Petzl South Downs 100
So last Saturday I got up at around 3:30am and got my dad to drive me to the start line in Winchester. The weather was fine and dry, with only a little rainfall the previous night. At the start line I had my compulsory gear check and got ready to start. The klaxon started us off at 6am and we did a lap and a half of the sports ground before exiting onto the SDW.
Having never done anywhere near 100 miles before I decided to set out at a conservative pace. I reached the first CP after two hours and refuelled quickly on a sandwich and some jelly babies. The volunteers were wonderful, cheering all of the runners on as we passed through the CP. It was here though, that I made my first mistake and decided not to refill my water bladder. The next CP was at Queen Elizabeth Country Park some 13 miles away and I ran out of water at about 7 miles from CP1. I kept going though and when I reached the CP I glugged down several cups of water and coke. I made a promise to myself to top up the bladder at every CP to avoid that happening again.
The next ten to fifteen miles were fairly uneventful, with a light spattering of rain and a blustery wind. I pulled my coat on after around 9 hours of running as my body was starting to get cold and my pace was slowing quite considerably.
I reached 50 miles at about 12.5 hours and I think this was the point that I knew I was going to drop soon. I did not feel too bad in myself but my feet and legs were killing and I did not want to risk injury so close to my A2A attempt. I hobbled on for another 4 miles to reach the CP at Washingston after almost 14 hours of running. It was there I decided to call it a day. The amazing volunteers tried to persuade me to push on but I kept my sensible head on and declined. I was given coffee and pasta bolognese which went down a treat. A fellow runner who I had jogged with for some time also pulled at this time and his crew kindly offered to run me to the finish to collect my bags. From the fiinish I had to wait for two hours for my daad to come and collect me. By the time we arrived in Eastbourne, the winner had already finished in an amazing time of 15 hours 43 minutes!
The following three days were hell as my legs would not allow me to walk down stairs. I did a little swimming to loosen them a bit but it was still unbelievably painful.
I have taken a lot away from this run and I will msot definitely be going back next year to finish what I have started. I think next year I will invest in some poles to help me up the hills and some compression socks to give my legs a bit of a helping hand!