But on a recent longun I'd slowed to an extent that I had a fear of missing the final train that would get me home in time to be at work the next day. Interestingly I found a bit of extra speed in the last few hours.
Oh, and its a loooong night. Carry spare batteries for your headtorch. I'd even say carry a spare headtorch. I hadn't put fresh batteries in mine at start so spares were out before midnight. I lent my spare to somebody who had battery issues and had misplaced spare. I got it back at next CP and good job I did as my spare batteries were exhausted before the night was out!
This was tough as the course got more difficult as the miles rolled on. Early miles were pretty flat roads and trails out of Berwick, close to coast at first. Then we moved in land a bit before Wooler in a section that interspersed roads with sections of runnable trail. Night fell for me and Alan who I was running with near Ingram. warm at first, but the night cooled in the early hours as fog enveloped us. Got more hilly prior to Rothbury with a long section meandering every which way through woodland. I was pretty envious of those finishing the shorter course here.
But for the 200k course it was back out and a mostly good surface climb to Simonside highest points on route through Simonside woods. After the woods I stopped for a few mins at next CP to have a few mins micro-nap (needed). 100m in and from here things started to get hard for me (probably everyone). After initially thinking we'd be done early afternoon this section of boggy, bumpy, undulating often unpathed off-road really gave my already swollen, bruised, bashed feet a hammering as moving at 3mph. Cheered up a bit near Bellingham as we were greeted by a runner who'd been tracking us and he offered to do us toast and a cup of coffee.
The rest of the course was all small hills and near constant undulation, on and off-road. And again the off-road was sufficiently lumpy and wet to make things hard on the feet. With 10m to go I realised I would struggle to make my last train home if I didn't really knuckle down and absorb the pain of running a bit faster and more than was the least bit comfortable. Finished in 34hrs20mins and thankfully station just a short lift away for my train 20mins later.
Lessons learned from this one I'd pass on to other runners in future editions.
Its easy to go off too fast, I was 6mph for about 20m, but course got so difficult by the end I was struggling for half that over some 10m segments.
Expect to navigate. Although its a marked trail there aren't signs at all the places you'd want them. Some people spent miles and hours off-route. I probably added a few miles as the result of a few mistakes and between the two of us running together for most of event we had a breadcrumb course trace on my garmin 910xt, sandstone way map and GPS with mapping on a phone.
Perhaps always true of a 100m+, but harder than you think. Less than a 50% completion rate of the 200k - 5/11 - and can't be attributed to bad weather. I think many suffered from going off too fast. A few others suffered injuries. At least one was very lost (none of the DNF even got to hardest section of course)
Thanks to great organisers and checkpoint staff, some of whom in later stages were waiting for hours as the first two were more than 6 hours ahead in the end
So if I get translation right (or looked at right google results) terra kiger translates to something like "earth (wild-)horse". Just when I was thinking it was a silly name for a shoe and maybe somebody had spelt it wrong on pre-launch memo and should be 'kerra tiger'.....
....I'll get my coat
p.s. I'm with millsy on the ultra effect on marathon training.