last half of the loop.  I brought it back in 2:51.  Half way there!  I took a longer break here, 19:54, changed my shoes, ate an appropriate amount (I think my nausea was caused by over eating), Christa, who we had met at PYP gave me some of her homemade power balls and guacamole, thank you Christa!  First 50 miles took 10:44 which is scary as my PB is 10:39, I still had to do that all over again.

Heading out for loop 5

Heading out for loop 5

Loop 5

I left for loop 5 with the knowledge that when I got back my friend Rochelle would be there and possible my parents too. It’s amazing what can motivate you.  This lap was ok.  Things were getting tougher, however I was still managing to run some of the small inclines, when I came into the gatehouse aid station, Jess (a super awesome volunteer there) helped me fix my gaiters (duct tape fixes everything) and she told me I was the second place woman.  I was like huh? Jess said the leading lady just went through. I just said thanks and ran off, it was a good distraction for the next section, trying to figure why on earth she would think I was in second and just how many people had to have dropped out for that to be true.  But never fear I figured it out, the leading lady had gone through the aid station ahead of me, however I was one full lap behind her!  That made much more sense.  Also on this section I was lapped a second time by the leading male, who I poked fun at for wearing his headlamp since he most likely would finish in daylight!  So on my way back through the aid station I thanked Jess for the distraction.  On the next section on the way to the lollipop I was lapped by another female, April who I had met at Bear Mountain a few weeks earlier.  She looked great and was moving well, but still slowed down to walk and talk with me for a minute (the downhills were giving me some serious trouble now).  April would end up running the race in sub 20 hours, not bad for her first 100!  I got such a boost from all the short interactions that I had with the other runners.  As I entered the lollipop section the sun was starting to go down and the trail suddenly seemed dark, maybe I shouldn’t have poked fun at the lead male, I was kicking myself for not picking up my spare head torch in my drop bag at the gatehouse and come to think of it I wished I’d picked up my long-sleeved shirt.  I finished lap 5 warm enough and with daylight in 2:54.  I was excited to see Rochelle (she was running loop 8 with me so her arrival meant I was getting closer), but also my parents had made the trek over to see me.  I always appreciate people who come out to races to see runners.  I mean they saw me for maybe 10 minutes total and they had 2 hour round trip.  In case anyone was wondering my parents are awesome.  I spent 9:09 here, changed into pants and long sleeves, picked up my head torch and most importantly…Dan!

My awesome family

My awesome family

Loop 6

This loop started out fantastic.  I was pumped from seeing my family and happy to have Dan running with me, I was surprised at how well I was moving, I loved listening to Dan telling me about his day and about all the wonderful messages people were sending via Facebook (Thank You!).  We made it to the gatehouse in no time where my parents were waiting, they gave me one last hug and my Mom ran right with me up to the trailhead. And then we plunged into the dark.  It was the that weird dusk dark, my light went off and on a few times around this section, but by the time full dark had arrived I wasn’t feeling too well.  I tried to solider on and follow Dan, but I was feeling light-headed.  As we approached the aid station, I told Dan how I was feeling so we stopped, I had to sit down (something I had been trying to avoid doing) and actually put my head between my legs.  The aid station crew, especially Jess and Caroline were great.  Jess was concerned because I had actually looked so strong all day.  I tried to stop myself from panicking but it’s scary when you feel like you might pass out. I ate some soup, and tried to calm down, I was given some chocolate covered coffee beans (apparently a cure-all) and after about 12 minutes I decided to head out again.  As soon as we left the aid station I started to shiver, by the time we reached the trailhead Dan stopped me to help me into my coat and gloves, but that seemed to do the trick and the shaking stopped.  Along this section I started to feel better and Dan and I realised that in all the excitement of my parents showing up that I actually didn’t eat any solid food, doh!  The rest of the lap was a run/walk/march.  I made sure to take on as many calories as I could.  We got back to the start in 3:29, we were pleasantly surprised to see Rochelle waiting for us (it was the middle of the night and we had told her to feel free to sleep in the tent until it was her turn to pace, but she said there was too much excitement going on to really get any sleep). My break here was 7:12, some avocado and a granola bar and I was off on my penultimate lap.

