It was a bright clear morning in Chislet Marshes (just outside Canterbury) as the 100 strong field assembled outside the Gate Inn pub which would be the start/finish area for the next 8 laps of this multi lap 6.55mile course. The course was a figure of eight with varied terrain mostly off road on farm tracks, with one long section of concrete and a short section on road for good measure.
The course map
The multi-lap nature of the event plus the varied terrain was really helpful in breaking down the enormity of the task I faced. Simply thinking about the total distance was a little daunting to say the least, but six and a half miles X eight sounds far more manageable!
And with that I had finished my first 50 miler (52.4m :-) in a time of 9:06.01, which was way beyond my best expectations.
Looking back on it now even lap 7 which seemed a total disaster of epic proportions at the time wasn't really so bad. I had actually paced a pretty good race considering it was a distance that I had no experience of, therefore making it quite hard to gauge what pace you should run at. And lastly I actually achieved by running mantra to 'Finish Strong'.... Happy days!