Thanks FWo. I quite like the idea of doing a big event for my first as it should be well supported and organised as you say and I'm willing to pay for that. I certainly wouldn't do events like that regularly. Not too worried about start and finish locations as hopefully I will be able to get dropped off and picked up.
The elevation looks reasonable. I like an undulating course, but didn't want anything too mountainous. Didn't know about the generous cut offs, so that's good to know!
I know what you mean. It is expensive and you might expect a bit more in terms of support etc, but I guess the big difference is that at these big sponsored events, the marshalls etc are paid, rather than being volunteers. Whether or not that makes an overall difference to the experience, who knows. Obviously not a big enough one at The Wall!
How far did you get at the Ridgeway then? Back for another go next year?
Sounds good. My only concern (and it's a big one!) is the additional distance. 60 miles sounds doable (although a massive challenge) but put an extra marathon on top and I'd worry I was setting myself up for a failure. My guess is that training for and starting a race with that attitude makes it almost a foregone conclusion.
Might be a distance I could work towards (I would love to do a one 100 miler in my life) but as a first big race, I'm not sure.
I'd agree with others that your training pace and race times don't seem to quite tally and that a sub 5 minute mile time seems very unlikely looking at the other times you've given.
Taking all that into account and considering it's your first marathon, I think going out at sub 3h30 pace is asking for trouble. I'd go out at, max 3h45 pace, see how you get on and pick up later on (mile 18-20) if you feel good.
I've been wanting to do an ultra for years and have made tentative plans for working toward one a few times, but now (having gained permission from my Wife!) is the time to take the plunge and I think Race to the Stones is the one for me (if it's on, as I heard somewhere that Carphone Warehouse are out and they're still after a sponsor.) It's about ten months away so plenty of time for preparation, it looks like decent terrain (not too flat or too hilly) and it's a good, challenging distance.
It probably won't actually be my first Ultra as I would likely do at least a 40 miler during training, but it would definitely be my A race for the year. I've run two marathons in the past year and do a weekly base mileage of around 20 miles, plus around 30 miles on the bike. I won't be able to go huge on the training as I'm quite busy, but I will definitely be giving it a lot of focus. My two marathons became total and utter obsessions leading up to them!
Anyway, does anybody have any thoughts on this race as a choice for a first 100k? I see there's a two day option but my thinking is that I'd be better pushing on and getting the whole thing done as I never sleep well in a tent and that would make starting again the next day seriously difficult.