Following my November update and plans for next year I realised I’d missed out a cheeky 100km that I ran on the 1st December. It was a really low-key event with no aid, medical support or course marking. Just a 2.25 mile track of path that makes up the Ayot Greenway just outside of Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. James Elson of Centurion running set it up as a Spartathlon qualifier for a few people who wanted to try to get under 10:30, just 10 of us turned up to run at 9am on a chilly winter’s day. I was mainly running it for training and set off at one heck of a pace! Far too quickly; 1:45 for the first half marathon, sub 4 hours for the first marathon and getting to 50km in 4:30. 6 hours to run the other 50km then… and it took me nearly all of that! I finished in 10:24 (info and results here) and just scraped in under the Spartathlon qualifying time, though I’m not actually sure I want to run it (this year it’s too close to Transe Gaule I think). It was a fun day out and good to see some ultra friends and there was even some support from Claire, Drew, Sue and Lindley – which was lovely!
My next long run is going to be similar in that it’s a looped race but hopefully a lot longer. I’ve booked into the Across The Years race in Phoenix, Arizona, starting on the 29th Dec and running into the New Year. There are 24, 48 and 72 hrs options – I have booked into the 72 hrs and am aiming to try to run 200 miles, so that’s 200 laps of a mile loop in 3 days, easy right?! It will be significantly longer than any run I’ve done so far, but as The Viking Way is rapidly looming in the calendar (end of March) I need the miles. It’s also going to be mentally taxing and the sleep strategy is one I’m toying with (either nap when about to drop or take regular 4 hours every 18/20 hours of running). I took today off work to train and have just run 30 times round a one mile park loop at the end of my road and I’m hoping the atmosphere of ATY will prevent me getting too bored. Several US friends have said it’s their favorite run so I’m really looking forward to it, what better way to see in the New Year!