Posted: 20/07/2016 at 13:22
Some runners set off at a fast pace but I had already decided to walk the ups, run the downs and shuffle along in between (as usual). We started up a short hill on a stony track, then followed it down and across a wooden bridge, up again (smoother surface now) past the sign that said 'birds foot trefoil is also known as granny's toenails' and turned right onto a stony track that zig-zagged down the hill. A left turn took us up a slope (which somehow turned flat on the way back) and I nicknamed it the tanning track - left arm got sunburnt on the way out and the right arm on the way back . At the top we went down a very steep hill with an uneven surface to reach the sea wall. Flat, flat and all concrete for about a mile till it ran out and then back again. Thankfully there were some fishermen to look at, as well as Dover docks and the sea and a couple of landmarks (like a light pole and a small lighthouse). I ran along this bit for the first lap but afterwards broke it up into walk/run sections. Back off the sea wall it was up the steep hill, which I'm sure was ramped up steeper and steeper each lap, along the (now flat ) tanning track, past the zig-zag, bit more path, through the carpark and back to base. Card punched and off out again. 3.71 miles per lap and 27 laps to complete 100mls.
Went through marathon distance at about 4:25 which was a bit too fast and my legs really ached, so extended my walk sections along the front a little bit. The sun was by now scorching, the sweat was pouring off me and my skin got very salty (and I got scratch marks round the top of my bra where the salt and sweat mingled ). I drank regularly, although water didn't quench my thirst, so had rather a lot of coke to drink too. Also ate regularly - little jam sandwiches, rice pudding, fruit & custard (all of which I'd taken with me) and got some water melon at the HQ and later a mini piece of cake. At one point my stomach felt a bit queasy (too much to drink?)but another jam sandwich settled it down. As night fell I swapped my short sleeve shirt for a long sleeve, but needn't have bothered as the temperature hardly dropped and I had to roll the sleeves up. Head torch and chest torch on, and with no navigation worries, knowing the route really well by now and plenty of others around I didn't feel nervous. The leg aches had disappeared and I didn't get blisters/ niggles/injuries/ vomiting like some and I wasn't sleepy at all. I stuck to the walk/run at designated points throughout (although the walk at the turn around did get just a little longer towards the end) and I think this helped and my splits were pretty much even for the whole race. All the volunteers at base were very encouraging, as were the runners as we continually passed on the out and back. Sun came up about 4:30 am, so swapped the t-shirt back to short sleeves and put the torches away. Continued to feel fine especially now I knew the end was in sight! Picked up a St George's flag for the last lap, stuck to the walk/run knowing it would get me there, and then I was finished. Smiles, hugs and a beautiful buckle . Completed in 22hrs 11mins - 2nd lady and 10th overall.