South Downs Way 100

Date: 14th June 2014 Location: South Downs Way Distance: 100 miles Assent: 12700ft Navigation: Fully marked course by organisers and SDW signs Time Limit: 30hrs

This race will be my third ultra of 2014 and the 2nd of the Centurion Running Grand Slam, Which consists of the Thames Path 100, South Down Way 100, North Downs Way 100 and the Winter 100 all within the same year.

As you may have read in my last race report (TP100) didn’t go thats well because of issues with my feet, So since that race I have been to ProFeet in Fulham and had them look at my insoles and my running style and bought 2 new pairs of shoes, 1 for road running (short runs after work) and 1 pair of trail shoes for the majority of my training runs and races. One of the many things I like about this shop is that when you buy a pair of shoes there that they recommend and they don’t work for you within 14 days you can exchange them for another pair (only once though), I think thats great another wise you spend endless money trying to find the right shoe for you. So new shoes are a go and I have 2 weeks of hard training to get used to them then 2 weeks of taper then race day. The 2 weeks of hard training went well with no problems with my feet apart from at the end of each long training run (30 miles) which was probably because there was still some inflammation left from the TP100 race. So all was good and the race week was here, just a couple of light runs on the week running up to the race (each 5 miles). So on the Thursday before the race I headed to Waterloo to catch the train to Winchester… The train was delayed by 40 mins damn, during the journey an old chap sat across the walkway from me at a table and had a 1/2 bottle of wine, he was a bit shaky and I thought he’s ging to spill it on me isn’t he ?..and guess what, with in about 20 mins the whole glass had gone all over my left leg, Luckily is hadn’t gone over my my new road shoes..anyhow he apologies to which and I said “it’s fine don’t worry about it.”, well as soon as the drink trolley arrived he ordered another 2 1/2 bottles and you never guess the chap servicing the drinks dropped about 7 empty plastic glasses over me..just not my day was it…HEY HO…so…eventually got to Winchester and headed to my accommodation for the night, which I only found out the night before was on the Hotel Inspector Returns…well it was only £35 for the night…So I arrived there and it’s seems ok, Friendly staff, Clean room…I’m not picky, as soon as I got to my room i started organising me thing ready for race day. With all that done I headed into town to find a place to eat and found Ask an Italian restaurant chain that I have eaten in before.I’m vegan by the way so it can be hard find place to accommodate me. The food was great and I managed to eat 2 plates of pasta and a potion of bruschetta an OJ and some water..which I might add the waitress spilt over me as I order my food…(I mean really….come on grrrrr) ha ha you had to laugh though, oh well and least it was warm out so it dried up pretty quickly. So after that headed back to my room and tried to get some sleep, The time now is about 6:45pm and I was planning to get up at 3:45 to have my breakfast and share a cab kindly organised by an fellow runner staying in the same place. Within about 15 min of my head hitting the pillow loud music started playing to which I was right above, My god it was loud and I didn’t feel I could do much about it because the people in the pub below were the beer drinking, Reebok classic leather wearing, England football shirt wearing people thats scare me a bit…and they were mostly guys….with shaved head…errr so I tried 2 ideas to keep the noise out..please see below

I must say that neither on them worked that well..
That music ended up finishing at 1:30am, which meant I got roughly…..sod all sleep !!!!!!!.
So 3:45 came I sorted my thing and headed down to have my homemade muesli and soya milk and got the shared taxi to the start area..
Was good to catch up with many of the other runners that I have met before at other ultras .
Last prep done and drop bags handed it.( drop bags are bag that you give in at the start that are clearly labeled by your race number  and are placed by the race organisers at mile 54 and mile 69) you choose what goes in what bag and they are then delivered to the finish.
SO race time is here 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 and we’re off….for the first 20 miles or so I was feeling very heavy and I’m pretty sure that was from my large breakfast, I did see people eating pretty early in the race and it looked like breakfast, lots of bacon sandwiches going around…
After the first 20 or so miles..things started to get better bit by bit, my feet were fine with no pain at all which was good and my mind was just on the race and thinking hydrate, hydrate…
The weird thing for me in theses long distance races it that I seem to get my 2nd wind at the 50 mile point (I have know idea why) but it’s a good thing as that is where I think the race truly starts by if your having a good race you can keep going but if not you still have 50 mile to go and that is tough if your not having a good day, like I found out in the Thames Path 100, It pays to have a strong mind and focus on just finishing the race if it doesn’t go the way you’d  hoped, It maybe hard but a finish is better than a DNF in anyones book.
So I got my 2nd wind just passed the half way point I think this is me around that point

I started to feel pretty strong and was running at a good pace, I’m not too sure why it took so long to get into my stride in this race, Maybe I should try running longer races of over 100 miles as I get my 2nd wind so late on, So from this point on till about 80 miles I was ticking people off slowly and my min/mile pace was improving and I was feeling great, My hydration of which was really worried about before the was good and my nutrition good too. From about mile 80 however the inevitable happened, My feet began to hurt and this was really upsetting as it was so close to the finish…(I know 20 mile is still along way, but considering the race is 100 it’s ok) my bloody feet are at it again..well as with the Thames Path I tried my very best to keep going at a gently jog but it was so painful at times it was very hard not to walk… Since the point of TP100 where my feet began to hurt and all the training since then this was getting a bit upsetting and I knew at that point that I was in the same position again..Just finish the race, just finish the race, Then people I passed earlier started to overtake…GRRRRR, Just smile and say…”well done, good going”.. So with about 5 or so miles to go there was a chap with me who was in a similar position to me and it was nice to share the last few miles with someone who’s in the same boat as you Check the course route HERE

Here’s the course profile

Not to happy with my time as feet were an issue again from mile 80, But a finish is finish.

Thank you all so much for your kind support and messages






Time 25:39:17