I thought it would be great to tell people I beat a world record breaker in a race so re-considered dropping out. I asked if they knew what place I was in. I was shocked to find I was second behind Jan but with 2 guys just behind on the same lap. Oh, feck I thought I can’t stop now.
I now had a spring in my step running the next mile in around 8:30. However, my spring didn’t last long and I got my worst cramps yet on mile 58. I nearly did a ‘Paula’, but just made it to the loo shooting a jet of unpleasantness from my rear! I couldn’t get up for 5 minutes and took over 14 minutes for that mile. I stopped for a few minutes to rest in the next mile before feeling a bit better and managed a few sub 9 minute miles.
I went 100k distance in about 9:50 so well down on my 100k two weeks previous. However the difference was probably the time I had already spent on the loo! I was now running longer than I had every run and had overtaken Jan who had stopped 2 hours 45 minutes earlier! I needed another loo break at 65 miles and then a long one again at 67 miles. By this stage I had stopped eating completely as it was just running through me. All I could do was sip a little water.
I got chatting to a women I know called Fiona and she was only a few laps behind me. Her longest every run to date was 31 miles and she said she was loving this experience. Unfortunately I was not! We split when I had my long toilet break at 67 miles.
At this stage I though I was in third place and was worried because she might catch me too. I pushed on and managed the next 5 miles all in around 9 m/m pace. I was finding the pace comfortable when feeling good. It was now 11:25 and the finishing line felt close. However , I cramped up again and needed another long toilet break finishing the 73rd mile in almost 13 minutes.
With just 20 minutes to go I realised I could break 75 miles if my tummy held together and I ran 9 m/m. I didn’t know what place I was in but pushed as hard as I could. I had missed a podium by 1 minute in the 100k and was determined to give it my all this time. I finished mile 74 in 8:45 and my final full mile in 8:29 which was my fastest since mile 35.
I knew my Garmin was a bit long so kept running hard to make sure I broke 75 miles. With about 1 minute to go I spotted a group ahead and recognised one of the guys as being close to me earlier on. I didn’t know what lap he was on but I managed a sprint finish to the klaxon just in case we were neck and neck. I finished about 10 metres past him and was so relieved when the klaxon sounded. My Garmin measured 75:56 miles but think it was really about 75.3.
We had are numbers on a little plastic stick that we had to push into the ground. Unfortunately I was at the further point possible point from the start and finish area so started trudging back. I was nearly back going against the flow when I was told I had to wait at the stick until it got measured. Doh! Off I staggered back again to wait and get measured. By the time I got measured and back to the start I had walked an additional 1.5 miles.
Anyway, none of this is important, what really matters was how I had done. I asked the organisers and was blown away when they told me I had won by a mile! The guy I sprinted past at the end was in 2nd but a lap behind. I’ve to go today at 1 pm for the prize giving and then I’m treating my family to a boozy lunch! Party time.
Apologies for typos or poor grammar in this report as I was so hyped I didn’t sleep a wink last night!
I lined up at the start just before 12 pm, just 2 weeks after a finishing a 100k in 9 hour 11. Not only was there a 12 hour race but also a 100k and the 24 Hour Irish Championships. Most Irelands top Ultra runners were in the 24 hr but the 12 hr had a 55 year old going for age group world records for 100k, 100 mile and 12 hrs.
I didn’t have a set goal but hoped I could run about 70-75 miles and had a chance for a minor podium place. Only two went further than 70 miles last year. It was a little warm and the sun was out so not ideal conditions, especially for someone worried about skin cancer! Although I covered myself in factor 50 before the off.
I ran the 100k at 8 minute mile pace for 60k then really struggled so took it down a notch to between 8:20 and 8:30. I decided to break the race mentally up into 2 marathons and a 20+ miler at roughly 8:30 then 9 and 9:30 pace. I knew from my recent 100k that this could disintegrated completely.
I got into a good rhythm early on chatting to a guy called Peter who had won the CausewayCoast 50k last year and I finished second. He was doing the 24 hr but we ran together chatting for first 15 odd miles. I was feeling great early on and completed the first marathon in 3:45 so exactly what I had hoped for. However, I started suffering from a bit of tummy trouble with all the food and drink swilling around my stomach.
I really haven’t gotten the nutrition side of things for long ultras sorted out yet. I tried to consume 100 cals every 20 minutes but I just don’t seem to be able to digest it well. By 30 miles I was in a lot of distress and had to stop in a portaloo. Just like the 100k a few weeks early I broke wind for about 15 seconds shaking the toilet! Phew, what a relief. However, within a mile my tummy was troubling me again. At 33 miles I had to stop again in a portaloo for a few minutes.
Thankfully the course was a 1 mile loop so the toilets were always close. I continued on but my tummy was pretty much in constant discomfort. Due to this I was eating and drinking less and had reverted to sucking boiled mints for fuel. My kidneys were also sore and I thought there was some blood in my urine. It was already beetroot coloured due to the juice but seemed to be darker and closer to blood colour.
I wasn’t even half way through the race and I started considering dropping out. My legs felt great and I was still comfortably running 9 m/m miles but was stopping every couple of laps for the toilet. Some time it was wind and others it was number 2’s.
At 43 miles I had to walk for the first time then spend 5 minutes on the loo. That mile took almost 17 minutes. I decided that I would run a double marathon and then stop. I have a long term goal of running 100 marathons/ultras and this race was already counting as one as I had run marathon distance. Knowing I had less than 10 miles to run gave me a lift and I ran around 9 m/m pace for a while again.
I needed another toilet stop at 52 miles but my tummy had settled a bit. I reached the 53rd mile and stopped to talk to the organisers to tell them I was leaving. I had completed 2 marathons in 8:10 so had took 4:25 for the second. I asked about Jan the 55 year old World record guy as I hadn’t seen him for a while. Previously he was lapping me about every 3 or 4 laps! I was told he broke the world record for 100k but stopped as he’d had enough.
I thought it would be great to tell people I beat a world record breaker in a race so re-considered dropping out. I asked if they knew what place I was in. I was shocked to find I was second behind Jan but with 2 guys just behind on the same lap.
I’m all set for the 12 hour race tomorrow. Apparently there’s a 55 year guy named Jan-Albert Lantink attempting to break world records for 100k, 12 hours and 100 miles in the race. Just wait until he has to face the Madbark!
In the 24 hour race starting at the same time, there are 13 countries represented and the race is a dress rehearsal for the 24 hour World Championship next year.
I think my body has recovered well from the 100k two weeks ago but I’m a bit concerned about a more personal issue. Lets just say that I’ve been having some walnut problems again. If things start to go wrong I’m quitting early so I can watch NI v Wales!