There is no doubt, 100km is a long, long way.
Though my PhD research continues into ultra endurance, through my physiological/psychological testing of ultra marathoners, i felt the best way to really understand and experience such a challenge was to complete the distance myself. I’ve survived a number of ultras over the years, but this was certainly my furthest, and i viewed it with some trepidation.
I choose to raise money for Asthma Uk, as a condition that has affected me over the years, and something that makes me appreciate good health
I selected the London to Brighton run as my challenge, and I had foolishly imagined that the route from Richmond (London) to Brighton would be relatively flat – that was a mistake. The hills are not steep, as in a mountain marathon, but they are at times long, and
cruel – well that is how they felt at the time. The weather on Saturday was good: hot, but usually accompanied by a gentle breeze, and earlier in the day even some cloud and light rain. Running 100km was more difficult than i had imagined: your legs tire, but most importantly mentally you feel exhausted. It became more and more difficult to tell my body to keep moving, after 70km everything was telling me to stop. But the thought of my family, and friends at 56km, and then 80km, was enough to keep me going. The organisation was incredible, well signposted along the entire length, and the food stops covered everything from water, energy drink, tea, coffee to fruit (pineapple tastes great on a long run) and pizza, pasta and baked potatoes at the major stops. With friends to talk to I stopped at 56/80km and enjoyed some well earned food after mostly relying on carbohydrates from the easily digested tailwind nutrition i had mixed into water along the route – it was ideal, but i needed something more substantial nearer the end.
The last 10km seemed to take a lifetime, and seeing the Brighton race course felt like a small, but well deserved, miracle. Seeing my family made it all worthwhile, and quite emotional – 12 hours of running, jogging and walking, and two hours of stops to get me through, and it was complete. Two days later and my legs don’t feel too bad – i think the massage at the end may have saved me !!
Great event, and first class organisation and support. If you want to run 100km, this is an ideal event – no navigation, and good food, and first aid if needed all along the route. Thanks London 2 Brighton Challenge!!!