Loop 7

Not going to lie loop 7 was hard.  I walked a lot.  It was hard.  I had to pee a lot.  It was hard. I was probably no fun.  It was hard.  The only bright light was that we ran with a guy named Brian (he was on his last lap), he and Dan had a good old chat that I don’t really remember but it certainly helped make time go by.  Then it got really cold.  Did I mention this loop was hard?  After 3:44 I was finally back at the start.  I layered up, ate some more even though I wasn’t really interested, and warned Rochelle that this might not be too pretty.  Dan warned her about my sudden urges to pee and the fact that I was making groaning noises while going down hill (I was wondering what that noise was).  After a 13 minute break I was off on my last loop.

Me and Rochelle heading out for my last loop! Somehow I'm still smiling.

Me and Rochelle heading out for my last loop! Somehow I’m still smiling.

Loop 8

Last loop!!!  First of all Rochelle and I headed out with Cameron and his pacer Marika (sorry if that’s not spelled correctly). This came as a bit of a surprise to me as he had been doing so well, but a 100 miles is a long way, plenty of time for things to go wrong. We headed out as a group, and would separate and then find each other again, it was quite funny actually.  Rochelle was awesome, she just caught me up on what she’d been up to, we discovered pretty quickly that my walking speed was faster than my running speed and more sustainable! So we settled in for a moonlight walk.  At the gatehouse we got a cup of tea, it was fun to see Rochelle’s reaction to the buffet that are the aid stations at these events, Rochelle has only done big road races, so she was pretty pumped to grab a hot cup of tea to walk with.  We saw deer and watched the eastern sky start to glow, it would have been quite pleasant had it been a tad warmer, but whatever, at least I was still moving.  We mostly walked our way back around to the gatehouse and by the time we got there it was light enough to leave the head lamps in the drop bag, hooray!  As we marched off into the next section Rochelle once again did a great job of pushing me on, even though we were walking she would always walk head pushing the pace.  I told her that I knew I could run a lot of the lollipop section and that I wanted her to push me as much I could take.  So as we left the headwaters aid station, I put my head down and got to work.  We actually made some good time, until we hit the big hill, then I marched.  But once at the top we were with Cameron again and we decided that we’d had enough and we were going to run the rest of the way back, and we did, sort of.  I felt like we were running it might not have looked that way.  As we popped out of the trail and bade farewell to the amazing volunteers at the aid station, I saw a familiar figure coming towards me, it was Dan, he had timed it perfectly to help march me up Martin Road and finally to the final turn, I can’t tell you how happy I was coming around those pylons for the final time. Final lap 3:54.

I think my smile says it all.

Me and Cameron with our buckles.

Me and Cameron with our buckles (and medal, what I pleasant surprise for a medal hoarder like me).

Big thank you to all the race volunteers, you were amazing.   All the cheerers (aka other people’s crew) for their unwavering support the whole race (it was awesome hearing mitten clapping at 4am).  All the other runners for the support, inspiration and smiles just when I needed them.  Thanks to Mr. Free Hugs (Steve) for the free hug after lap 4, you have no idea how much I needed that then.  Christa and Chris Baker, thanks for the food, the smiles and the encouragement.  Cameron, it was awesome meeting and running with you.  You helped 100 miles fly by.
I have to say a BIG thank you to my parents for coming out, Rochelle for staying up all night in the freezing cold to walk 4 hours with me.  Lastly to Dan, you are my rock and even when I didn’t believe I could finish, just knowing that you did gave me the strength to continue, you are the best and you know it.

The Buckle!

The Buckle!

Alright enough of the mushy stuff.  My official finishing time* was 25:39:34, 6th female overall and 3rd in my age group. Completing this race has helped me realise where my training has been great and what needs work, but one thing for sure is that I can’t wait to head to Arizona in September and try this distance again.

*the times posted for each lap are from my watch, I kept track of my breaks separately, so my splits don’t match the official results.

If you would rather not see what my feet looked like after more than 25 hours of running you should stop reading now.

My feet suffered.

My feet suffered, but are looking better already.

