Latest posts by Badbark

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Sub 3h15

Posted: 26/06/2016 at 10:48

Thanks SJ! That prize sounds perfect. I checked my stats I was stopped for a total of 56 minutes during the 12 hours. I'd say about 3/4 of this was on the loo!

Other stats -

Average pace - 9:30, average moving pace 8:50

Average cadence 180

Average HR 120



Sub 3h15

Posted: 26/06/2016 at 09:50


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!

Sub 3h15

Posted: 26/06/2016 at 09:49

Energia24 12 hour race a Victoria Park Belfast

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.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 24/06/2016 at 15:18

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!

Updates on the race will be here - 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 19/06/2016 at 11:37

That’s a fantastic performance Lorenzo. Well done, take a bow Sir! 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 18/06/2016 at 13:03

I’ve just looked back at old posts to see which race Lorenzo was running today. Unless I’m mistaken he’s running ‘Race the Wall’ which is not a 100k race, that he’s said he’s running. It’s 69 miles which is 111k. I hope he doesn’t get to 62 miles thinking he’s about to finish and discovers he has still 7 miles still to go!

Does anyone know for sure? 

I run 10 miles this morning including a 19:30 parkrun. I'm happy with that considering last weeks 100k still in my legs.


Sub 3h15

Posted: 17/06/2016 at 07:30

Thanks for all the kind words and support everyone. This thread was one of the things I was thinking of when I was struggling. I didn’t want to report on a failure, and knew I’d get a lot of virtual pats on the back if I finished. You guys rock!

Here are a few tips for Lorenzo or anyone else running a 100k.

I found boiled sweets were the only thing that I could stomach late on, so make sure to have a large bag available. Mine were a selection of mints with 3 being about 100 cals.

Bring Deflatine or something similar to help release trapped wind - 

Don’t eat or drink ANYTHING you haven’t testing in training. I had a few cups of Coke that probably caused the wind issues.

Run slower than you have ever run before and take plenty of breaks.

Some point after 35 miles you will run out of glycogen no matter how much fuel you ingest. The slower you go at the start the later this will happen. Once is happens you’ll want to stop and you won’t believe you could possibly make it to the finish. You can. Walk for a while, run slower, take breaks but keep progressing. As you get closer to the finish things will get better again.

Dig deep, you have it in you.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 15/06/2016 at 15:54
PhilipMJones wrote (see)

Madbark, absolutely classic report. Love the fact that the initial goal was sub 9 (so I assume 8:59:59 would have put a smile on your face) and you end up going through the blender and coming home in 9:11:24 which in most people's opinion is pretty close to 9 hours anyway.

Any reflections on pace choice? 9 hours for 100k is 27 minutes per 5k and you set out at 25 minutes per 5k which is 4:10 for 50k and you pretty much hit that target. If you used the same plans for a 3 hour marathon then this would give you 1:23:20 for the first half and 1:36:40 for the second half which would not be offered as a plan by anyone sensible. I appreciate ultras are different and you have to plan to slow down, but that does seem extreme to me.



You are completely right. If I had of run a few minutes slower per lap from the start, I may indeed have went sub 9 hours. However, to be 100% honest I secretly thought that I could run close to 8:30 if everything went well. So I was thinking of about 4:10 and 4:2x for each half.

Breaking 9 hours was not in the least bit important to me. It was just a round figure that I thought I would run, even if things went a bit wrong. It went worse than I feared! 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 15/06/2016 at 08:14

Within a minute I was running again but with over 25k still to go I seriously considered stopping.

Was it really worth it? I’m not enjoying this at all. I’m a marathon runner not an ultra marathon runner so stop. I’ve a 12 hour race in 2 weeks and could stop now using this as a training run. Never again. Why did I manage 51 miles in training easier? These were just a few of my thoughts.

As I walked a bit one of the organisers said ‘Dig deep, you have it in you’, which really hit home. I gritted my teeth and carried on, determined to finish even if I had to walk or crawl.

I finished the next laps in 31:35, 34:35, 31:42 and 33:27 running at 10 minute mile pace and occasionally walking. I had been as high as second place after 60k but was now down in 4th . I plodded on and with 10k to go I began feeling stronger again. I knew I was going to make it and was starting to close on the third place runner.

