Posted: 28/06/2014 at 11:55
You took the step up from non runner to marathon, and then marathon to 50 miler, in an incredibly short period of time. Most people will get in a few races at each of those distances, and thoroughly master them physically and mentally, before they step up. The speed with which you have escalated the length and difficulty of the races that you have undertaken, will have contributed to the problem.
In order to finish races like the Ridgeway and Winter 100, you have to set the threshold for a DNF high. It is not macho bullshit, it is what it takes to get the job done. Pairing up with the right person would very likely have made the difference here. You perhaps need to get a bit of practice with night running. You could even look at the possibility of using a pacer on the night section, if you know somebody who is willing.
I live near to you, so I can take you for a beasting, if you think it will help.