SOUTH DOWNS WAY ONE HUNDRED



The PETZL South Downs Way 100, is now in the 4th year for Centurion Running.  Starting just outside Winchester, Hampshire. Heading through southern England, taking in the breathtaking, rolling hills, picturesque villages and views along the national trail. The route finishes in Eastbourne.





Like last year the weather turned humid the day before with isolated thunderstorms. So camping was not my idea of fun this time round. I was lucky enough to stay with Helen in Basingstoke, just 20 minutes away. So race registration Friday evening was very quick and smooth. kit check, waiver signed, number collected and bag drop for mile 54.

Sorted.


After a wonderful dinner and actually a better nights sleep than usual before one of my ultra events, perhaps the three early starts at work helped me nod off faster. 

I arrive within 30 minutes to spare (the latest ever) at Chilcombe Sports Ground, rested and at ease. 

Helen started work at 4:00 so her husband was my chauffeur today!


The Start 5:45am

I finish off my special brew coffee, then drop my finish bag to the correct van. I already see many familiar faces I know, saying hello and good morning as I pass by. Sam Robson, Drew, David, Roz, John, Jacqui and Nici to name a few...

It is a cloudy and grey morning, with damp humid air still thick from the rain we had last night. Temperatures are to be varied from 12-19C and a brisk south west breeze, which is good for the direction we are running! 

The sun is expected in the afternoon. Perfect conditions after the humidity clears. 


Chilcombe Sports Ground


The lovely Crew Lead Nici Griffin


Slight race nerves setting in now. I fiddle about with my Inov8 Race Ultra vest, checking where I have all my essentials in the snug pockets. I have been practising with this larger vest and have found it is much more roomy but with the weight distributed evenly enough to not feel like a heavy back pack. 


I start to see running friends arriving and catch up with Shawn, Mark, Darren, Jess, Kevin and Sheila. Darren seems quite nervous and unsure about today. This is his first 100 miler attempt. 


Shawn and Mark ask if I am racing and going for the win! I laugh...that I doubt that very much and although feel ready and rested, I just do not know how the day will go. 

Running on feel and to enjoy myself with a better time is my goal. Unlike last year in Luna Sandals, I am in trail shoes today, the Inov8 x-Talon 212 in standard fit. 

These have been very good in training and I plan on wearing them for the complete duration...


With Grand Slammer Shawn Timmons



266 runners at the start


Time passes us quickly and with 10 minutes left to go we all listen closely to the race brief held by James Elson. 

I spot running friend Jonathan whilst we are listening and wish him the best today, he too is trying his first 100. 

Such inspiring and brave ultra runners choosing the rolling climbs of South Downs Way.



THE START
6:00
With a quick start following the speedy front runners we head around the sports field to all the cheering support. Nici calls out to me to have a good run. Then we cut through the hedges to meet the South Downs way trail path behind. 

The path is narrow until we reach the road so we spread out and find our pace here. 


I remember the steep climb out within the first mile or so, and take it steady to not push hard going uphill. 

Power walking/jog is my climbing goal today. I am a keen walker when not running so this should help me in the later stages. 


Game Face (picture by Stuart March)


The grass is thick in places and still very wet, so my shoes then socks are already feeling the damp. The air is still thick with cloud and humid. I can feel myself warming up and sweating already. 

Running on feel today and a comfortable average 8:30min/mile at the moment. 


After an hour of running and a few runners dropping back, I stay close with a group which includes first lady Sally Ford and Jess Gray very close behind. 

I already know Jess through mutual running friends on Facebook, and she is a very conditioned, focused runner trying for a first 100 mile finish today. 

We chat about the day ahead and how it feels little too humid out here. We run at a similar pace here and there but both are running our own race and not against anyone else. 

I slow down some as the coffee has started to work and the toilet is required.

Annoying that it costs me some time, I cannot hold any longer. 
This has become very common place, since I spend more hours running outside than being in my comfort zone these days!


I can spot Stuart March the Centurion photographer ahead and I high five him when passing. 

The first aid station is just infront, sheltered in the trees.


Beacon Hill Beeches (picture by Jon Lavis)



Mile 9
Reaching Beacon Hill Beeches. I take out an S!Cap ready for when I approach the aid station. No need for fuel yet, as breakfast of half avocado/olive oil, then a half measure of the bulletproof coffee is still keeping me charged enough. 

I have a cup of water, check my number is recorded and make my way on the trail ahead. 

I text Sunday to say I am at CP1. 

