First things first, apologies for a lack of pics, but my darling wife has the camera and i had to get posting!!
So we arrived here in the Lakes on Wednesday and what a place!! The scenery is breathtaking and the people so welcoming! After settling in and a short walk around Ambleside on Thursday morning it was off to Brathay where I met up with every one and the formalities of the event began.
Our base at Brathay again has the most amazing views, but the arty fartyness was soon to come to an end when we climbed aboard the mini bus for a trip around the course. I have run Snowdon, and this personally is worse! So Brathay, well done, this was one of those real evil jokes that you simply have to salute!
That evening was spent with the nutrition team that were to supply drinks for the 10 days and also energy bars! So lets put this into perspective. Out of the 11 running there is comfortably over 1000 marathons of experience. When offered something completely new, we were all nodding like excited labradors!! And what is rule no 1 of Marathon running? Never try anything new on race day!
This proved to be my first mistake, as after picking up my first replacement drink bottle at 10 miles,it was undrinkable!! This resulted in 10 more miles in 80 degree heat with no liquid, which in turn resulted in a nightmare! Luckily Sophs and Mum came to the rescue with Lucozade and water and I managed to kick the last 6 miles home for a time of 4 hrs 47 mins and the 4th person home.
This time may seem slow and when you break it down it certainly is not quick. But 9 more marathons to go, continuous hills around what seems like every corner, this is going to be more than respectable.
Legs feel fine and new strategy to be adopted. the run, walk the hills approach!! This is no ordinary marathon track, and if we are to get around 10 it needs respect and some serious planning!! Ray, my celtic brethren from Ireland and the legendary organiser of the Connemara Marathon; ran yesterday with a the same strategy with some amazing results, so today i decided to team up with him and Malcolm. Malcolm is from New Zealand, lives in Canada but has Scottish routes, which makes the Celtic triangle complete! And he runs with food which is highly attractive to a welshman!
At mile 12 we had already planned a few beers on day 5, should we make it. For here you have three Celts that have now gone without Alcohol for 3 entire days!
Unbelievably it was hotter today and getting hotter tomorrow, but we cruised through the run, stopped for a cup of tea at 20 miles and I still finished a minute quicker than yesterday in 4 hrs 46 minutes!! So guess what the strategy will be tomorrow and the next day and yes you guessed it for the rest of the week!
When running with guys that run solidly for 24 hrs, have done the comrades, Run over 100 miles in one go, pushed over 80 marathons in a year, you listen and learn. And i am happy to say that today I found a style of running that may be the saving of this challenge. Because its a long way, a very long way.
Tomorrow - 26.2 miles with some pics!!!