Well I'm fresh from my ramblings down the Grand Union Canal today. This was the first running of this new ultra event - Ultra Race 45 organised by rory coleman http://www.rorycoleman.co.uk/london%20ultra.asp?nid=5&pid=34. And what an efficient well organised race it was. And great value to at £28 which include a v nice technical t shirt and finisher medal. It started in Northampton and following the GU canal path south finishing at Tring (47.22 miles later - measured by my garmin).
This race report isn't going to go into so much detail about the route itself as to be honest what can you say other than I ran for 47 miles with the water to my right and fields to my left :-) with the occasional slice of civilisation along route, namely Milton Keynes, Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard (my home town). However this description does not do the route justice as its very scenic weaving through the open countryside.
I don't think I have been quite so relaxed about a race in my life. And whilst I'm not one anyway to get too anxious over such things my relaxed state really helped me to put in a performance that I'm mighty pleased with. My plan was to run 10min/miles and keep this going til the end. But as they say in the best laid plans..... As it was I got into a very comfortable rhythm early on running 9:30m/m and so decided that I would just keep it steady and relaxed at this pace and see what happens. I did expect at somepoint to get a reaction from my body but as the miles passed it didn't grumble. I even put in three sub 9's in a row at 31 miles.
What really helped is that i knew 2/3 of the course as its a local training ground so this familiarity allowed me to focus on the next few miles and pick off known landmarks most of these being pubs :-) Arriving at Leighton Buzzard (34miles in) I had arranged for my dad to accompany me for what turned out to be the final 13 miles. And with the rest of my family there too to cheer me on this gave me a boost. With my dad acting as my pacer and keeping me in check and on target for total avg pace of 9:30m/m this worked out really well . As the miles wore on things inevitably got a little harder with my legs starting to feel the miles and the constant pace. However with my dads great pacing I was able to push through and finish in the light in a time of 7 hours 29 minutes and 50 seconds. I was pleasantly surprised with this effort finishing I think in 10th place from the 75 starters. Its my fastest Ultra to date so all those miles in training are paying back :-)