Sunday is my crew with Mum and Dad from Washington. I am always good until halfway, where I can change out of my clothes and refuel then.



                                     ----------------------------------------------


Two years ago I changed the way I eat for the better. I quit sugars and grain and fuel on real foods only, nothing processed. This means I consume a higher fat diet as my carbohydrates come from mostly vegetables and some fruits. I run on my fat stores rather than glycogen, so have far less dips and lows (no sugar crash).

It took a long time to become fully fat adapted and was hard with training, but it has really helped with my health and performance. It was so worth being patient to see it through.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a bug, cold or cough. I recover very quickly and suffer from very little swelling after endurance running. 



Exton Mile 17


Feeling better and adjusted to the humidity more so now, I take in the wooded trails and enjoy less mud and slipping like last time! The trails are very dry still and the rain hardly shows. 

My body and mind feel strong to run 100 miles today, although I developed a slight hamstring strain after Seaford Half marathon last week. Maybe the steep and fast decent or landing badly on the rugged terrain? 

It will either feel worse or just iron itself out...


I actually see much more along the way than I remember of last year, perhaps as I am more comfortable and with less difficulties this year, I can remain focused. 

Taking the steep sloping hills through Exton and heading towards Queen Elizabeth Country Park. 
Over plenty of styles and gates through the fields. 

I am still running with the same group at the start, minus a few...


Heading to Queen Elizabeth Country Park


Still running at a comfortable pace and enjoying some steep downhills through the valley. Minutes seem to just melt away into the hours and the next aid station at the park arrives quickly. 



MILE 22
Queen Elizabeth Country Park
8:40min/mile
RANK 10
Reaching the next checkpoint at 9:15 and feeling good. Less sweaty, but I take another S!Cap, as it has been two hours since the first dose. 

Number recorded. I take a cup of water with a piece of melon then thank the team before heading up into the woods. 

I have a sip of my extra virgin olive oil, I always carry this, works great until I fancy solid fuel. 

This is a new section to the trail and leads up steep through woodland and shaded trees. I power walk with Sally close by. She soon overtakes. 

The trail is very misty and still feels humid at the moment. 


East Meon with Jess


Running over soft bark and tree ruts once the trail evens out flat. 

I enjoy the long shaded woods until coming back into the valley and fields. The path turns and switches in all directions at t-junctions and gates. 

Through farm tracks and open fields. We stay close in our small group and then spot David Ross and another running in the next field cutting across towards us. 

I find this puzzling as he was far ahead from us at the start and in the lead. He took a wrong turn and the other runner followed. They spent a few extra miles trying to get back on track. 

It is not long before he picks up pace and sprints off, probably to make up time. David is running Badwater in July so I think this is his last big run before that attempt. 


East Harting Mile 32


After another few miles we come into Harting Downs and another aid station. Just a few sips of water and I nibble on some nuts here with some cheese that is on offer.

I catch up with David and then Sam Robson as they have walking breaks. They are both in very good spirits and enjoying the scenery around us. 


I pick up my pace and listen to some beats as the sun starts to come out to shine.



The hard chalky track is scattered in debris and stones, which I am used to with training but still watch my footing carefully.

Already I've stumped my left big toe, hard onto a rock, yelping out at the pain. 

That is going to bruise nicely! 


Heading to Cocking Mile 35


Cocking Mile 35 (picture by Stuart March)


Approaching Cocking, back into civilisation after the rolling countryside and to warm welcomes from centurion teams and crews waiting for runners. 

Lots of supporters can park up into the field here which makes a good meeting point. 

My crew are at Washington 54 miles which just a little way off yet...



MILE 35
Cocking
9:04min/mile
RANK 4
I nibble on some blueberries with salted almonds that are on offer. Few cups of water and check how far the next aid station will be. As it is 5 miles I am good with my water on me so can refill at the next stop. 

The team are very helpful and praise me of my quick time so far. Lots of runners are grouped together here and arrive in flurries. 

I decide it is good to keep moving and can see Sally power walking towards the next hill. 

I thank everyone as I leave and start to march the hill, taking another salt capsule as I go.


Kithurst


Halfway reached in good time 


Heading closer to Amberley I get a text from Sunday saying Steve should be looking out for me soon. 

Within just about a mile or so and coming down the steep chalky track that leads to the River Arun, I see a spec but a huge black and blue flag at the gate. 

BOSH it says! it is Steve cheering me on...

Bravo he calls out as I approach, you are about 13 minutes from the leader and doing so well. 

