My second 100 in a month.. All in a good cause.. prep for UTMB..
I’ll digress a little..
Temperature was good for a mid June race, maybe 17-19 degrees, with a little mist and drizzle to start, clearing and maybe hitting 20-21 later in the day.. Ideal really. Not overly warm, and no rain forecast..
Winchester start.. 6am
Started easily, fast, maybe a little too fast. The start of the SDW is fast, easy.. maybe that’s why I started that way.. 7mph is fast for me.. Almost 14 miles in the first two hours.. I knew that was fast, and I knew I would slow up.. I got to the 54 mile checkpoint (Washington) in 9.25 hours.. I felt ok but had been struggling with sporadic cramps in my calves and hamstrings since about mile 40.. which soon spread to pretty much everywhere.
Back, arms, quads.. Was asking myself why I did this stuff..? Then realised I wouldn’t be anywhere else, doing anything else.. But what about sipping a pina colada, on a beach in Barbados..?
I wanted the pina colada in Eastbourne.. That’s why I do this stuff.. to sip outrageous drinks from the 1980’s in totally random places.. I had a can of Lilt in my drop bag..
Back to the serious stuff…
The SDW is a flinty, chalky, dryish trail.. (unless its raining) It’s a good race for a PB.. (it’s all runnable!)
So.. Cramps continued well into the race.. I think up until maybe mile 80.. It was dark by then, really misty, and the temperature plummeted.. As it got cooler my muscles dealt with the dehydration, I felt tired but, I knew from experience that I was regaining my strength.. The last 20 were a massive improvement. At the last checkpoint I met up with Paul Bennett, who I had started the race with, and we pushed on together with Shaun Avis. to a finish at Eastbourne in 19hrs 18mins.. It was almost 1.30am..
An ideal time for a pina colada..
The SDW100, like all of the Centurion Running events, is brilliantly well marked, great organisation, with well stocked checkpoints manned by knowledgeable checkpoint staff.. Thumbs up to James Elson and Co..
As for me..
I’ll be back.. To do better!