We are now T minus 3 weeks away from The Chester Ultra and last friday was my last and longest long run……50k or 31 miles in old money.
I had it planned for early morning Sat and watching the weather during the week i did not like what i was seeing, ice,sleet and or heavy rain all day!
Luckily my Boss was a runner in his youth and decided (after explaining my plan and the bribery of a latte) that i could clock off on friday lunchtime.
Friday was almost perfect weather wise, the sun was out but not to hot,a slight breeze and DRY.
I had already planned my route several times during the week,and decided on running a large section of the Rochdale canal as on race day the final 10k is all canal.
Kit packed (I decided to fully test race day kit shoes,clothes,race pack and nutrition) i managed to get out of my front door at 2pm.
The first ten miles passed nice and easy on my local trails,i know these like the back of my hand but always enjoy a run along the old train lines.
Beautiful at any time of year!
Mile ten was the start of the Rochdale canal in manchester and conveniently there was an off licence to grab some bottles of water,I did get a few looks as i emptied a bag of white powder into my softflask! (it was Tailwind btw).
The Rochdale Canal is pretty much like any other,long and flat and not really that awe inspiring.Thinking ahead i had packed headphones and settled into an episode of the Joe Rogan podcast. Joe isn’t just an MMA meathead and has a real eclectic mix of guests each week.
One thing i had forgotten and which is on the mandatory kit list is a head torch and it was going to be touch and go if i would be off the canal before the night set in,i needed to be as i’m not the best swimmer!
Final half mile on the canal and i stumbled across a mini Las Vegas!
The end of the canal saw me hit mile 20 and i still felt pretty relaxed.All that stood between me and a well earned beer was ten miles through the streets of Rochdale and Heywood. It had now hit 5.30pm and i got more than a few strange looks from the local drunks and commuters as they witnessed a strange bearded man with a backpack on running through the streets stuffing his face with Babybel cheese.
Marathon distance came and went,no medal ,no tee and no crowd to cheer me over the line,only a near death experience as an Audi driver decided stopping at lights is optional!
With only a couple of miles to go and at this point i had been running for 4h20 on my own, my wife decided to meet me and run the remainder back home.If only she had joined me for the first 29 rather than trying to steal the glory at the finish 😉
Job done 31 miles/50 k in a time of 4h41 Avg of 9 min/miles i know feel fairly comfortable that i can grind another 20 miles out come race day.
My feet felt a little bruised due to the all the canal and road and on reflection i may not wear my INOV8 race ultra 290’s on race day and instead opt for a road shoe.
Ultimate direction PB race vest 3.0 (simply the best piece of kit i own).
merino base layer
New balance tee
Pete bland all terrain socks
Inov8 race ultra 290’s
Garmin fenix 3
Tailwind (2 sticks)
SiS Gels (3 isotonic tropical flavour)
Babybel x 2.