He tempts me with ice cold water from the car and then a squeezed hug before I set off along the track by the river. 


Feeling fresh at halfway 



Always is such a boost seeing friends out along the route and makes such a difference between the aid stations, breaks up the miles in your head and these few moments have a profound,   lasting effect on the journey ahead...


Heading to Washington (picture by Nuala)

 All smiles with Nuala


Once over the bridge and up the track towards Amberley Mount. 
The long and slow climb up Rackham Hill and then onto Kithurst. 

I check my Garmin and see I have approached halfway at 50 miles. A good time too considering the climbs we have had so far...


At Kithurst the next aid station, Welcomed by friendly smiles and clapping. 

I chew on a jelly baby with some water and then nibble on some pecans and cherry tomatoes, whilst chatting to the team about the day so far. 

They are all so impressed and encouraging with my running. 

I am aware other runners are not that far behind and currently I am in 5th position. 

Just as I leave Sally approaches already. 


Washington below


I text Sunday my whereabouts and that I will be shortly at Washington to see him.

I walk up the next chalky climb and drink some coffee, then take my next salt capsule. 

Legs are slightly fatigued now and strangely enough the hamstring has not been nagging anymore, if anything it has subsided and feels stretched out...

Many MTB cyclists come charging down the track at full speed, a few, then a constant flow  for a few minutes. No sign of them slowing up. I stick to the right of the path and stay as far away from them as I can. 



At the next gate I can see a lady taking photographs of me dressed in bright neon orange with matching cap. 

First glance I do not recognise her, then once I reach, I see it is running friend Nuala. She calls out how amazing I am running and greets me with a hug. 

We hug twice as I am so pleased to see someone up here supporting and encouraging the runners along. 

Nuala looks amazing as always and runs a marathon pretty much every weekend. I struggle to keep count but believe she has run over 65 now...


I thank her and head down the track taking the marked path off the South Downs Way. This part of the route uses other footpaths into the village of Washington.



MILE 54
Washington
9:22min/mile
RANK 3
Reaching the half way stop at 14:26 and pleased my progress so far, I am a little concerned I got here too fast and should have eased off the gas in places. Although still feeling strong and better to see the team and crew here...

Karen and Alma greet me with a big welcome hug, then Sunday, Mum, Dad and Steve. 

It is so good to see everyone and I make my way into the hall to collect my drop box to get changed. 

The table spread and american theme is brilliant and all the volunteers have really spruced up with outfits and decorations of stars and stripes. It looks great.


Washington 54 miles


Every minute counts and having all my supplies and items ready is always good but never easy. I think with too much on offer, it is hard knowing what I want. 

Sunday tells me what I have available so it makes it easier to decide.

I have some coffee and cream first that is already flasked, half an avocado and some cheese that Alma kindly had brought in for me. 

I go to the bathroom to dry off the sweat and sun lotion then change into a dry tech tee, another buff and cap. 

Packing my head lights and arm sleeves for later this evening into my race vest. 


I catch up briefly with everyone but aware that 10 minutes to stop are almost up! I take my UD bottle topping with 1/2 Nuun tablet and water that fits snug into my side mesh pocket before heading on outside again. 

Thanking the brilliant team and hugs to loved ones. I run back up the road I came, with directions from Elvis, (no I am not hallucinating) then taking the left to follow the markers.


Chanctonbury mile 57



It is only a short section of six miles until the next aid station so I make do with my Nuun wate bottle for now to save on drinking my main water supply. 

I am trying to keep my stops at the aid stations to a strict minimum to save on overall time today. 


Just after Chanctonbury and heading across the fields through the pig farms.

A few other runners catch up with me here and start to overtake as my pace drops slightly. I see another familiar face and at the gate Nick Jones is here taking pictures of me. 

It is really good to see him. I am having a slight lull at the moment and it helps distract me. 
He asks if I need anything later down the route. I ask if he has olives, which he does, so will make use of them. 




MILE 61
Reaching Botolphs in 5th position. I see big smiler Sarah Sawyer cheering me on as I approach and it is great to actually meet her in person. 
I have only seen her whilst running and through mutual friends on Facebook. 

Everyone here is great refilling my bladder swiftly, and my water bottle with Nuun tablet. 

I nibble on some almonds and pecans then few cherry tomatoes. I am ready to keep moving on and with the next climb towards Beeding Hill. 


I think the team and make my way over the road. Hikers are dotted up the climb and congratulate me as I pass them. 

So many already know what we are doing today..