I ran 30:38 and was about 30 seconds behind 3rd going into the last lap. Unfortunately, he noticed how close I was getting and kicked too. It’s funny how fast 9 minute miles feel when you’ve just run over 95k! I was giving it everything I could telling myself I was a machine, but he kept pulling away. In the end he finished a minute ahead, even though I completed the last lap in 28:30 which was my fastest for 6 laps.

My finishing time was 9:11:24 and the winner was Vasiliy in 8:41:49, which was about 55 minutes slower than his course record. I’m sure the heat had a lot to do with that.

I was a little disappointed to come so close to a podium and miss out. However, my pride on finishing pales this into insignificance. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever completed. Its one thing hitting the wall in a marathon with a few miles to go, and making it to the end. However, to hit the wall with 15 to 20 miles to go and finish, is something else entirely. I’m sure it’s even worse for 100 mile runners with 30 miles to go!

I’ve learnt a lot about myself and ultra running with this race. Ultra running is a lot more about pain management and less about running talent. It really is a battle in the brain. You just have to keep plodding on, however slowly. Relentless move forward.

Next up is a 12 hour race on the 25th of June. The thought of it at the minute scares the bejezus out of me.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 15/06/2016 at 08:12

The Portumna Forest 100k Ultra Marathon.

I attempted the 100k at Portumna in 2014 but was made to stop by a Doctor after 85k. I’ll not go into details on what occurred in that occasion, but I’m sure some on this thread will remember my report containing the words ‘blood’ and ‘walnut’ fondly.

Two years and a bit of surgery later, I was back determined to get my revenge on my only DNF. It was only 12 weeks after a 5 week lay off but I was feeling confident after 3 x sub 3 marathons, and 35 and 51 mile training runs.

The race began at 7 am with a 50k starting at the same time. The course was a 5k lolly pop shaped lap with only a few undulations. Obviously the 100k runners had 20 laps to do and the 50k just the 10. There was also a half marathon beginning at 9am and a marathon beginning at 12 pm on the same course.

Weather conditions were perfect at the start with no wind and about 15 degrees. However, the forecast was for the low to mid twenties in the afternoon which was bound to take it’s toll. I checked the list of competitors before the start and recognised the course record holder ‘Vasiliy’ as number 39.

My plan was to run about 25 minutes a lap until about half way and allow a gradual slow down to 30 minutes over the 2nd half. This would see me finish just under 9 hours, however finishing was my main goal and I was prepared to walk or crawl if I had to! I was going to stop every lap to take about 100-150 cals. I had gels, bananas, fruit loaf, powerbars, boiled sweets, canned fruit, honey, dextrose tablets and energy drinks with me to choose from. I was well prepared this time with a plastic box which also contained Vaseline, spare clothes, tablets, toilet roll, sun tan lotion, lip balm and even the kitchen sink!

The race began on time and I settled into an easy 8 minute mile pace. 100k runners had green numbers and 50k blue and we could keep track of each other on the out and back part of the course. I counted 6 green numbers ahead of me on the first lap and I soon began chatting to guy named Darren, who was also planning to run about 25 minute laps.

As we chatted the time flew by and we completed the first 5 laps in 24:56, 24:48, 25:10, 24:52 and 25:18. Three runners had stormed ahead including the record holder. A couple more were not far ahead and few others just behind.

Darren was training for a 300km ultra over the alps and ran 140 miles weekly. However, on the 6th lap he developed a blister and had to stop to sort himself out. A few laps later he dropped out completely and I ran the rest of the race on my own. I ran 25:01, 25:23, 25:23, 25:15 and 25:33 to reach half way in about 4 hours 11 minutes. I later discovered that only 1st and 2nd in the 50k had finished their race before this!

I was still feeling good and had noticed a few other runners starting to drop back. I ran the next two laps in 25:48 and 26:02 but then it starting to get tough. The sun was out and it was over 20 degrees. My stomach was giving me a few problems too. It felt like an inflated balloon half filled with water and squelched with every step. I was finding it difficult eating or drinking anything.

I was taking longer breaks now every lap of about 1 to 2 minutes and my pace was now slowing to 9 minute miles. I ran the next two in 29:42 and 28:00 but my stomach kept getting worse. I was forced for the first time in any race to stop at a portaloo for a squat.

For about 10 seconds I released wind strong enough to shake the loo and the relief was instant. This was all I needed, and off I ran again. The relief was short lived though as I began feeling faint and had to stop to sit down. Within a minute I was running again but with ov

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