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Left Unsupervised

While the cats away the mice will register for 100 mile races.

Little does she know

Little does she know

So Heather left for a final training run on the Sulphur Springs course where she will be running a hundred miles in a few short weeks.  Leaving me behind to do the exercises prescribed to me by the Physio and clean the condo. However as I have a lot of pent-up energy from not running this week I was able to dispatch with these tasks at warp speed, leaving me with time on my hands, and what does a guy do when he has time on his hands and it is too early to crack a beer? He registers to run a hundred miles obviously.  Oh and incase you are wondering how H will have found out about this? She just read it!

Bahahahahaha

Bahahahahaha

Don't mind if I do

Don’t mind if I do

100 will do nicely

100 will do nicely

So where and when will this adventure occur?  I will be running the Haliburton 100miler on Sept 7th. Learning from Heather, I have chosen a local race, so no travel pressure, also it is not a mountain course, I am not kidding myself I know there is still plenty if elevation gain to be had and technical trail to navigate but Heather is the mountain goat not me. The biggest fear factor other than of course running a hundred miles is that I am going to be doing it with no crew and no pacer, not going to lie I am as much excited by this prospect as I am worried.  More to follow on how I plan compensating for the lack of crew.

Oh bugger, I actually just did this!!!

Oh bugger, I actually just did this!!!

I have also included my training plan, any thoughts or insights are gratefully received.

Tell me what you think, modeled off Bryon Powells  training for 100miles on 50 miles per week.

Tell me what you think, modeled off Bryon Powell’s training for 100miles on 50 miles per week.

In the mean time will carry on with my Physio and get back out running next week, I do believe two weeks today I have 40k of pacing duty.

Damn still too early for a beer, wonder what else I can register for….

TNF Bear Mountain 50km Race Report

After seeing Dan off on what would turn out to be a less than stellar run, I had 2 hours to kill before the start of the 50km race.  Thankfully I found a couple of other Canadians, Melanie and April, who had to see off their runner at 5am too.  They’re also from Toronto, it was the first time we met (I did recognise them but really only from the back as they are WAY fast and are usually running quickly away from me) and it turns out it wont be the last as they are also running 100 miles at Sulphur Springs, it was nice to have some company.  Finally the sun came up, it started to warm up and before I knew it I was lining up at the start line receiving some parting words from the Ultramarathon man, Dean Karnazes.

That's him with the stylish visor (I knew they were cool) to the right of the flag.

That’s him with the stylish visor (I knew they were cool) to the right of the flag.

Everyone in the ultra community knows who he is and it seems you either love him or hate him.  I’m not really in either camp, but I have read all his books, so I’ll say that I like his writing.

At 7am I set off with 335 other runners on the 50km course, I was pretty confident since a good chunk of the course is the same as the 50 mile course.  However as I made my way up the first incline of the day I didn’t recognise a thing, mainly because last year I ran this part in the dark (sometimes running in the dark is really a blessing).  Anyway it was the usual jostling for position and conga lining for the first little while, I was a little disappointed with how rude some people were being, literally shoving pass on single track.  Hey, first of all I’m a nice person say “on your left” and I will step to my right and let you by, second what is the rush?  If you are behind me you are not winning this thing so simmer down, be polite, and sprint like hell way the trail opens up!  I know I sound a bit harsh but most of the people who shoved their way past me, I passed when I ran through the first aid station (we had only run 6 km you shouldn’t need to stop yet) and never saw again, so what was the point (other than to agitate me)?!

On the next leg there was a longish stretch of uphill on the road so I decided to just hammer up it and get into a spot where I’d be happy and I was, until we hit the first little rocky section we had to skirmish over, hmm had forgotten about that but, onwards (down a technical descent) into aid station 2, which I once again blew through.  I was quite proud of myself for not stopping a. because I didn’t need to and b. I waste so much freaking time at aid stations, this is something I’m truly trying to work on.  Two aid stations in and I was doing great.

