Just wondered if anyone trains on that route - how wet is it? Will I need to pack my swimming gear when I do the ultra? lol
I think every trail in the UK is prety sticky at the moment.
I found ducks swimming on my favourite bridal path recently.
Just ran part of it today and it's really boggy, in lots of place
There are some pics on their Facebook page. Essex is wet and muddy, but nowhere near as bad as The Thames Path...
Anyone that knows how large part of the course that is slippery due to mud? And the same question when it comes to being flooded but not slippery? My hope is that the majority of the course does not fall in these two categories. I have the feeling that Í'll have second thoughts if the answer hypothetically would be e.g. 30% and 10%.
Hi Jan - I think you were star billing at the TT a few weeks ago ? I know the route well, but haven't run it in the last few weeks. One of the sweepers on the FB page has done some recce runs so would be better informed, but from area knowledge I would say flooding will be limited to a few long puddles / boggy sections rather than true TT style flooding. I would guess less than 5%. But Essex does mud very well and there are several long ploughed field crossings which will be horrible unless we get some heavy frosts like last year. Many of the field edges and farm tracks will be bad too, so it depends on how you want to define 'slippery' - I couldn't put a % on it, but I would say lots of slippery stuff if that helps. There isn't much road on this one.
Thanks Kevin. You are right about the TT -- my 100th start in an ultra. Wet race but a lot of road so road shoes were ok. I did the first trail-version of London-Brighton in 2008. Really wet and muddy, but still much of it was on roads and I managed that race even though it took four hours longer than the road version in 2005.
The complication this time is that I was supposed to run Saxon Shore's White Cliff 100 but it was cancelled, which is a story in itself. I had already made the travel arrangements and one way of recovering part of the travel cost was to choose other races the same weekend. So I opted for Green Man ultra in Bristol on March 1 and St Peters Way on March 2. Adds to less than my original plan of 100 miles. Under normal Winter conditions the logistic plan should work well and give me enough sleep. But ...
.. the lots of slippery stuff will slow me down and my plan for how to get between the races might fail and especially since the trains also on that route are affected by the sad weather and the timetable for the National Express doesn't add any options. It could mean that I will arrive to St Peters Way with not only one race in the legs but also one night with basically no sleep since I might not have timeto check in to my hotel in Harlow. If the conditions are bad-slow at St Peters Ultra then I will get very little sleep also the night after since my flight home leaves at 6:30 am. Not an ideal flight but it would have been perfect for the WC100 race since I need to be at work on Monday.
I've done one race (UTMB) where I lost two nights sleep and the lack of sleep gave a very strange feeling the day after the race after one night's sleep. Not something I look forward to.
So the key thing for me is how much sleep I will be able to get that weekend, which falls back on how slippery the conditions will be and how affected the train service will be. I slow down more than other runners when it is slippery. I have started to realize that the equation doesn't add up under the current conditions, and also my backup plan to WC100 might fail. For everyone affected I hope that the weather improves significantly.
Jan - I saw the sweeper at a club XC today - he did a recent recce of the middle section and said there was shin deep mud in a number of places and that times will be slow unless the weather changes. Today was good and a lot drier, and the forecast is improving but a lot of clay in this area means it won't dry that fast. Not really sure what that tells you though... Its my most local ultra so I'll do it anyway.
Many thanks Kevin for the update. As you say - hard to tell. I follow the forecasts closely, and I'll look through the maps in detail next weekend. I'll postpone the (no) go decision ultil then.
Thanks Firemannotsam for the info. Sounds encouraging, as does the weather forecasts that have started to improve.
I've decided to give both ultras a try. My target for Green Man is to finish in time to catch the train, and for St Peters to avoid being the last male to finish.
Anyone staying in Harlow the night before St Peter or passing Harlow? Share a ride to the start? I'll stay at Travelodge next to the Railway station.
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