Why did I do this run?
I was looking for a 50-plus mile ultra to do this year and really wanted to do the Race to the Stones, having loved the Race to the Tower in 2017, but it clashed with a family holiday so didn’t work. The Jurassic Coast Ultra looked perfect, and here’s why.
Firstly, it’s not too far away, so I could get down there for the early start. I’ve run the Lulworth Cove – Osmington section before, so I know the hills. Steep steep hills, and I love hills. I fancied a coastal run and would do one unassisted, but at this length it’s not easy to carry everything you need. The support on the run was superb, and the way finding solid, although it’s not easy to get lost – keep the sea on your left! I later realised that it’s running into the prevailing wind. On our day it was gusting 70 miles per hour. It would slam in and stop us dead in our tracks, or blow us off the path – it was impossible to get a good rhythm and felt like running uphill for the first 30 miles, but everyone’s in this together!
So what did I get out of it? In terms of distance and elevation, it’s about as tough as I’m ready for right now for a single day run. I’d say about 20km too long – but that’s the challenge isn’t it! I actually left after sunrise and came in just as the sun was going down. Running along Chesil Beach into the sunset was pretty special and took the edge off the failing legs.
Mostly, my brief to Kerry was this – I wanted to do a 60 mile ultra and finish it wanting to run on. I don’t want to hate it. I want to love it. And I want to run the next day.
And she got it completely.
Kerry trained me to perfection for this run, factoring in my time and what I enjoy most. I followed the plan pretty religiously, and it all came together for me on the day – fitness, strength, mental state, diet, sleep – it all has to be nailed down. The week before, I got a bad cough which kept me up at night, and I felt lethargic and lost sleep. It didn’t seem to matter on the day, and the morning after the run, i went for a lovely jog with Gail, had a big breakfast and felt pretty good! The cough went, and I felt fitter, stronger and more balanced than ever. It took me a few weeks to recover from Race to the Tower but this was different. I wasn’t just fine 2 days later – I was better than ever! Now I need to keep it up.