Third leg was longer at 8.5km and this is where I started to see the carnage, the first 3km are nice and runnable on a fire road and then we go up and across a ridge.  This part I remembered and was ready for, so I ran every runnable section and power hiked what I couldn’t and then was thankful for my boxing classes as I easily scaled up the big rock section, sadly getting down is still tricky, but I was really pleased at how much I was running, so were some other runners who tagged on behind and I found myself the (unwilling) leader of a conga line into the next aid station.

Aid station 3 is where the 50km separates from the 50 mile so it was new territory for about 6km but then we merged back into the 50 mile course.  It was getting hot now so I did stop briefly at the aid station for some straight up water (I was carrying two bottles of Vitargo) but I made my stop quick because I didn’t really like leading a pack of men through the bush, so I set off down the a 1 mile road section being sure to run and appreciate the pavement.

Went by this lake on the route to the next trail head, it looked so inviting.

Went by this lake on the route to the next trail head, it looked so inviting.

Once back in the bush the trail was pretty runnable but really over grown and the brush was scratchy, although it was hot and I didn’t need them, I kind of wished I’d worn calf sleeves.  But hey, nothing says trail running season is in like scratched up legs!  This is where I caught up to a lovely young women who had fantastic hair, I mean it looked stunning, perfectly in place, her pony tail swaying side to side, blonde hair glistening in the sun, sigh. Why can’t I look this effortless whilst running?  Anyway I told her her hair looked fantastic and we got to talking, turns out last year on this section she had seen a rattlesnake, so that settled that, I was sticking with blondie until we were out of the bush.  We made it to the 50 mile merge without any snake sightings, but we did have a star sighting, we could hear one single person clapping and cheering and figured it was a hiker who thought we were crazy and decided to cheer for us, but nope as we came around a corner Dean Karnazes was there giving out high fives.  He told us we looked great “fresh as a daisy”  apparently (I’m pretty sure that comment was for blondie but I’m taking it too).  The star sighting kicked blondie’s butt into gear and she eventually pulled away from me, I was sad to see her shiny hair go but was pretty happy I was still moving along.  I was even passing some people, which made me happy until they tried to tag along, I kept asking if anyone wanted to get by, but they all seemed happy to follow on (I did have to eventually tell the guy behind that if he wanted to pace off me fine but that he had to back off a couple of feet, I felt like he was going to step on my heels).  Finally we hit a climb that I decided to walk thinking I would lose the posse behind, sadly no, the guy behind me asked if I was aiming for a sub 7 hour finish, I told him nope this is just a training run I’m just doing whatever.  And then it hit me, if I was on pace for a sub 7 hour finish I was going to fast, and things were probably going to get ugly soon.

Finally we popped out of the trail and were at aid station 4 (which is also aid station 1) for some reason this aid station was really busy or so it seemed. It was really warm now so I dumped the last of one Vitargo’s (mango flavour was not going down well anymore) and filled that with some icy cold water and was out of there.  I exited with a young guy, named Corey who really liked my gaitors, this guy looked awesome,  like he was just setting out for run, that’s when I noticed his bib it was orange which meant he was a 50 mile runner and he was in 9th place.  Inspiring to say the least, I plodded across the parking lot and watched as he took off from me with the grace of a gazelle and disappeared into the trail.  My focus turned to just trying to run, I was getting tired and stuff was hurting now and I had a blister on my toe again, this part of the trail is pretty runnable so I really talked myself into running what I could (quite literally too, I scared a group of ladies out walking with my self chat). Then there was a big climb that I remembered and then a very steep descent that I was scared for, my legs felt wobbly and it was really steep and instead of rocks it was loose dirt and dead leaves.  I slowly picked my way down, kicked a stump, cursed, as pain seared though my toe and into the pit of my stomach.  As the toe pain subsided I noticed my sock felt funny, like it was really wet all of a sudden, I started to worry that I was bleeding, but then when I started to run realised that the blister pain was gone….sweet I popped my blister!  That meant I wouldn’t have to stop at the next aid station to do it!  I ran as best I could into the next aid station but I was struggling, it didn’t help that I knew what was coming.  Upon arrival at aid station 5, I marvelled at the fact that I was mentally in a good place, last year when I was there a medic almost pulled me from the race because I was in such a state.  I ate an orange slice, dumped some water on my head and headed off on the longest 4kms in the world.