Wonderful crew at Botolphs


Once at the very top and across the next field and gates, it is the long road to Beeding Hill. 

I have had small pebbles in my shoes since early on and they are now really getting uncomfortable and annoying. I use the soft grass to the side to smack them out. 

Feels like new shoes again!


I start to feel slight fatigue and a lull, so have some coffee that kept in portable bottle. I march up and power walk until feel better again and to pick up my pace. 

Passing the houses and Farm, the view is the rolling hills to Devils Dyke. The sun is out and the breeze is cooling. I feel better already knowing what is around the corner and the weather on my side...


Devils Dyke mile 65


Once over the rolling climbs and near to the road crossing I see Nick again with some olives. I walk with him whilst having few and asking how his day is going. 

I am feeling back into my pace and stronger again to keep running, with less walking breaks. 

I am slowly drawing in the front pack group as they start to slow. 

The most part of the last 50 miles has been a game of cat and mouse between the first six lead runners. Some long section gaps between us then very short by just minutes...


Devils Dyke mile 65


Thanking Nick again for his support, then checking that Shawn is doing ok. Nick will be pacing him tonight from Ditching Beacon. 
I head on across the road and down the trail across the Dyke towards the next aid station at Saddlescombe Farm.



MILE 66
At 17:32 I make it into Saddlescombe. It is always so cute and very British arriving here at the barn in the courtyard. 

The spread is amazing and I can see why most runners use this spot for a seat and hot drink...


Yay!..... another checkpoint 

All smiles from team Saddlescombe 



I catch up with lovely Lisa here and she ask how my day is going, I nibble on some almonds and cherry tomatoes. 

The team refill my bottle again and I add a splash of coke and a teaspoon of salt to it for taste and sugar. 

I chew on a jelly baby and have some water before making a move and heading back along the track towards Newtimber Hill. 



Walking break on the climb up then some nice downhill with a cooling breeze. The conditions are perfect now and I do nit feel so overheated.

Once across the A23 bridge and then passing through Pyecombe, over the next busy road and then steep climb up towards the windmills...

I power walk as best as my legs will carry me and jog over following the signs diverting away from the track into the next check point.

A warm welcome and cheering as I approach the team.



MILE 70
Clayton Windmills
9:54min/mile
RANK 5
I check I have enough water in my bladder, which needs topping up. The lady here takes the pack away from me and sorts out the water, while I chat and nibble away on some nuts and strawberries. 

A few cups of water and I am good to go. It was just a short spell from the last stop so no need to stock up anymore.


The team tell me I am reeling in the front pack runners and approaching them quite quickly. 

I am not really going for a position today, more to achieve a pb from last year and my overall 100 mile time of a sub 18hour...


Ditchling Down 



Few miles across Ditching Down and towards the Beacon John text me a reminder to take another salt capsule and that I am doing great. 
Everyone is routing for me. I sip on some olive oil and take the capsule.

Just before reaching the carpark I can see Nick again and he has Mark in tow. He remembers the olives which I take a couple then thank them coming all this way out to see me! 

Lucy is further along wishing me well and taking photos. 

Mark tells me I am catching up nicely with the leaders and to keep it up.

I am feeling in very good spirits, no real discomfort at the moment and just buzzing with adrenaline!



Meeting Lucy, Mark and Nick at 72 miles


I thank the guys and Nick tells me he will be out at Firle to catch me again. 

My pace quickens out towards Blackcap and heading to Housedean. I fly down the tracks and the downhill sections averaging at 7:45min/mile, coasting to my beats...

Once up in the small wooded climb just across from Kingston I can see Sally with her pacer Matt Dunn just at the gate. 

Still looking strong but taking walking breaks now. I say hi when I approach then quicken my pace down the steep hill to Housedean Farm for the next checkpoint.



MILE 76
RANK 3 
At about ten minutes behind from Peter, creeping up into 3rd position now, although at this time I am unawares of this...

The crew here refill my pack and I take some jelly babies for my sugar kick, some salted pecans and nibble on cheese and tomatoes. 

Sally has already been in and out by this time so I power walk out and over the bridge, whilst texting Sunday and John that I am on my way.



Poppies in bloom


Enjoying the cool and sunny evening out to Castle Hill and to the Yellow brick road. I can only jog and power walk most these climbs and just keep Sally in sight. 

Once passing all the cows and the view across to Lewes and Firle, the end is almost in sight. I look to be on target for a pb today and I can feel a lump in my throat...

