Country2Capital Ultra 2016

Shamefully I haven’t posted for over a year. During that time I’ve achieved some great stuff with my running and become a much more confident Ultra runner. Here’s an honest summary of the good and the bad. I’ll split into posts – this one covers the C2C Ultra.

Country2Capital 45miler (January)

Time: 7 Hours 38 Seconds
I went into this race with some tib anterior issues. Aside from that, my training had gone really well and in the 6-8 weeks prior, my steady pace had fallen by 15secs per mile. C2C is a 45 mile Ultra (which is actually 42.5miles), almost a 50/50 split of trail/mildly hilly, and canal/dead flat. Popular with many ‘regulars’ in the Ultra community, it’s one of the first big events of the year.

Whilst I felt good going into it, I was rather nervous about the fact that they don’t use race markers, and my navigation sucks. However, my strategy of following other people in the first half worked a treat. Pace wise, I kept to being reasonably conservative during the trail bit (especially the hills), keeping plenty back for the second half. This would play to my strengths of running on the flat (probably due to my history of road running).

We were blessed with a beautiful (albeit cold) day. Not much mud, some ice (which I slipped over, nearly ending my race early). I had wrapped up warm with a singlet, base layer, Gore top, gloves, hat, Gore running tights, and my trust Salamon pack. I had my pack full of nommage as the aid stations aren’t amazing (for vegans, anyway):

Food at C2C

Although there’s no markers, in the second half along the canal, you don’t need them. You turn right onto the canal path, follow it down until the ‘Paddington – 13 miles’ sign where you turn left. Flat as a pancake all the way home. I ran this bit well until the last 8 miles where my walk breaks started becoming more frequent. I passed tons of people though who had gone out too quickly in the early part of the race, which was a great confidence boost.

It’s a very well organised race; I would like to see though, at the final mile or half mile mark, a sign telling you this. Purely because it’s hard to know when to put on a final finishing burst, as you can’t see the finish bit from around the corner of the canal. I put on a great sprint finish when I did see it, ending in 7hr 38sec. I’d aimed for 7 hours so it was spot on, although the 38 secs still annoy me as I’d love to have had a 6: on the result. All good though. A great race, great crowd of runners – I highly recommend it. As well as a nice heavy medal, I also got a nice quality long sleeved top. Boom!

Learning Points From The Race: Taking a headlamp wasn’t an awful idea but in hindsight as I was confident of my finish time, it just added weight. I also hired a Race Drone Tracker – a great piece of kit however this again added weight to my pack and not something I’d bother with again for a race of this distance.