The participant’s guide describes this section as follows “This section features several climbs, including the hardest up to the Timp Pass.  The Timp Pass Road descending from the Pass turns very rocky.”  I don’t think that sounds nearly as tough as it really is and even though I knew it was coming it still beat the hell out of me.  The positives that I have come away with is that I stayed positive through this section, everyone around me was falling to bits but this girl soldiered on.  The first place female, Ashley Moyer, went by me we had a brief chat, I told her she looked awesome and that it was quite inspiring watching her tackle this, she smiled and told that was exactly what she needed to hear, that gave us both a boost and I tried to chase after her, but decided that was foolish as I would surely trip and die.  By the time I hit the last aid station I was giddy, I was also telling anyone who would listen about how I came into that station in tears last year and had to be consoled, this year I was all smiles.  I did waste a little time hanging around this aid station, but it was just what I needed, I took off out of there a new woman.  I managed to run most of the last 5km and at a really decent clip too.  I came through the finish line ecstatic, I was all by myself too, so my name got announced, which is usually exciting as the announcer always comments on what a good running name I have.  Not this guy though, this is what he said “And welcome back to number 981, Heather (a pause while he noticed what my last name is….) ‘not so light on her feet’ Lightfoot!”  Cheers buddy!  I’d like to see what you look like after running that 50km, the volunteer who was giving me my medal looked mortified, the announcer was lucky I could see where he was sitting.

Of course I was then really surprised to be met by Dan upon exiting the finish area, I felt so bad for him after the run I’d just had.  Saw Melanie and April too, they were already changed and had eaten and totally rocked the race coming in 14 and 15 female overall!  I finished in 7:17:56, good enough for 33rd female and 10th in my age group (I think I can start calling myself a “first third of the packer”).

It was a beautiful day so we basked in the sun cheering other runners in.  We met an awesome couple from Philadelphia, you can read Amy’s race report here.  This was their first 50km race and first trail race, they are very brave people.  We also hung out with James who we met in the morning at bag check, he knew us from this blog, and through out the day I was freaked out by other people who asked if we were Race In Pieces.  So hello to readers who aren’t our Mothers!

Fun post race festival, it was all closed up by the time we finished last year.

Fun post race festival, it was all closed up by the time we finished last year.

Big question, will we do it again next year?  It’s a fantastically well organised race and in a beautiful part of the world, but I don’t think so.  I think we said that last year too.

Another day another medal

Another day another medal

WTF a DNF at TNF Bear Mountain 50 Miler

DAN

I’m pissed off, Bear Mountain 50 miler was a DNF.

I am thinner than I was last year, I am better trained than I was last year, I am faster than I was last year.  Yet I couldn’t get the job done, principally the running Gods decided that the Monday prior to my race I was to wake up with agonizing shooting pains from my heel all the way up my IT band (note if I ever become musician and work with computers this would be a good band name). To add to this I decided to vomit up everything I tried to eat.  Oh and I saw F’ing snake, I hate snakes.

Bloody hell re-reading what I have just written makes me sound like a whiny tosser making excuses for a piss poor performance.  Being this negative and pissed off is very out of character and it is a funk I don’t know how to shake, especially as I am still left with a knackered right leg.

What am going to do about it? Register next year and give it another go? Carry on being a whinging Pom? Or to hell with 50 milers bring me 100 miles?

I had 8 and a half hours on the drive back to stew on the above, the only logical solution seems to be run a hundred miles, but honestly my confidence is shaken, so watch this space…

Oh heck I can’t leave the post like this pissed or not, there are too many great things about this race not to acknowledge a few of them.

The course is beautiful and challenging, race day organization is perfect, the post race festival is a blast. As always most of all the people who race these things are awesome, I met a lot of great people on The Bear Mountain course, not least of all James who not only made my last few kilometers a blast, also kinda made me feel like a rock star when he said he had read our blog and wasn’t the first person that day to say it.

Ahh bollocks bring on the 100.

Dan in the dark, waiting to start.

Dan in the dark, waiting to start.

50 milers ready to go.

50 milers ready to go.