Pushing the thought away I crack on and pass Sally and Matt then charge down the yellow brick road, really enjoying the downhill flat...

It is really refreshing to know that I am reaching Southease hours before this time last year! 

I follow the road over the River Ouse and then take the steps across the station. Marshals are here to cheer me along. 

I can already here clapping and 'go Luke' from ahead.




MILE 80
Southease
9:58min/mile
RANK 3
Arriving into Southease, pleased in more daylight than last time and greeted by my crew, Sunday, Mum and Dad. Lots of other supporters are hear cheering and waiting for loved ones.

I drink some coffee with cream that Sunday has flasked, few bites of cheese and some olives again (they really do the job especially black olives as contain more natural salts). 

The team here refill my carry bottle and I add a splash of coke for taste, then half a Nuun tablet. 

The bottle is driving me nuts now it is dripping from the screw cap, leaking into my mesh pocket...


Bo Peep with Nick Jones


I am aware of the time and apologise I cannot stay longer to chat, I hug Sunday and Mum, Dad then tell them look out for me up there, pointing to the hill top behind us...

Mum is dumbfounded that the route goes up and over in that direction! bless her...


I power walk and can see Sally arriving just as I approach the bridge. I chew on a jelly baby and drink some water down before the very steep climb. 

I can slowly jog about 13:00min/mile comfortably most of the way and save time by doing this. 

Soon enough I enjoy the grass even out and can see just over the top to the aerial masts ahead. I raise my arms and enjoy the strong breeze once I reach the top!


                                        ----------------------------------------


The miles start to tick on by nicely and I keep to a comfortable steady pace just under 10min/mile. 

A few supporters are up here clapping and taking photos as I pass them. The sky is starting to turn to dusk quickly and the dark clouds are sweeping in over the hills. 

It has got much cooler and the air feels damp again. 


I can see Nick again at Firle, just like he said, he runs along side me for a mile or so, which is nice company as I have no pacer today. 

This was my preferred choice, as I am attempting the Thames Ring soon,  which under the rules, specifies, no pacers allowed...

John text: 'S-Cap S-Cap alert' 


I thank Nick again for all his support and company. He makes it out one last time at Bo Peep and runs much further with me this time before heading back.

He fills me in with the details of Shawn and how he is doing. He is suffering some now and with some sickness but is still plodding on. 

I find out that Jess didn't continue after Washington as was suffering with hydration troubles. Such a shame but a learning experience I would imagine for next time. 

Darren too didn't carry on after Clayton, which I was surprised to hear. He has had a remarkable come back from injury the past year and I wish him all the success to continue injury free from now...



Sunset over Firle Beacon


After Nick has left I keep my head down then enjoy another downhill stretch. The light is fading fast so I turn on my head torch and my rear green led light to be seen.


Just after the dirt track and reaching the houses that lead into Alfriston village, I change my cap to my beanie hat and put on my arm sleeves I had packed on me. The breeze is feeling cooler and damp now.



MILE 91
RANK 3
Through the high street then down the alley to the village hall at Alfriston just at dark. The team here are great, they make me a strong coffee that I use to put into my other carry bottle, I eat some tomatoes and nuts then refill the Nuun bottle again. 

This should see me to the finish as less than 10 miles to go...



They ask how my legs are doing, they are all very impressed I still look so fresh this late into the race. I smile and thank them for their kindness. 

Although my legs are screaming to stop and yes, are suffering from dull fatigue, I am very pumped and buzzed to get to the finish whilst strong and on my target. 

The leader left five minutes ago, so that is my alarm bell to get moving...



Heading to Jevington after dark


I thank everyone and head back out the alley and across the bridge, through the field and then up the steep climb,  shaded by trees. 

It is just a dark black hole like I remember and very rugged and technical on the feet. I find it hard to keep a smooth consistent climbing pace so just navigate my way around all the stones and tree ruts. 

I allow my light to guide me up higher and then out across the road and to the next climb. This part is a very long,  gradual ascent, that is very open. 

The breeze is picking up and the clouds are rolling across the valley in huge clusters. 

It looks fantastic but very spooky. 


I sip on olive oil and again a text reminder by John to say: 'Not far now, you know the score push hard to the finish now. Eat drink s-caps ;-)'

I reply quickly: '95 text the finish'


After the long stretch over towards Jevington and then cutting down to Friston forest, the track is steep and rutted all the way to the road by the church. 
I Cut through and then see Gary just at the gate who checks I know the way.

Up the steps and into the last and final check point!





