27-1-18 Peddar’s Way Ultra
Peddars Way 48 mile Ultra Marathon follows a mostly cross country route from Knettishall Heath near Thetford to Holme near Hunstanton. The route is very picturesque and undulating and quite open in places to the elements. I had run this in 2016 being my 2nd Ultra and really enjoyed it so because of my 100 miler in March and running round Norfolk thought this a good training run as Kevin and Positive Steps put on such a good event.
We started at 8am after a quick briefing with 2 thirds of the field having run this event before so knew what to expect. At mile 3 there was water up to my mid shin on and off for 100 metres and ultra runners being what they are just got on with it, apart from one chap who took his shoes and socks off and then put them back on again! Weather was good for the 1st 13 miles and even took my jacket off at 6 miles I got so hot. Got some fluid into bottles at the 13 mile stop but didn't stop as just wanted to get going. Grab and go is how I like to go.
The next 13 miles seemed to go quite quickly with only a couple of 1 minute walks and a toilet stop. A brisk walk for 1 minute up the hill into Castle Acre and the check point. Had my arm tag removed to check in and ran off with the volunteers asking "Are you not stopping?" No I'm going to get going. I was on a roll but forgot to refuel in my haste to get going. Stopped at the shop for fluid. I had been picking off people from about 25 miles and it had been drizzling but after leaving the check point it chucked it down so got went on. Walked quickly to get my sandwich in me, you would have been pleased with me Lisa for my power walking technique which has been improving. Conditions were not good for the next 5 miles or so but I felt good after the food so again went past more people.
The next few miles were a lot of cross country sometimes trying to get through or past fallen trees. still felt really good and to be honest the further I went the better I felt. A couple of short walks for snacks and recovery on hills and the miles passed by. On reaching the 35 mile mark and filling up bottles with fluid I still felt really good and had been pretty much up my own. I know the route quite well as this was my 3rd time running on it so being on my own I felt confident with myself and navi skills. Bobbie and Chris from BBDRC were here and surprised I didn't want to stop but explained I as on a roll and wanted to keep going.
This was short lived. The next 5 miles were a quagmire and I couldn't get a purchase on the mud. Tried to run on the edge, in the middle but very frustrating as was not going as fast as I was able to. It was like ice, slipping and sliding and my ham strings this morning can feel the twisting and turning over a long period. However the positive thing is you don't think about the 35 + miles you've run, you think about the small amount of miles you have left. I came to life. My running was still strong and with 7 miles to go I felt confident and knew I was on for reasonable time. Still on my own but didn't put headlamp on until 445pm. Saw a group of 4 men ahead so ran on to catch them. Went past in good spirits so was running well and gave me a buzz. Not far to go now. Pitch black now and ran through Ringstead village and then back on the track to get to Holme. Was going well until I reached another tree that had blown down. Attempted to go through but finally got round with my arms being scraped to bits. Not far to go now and my pace was strong. Had gone past a couple more people through Ringstead knew there was only a couple of miles to go. My watch had died about 43 miles so just though run, run. Runners have to run through Holme, head to the beach, tear off a page from a book as evidence of reaching that point and then run half a mile back to the finish. I had a chap 2 minute behind me and didn't want him to catch me so ran as fast a I could. I ran into the village hall in a PB of 953 knocking nearly 20 minutes off my previous time in hard conditions apart from the tail wind in the afternoon. There were 110 finishers and I came 62nd and 11th female. Was aiming for top 10 so pleased with my efforts not only physically but more importantly mentally as that is what is going to get me round the Viking 100 mile in 6 weeks time. Bring it on. Congratulations go to Paul Greensides a former member of the club who smashed his PB coming in 14th place with a time of 7 52. Amazing.
Thankyou to Paul for his support and Tony and Teresa for waiting for me as Paul finished so quickly.
Report by Karen Peck.