MILE 96
Jevington
10:07min/mile
RANK 2
The runner that was leading, Stellan Fries, has gone off the route and been lost. The team here actually asked if it was me that got lost... 

I laugh at them as I have that reputation, yet I am quite familiar to my home turf on these downs and already know this section to the finish from last year. 

I have quick cup of water and some chocolate, few nuts and feel good to keep moving. The last steep climb up to the trig point is next and then the downhill stretch to the finish...

I thank the team and for their time and head on back up the lane and then the next footpath turning for the steep rocky climb up.


                                         -------------------------------------------------


This is it and the last and steep climb up to the top before heading into Eastbourne. 

All these thoughts of the day are running through my head, how far I have come, how well I am doing and how fantastic all the support and help has been. 

I feel fatigued but high on my achievement and endorphins. 


I trot up where I can and power walk the most part. It feel like forever and it does take a fair while. The climb is a good 1.5 mile to the top. 

Over the mound and onto the grass I can see a red tent at the trig point. It is dark inside and looks like nobody is home...

I follow the orange paint marked on the floor and remember the arrow is cutting across left to the gap in the trees. I head on down and careful to watch my step through the gorge. 

It is just as narrow and dangerous as I remember from last time, big pot holes, tree ruts, stones, rock, mud and everything. Impossible to race down hard...

It soon ends and then down the track around the houses to meet the road. I take some jelly babies to chew the sugar out in the hope it can lift me for the final few miles...

I feel so ready to finish and my quads are screaming to stop running!

Crossing the road and following the arrow markers past the Hospital and then to the cut through pathway to the sports track.




THE FINISH
Along the winding cycle track dotted with lampposts, which is the last and final stretch until reaching the sports track.

The flood lights are in view and I try with all my strength to get to them as quick as my legs will carry me...



Nobody sees or hears me approaching and I surprise everyone when I meet the track. I try to lift me pace for the last and final lap until the end. 

I don't know how quick I am running, but it feels forever at each corner. 

Everything seems to go slow mo...

The finishing team are screaming at me and I can see some of the crew running along to come meet me. 

Sunday shouts out 'oh my god' in amazment and Andy Nuttall is now running along side me trying hard to keep up the pace...

This is it I made it. I check my watch and see I smashed my sub 18 hour target by hours...



The sprint finish


I can't believe it.... I am in a bubble what has just happened...



What the...


Slightly dazed and confused after the sprint finish. I see the winner Peter collecting his trophy, so I can't of been far behind him. Dad says 'well the prize money will pay for your car service'. I just reply 'erm...what prize money?'


James explains that the leader got lost just before Jevington, so that got me up in second position. I never knew this, I thought I was running in 3/4 place the whole last leg!

I am well chuffed and to then realise I was only two minutes behind Peter! If aware, now I could of done something about that earlier...



The Finish with James Elson


Then to reach in such a personal best time from last year and the goal of a sub 18hour was reached. 

I couldn't be more pleased!



Proud Moments


I finished in 2nd position in a time of 16:52:33. A huge personal best and my fastest 100 mile trail race so far! I am feeling so happy.

I thank everyone and then congratulate Peter for his win.



Sub 17hour finish



The Buckle


The Crew


It is great to see everyone here and catch up what just happened, Stuart takes our finishing pictures and Joe Delaney hands me a spot prize for the fastest ginger head runner to complete today! 

A long sleeve top with the words: 
Run, Run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me I am the ginger headed man!


Joe is a true ginger but now sporting racing grey hair so figured he needs to let go of this top. This cracks me up, we all love it!


Earn the spot prize from Joe Delaney


One proud ginger head 


We watch Graham in third place come in, then later come out to see Sally finishing strong in a time of 17:28.


Graham O'Loughlin in 3rd Place


Sally Ford 1st Lady






I freshen up, change from my damp clothes then have some bacon with a strong coffee, with a double vodka added! one I packed earlier and very much earned...

It is good to catch up with Andy at the finish and ask about his brilliant GUCR race he completed recently. I ask for a few tips for the Thames Ring I have in just ten days time. I really hope my body has recovered some for it, but then it is such a long distance I shall be starting out much slower than what I have just achieved.




Just some climbing




Good see I only had 30min stopping time



Nick did his duties getting Shawn to the finish


It is good to hear Shawn reached the next day and completed his first South Downs Way 100. Nick did fantastic to get him in safely and like he said he would.


5th Centurion Buckle



Ultra Luke                  










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Please add your comments here. I would like to encourage discussion on running, training and nutrition. Luke