Hi all,

I have my first all trail marathon Saturday in Exmoor and I am really really really nervous. There is over 5000 feet of hill climbing. Any advice on my nerve categories is most welcome:


1. Crowds of people running are suffocating

2. What if my legs give up on the hills

3. What if I am last

4. I might fall off the cliff and drown

5. mile 15 comes along and I am already exhausted, how to continue

6. They may laugh at me as probably all proper hardcore types

Pic is the hill profile :(



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  • Oh wow Ju-Ju! I'll be thinking if you.....ok,

    1. Panthers are good at being in crowds, they are calm and sleek, move silently and steady- they use crowds for cover....

    2. Panthers have very strong legs, once in a good steady rhythm can run for miles......πŸ˜„

    3. Panthers are never last, and even if they are, are the best looking participants and worth waiting for....πŸ˜‰

    4. Panthers have super strong legs - see 2 above, plus have amazingly grippy feet (shoes) that are soft and padded to help them move silently. They also take time to admire the view.

    5. Panthers can run for miles, they are steady and strong, they do get tired, but have determination to continue, they know how to keep fed and hydrated on their way.

    6. Panthers are never laughed at, THEY are hardcore, the good thing about panthers is they are quiet and stealthy, they make no big show of their amazing strength and stamina - the difference is EVERYONE wants to be a panther!

    You are amazing Ju-Ju, you are the panther......don't you forget it πŸ€—

    Good luck lovely lady


  • I am so so touched, this is perfect and I want to print it off and take it with me- in fact I think I will!!!! :)

  • Ha ha, bless you! One thing I forgot.......panthers can swim.....😊......if they have to.....😬

    You can do this Ju-Ju, and you will


  • Madge, I could not have said it better. Julia - you know those ^^^words^^^ are true.

  • Next time I am nervous about something, anything, I'll turn to you for encouragement, Madge!

  • None of these matter except for 4 which would indeed be an awful pity and thus sufficiently bad for the reputation of the event that I imagine the organisers will have gone to some effort to ensure doesn't happen.

    Can you thinking back to the feeling you had when you decided to enter and hang onto that for dear life?

    You're a panther, whatever happens you'll style it out.

  • Thankyou so much.... lovely words :)

  • hi , I'm running the same race. Well, I say running , probably quite a lot of walking on this one.

    I am a bit nervous, also excited as everybody I have spoken to about the race raves about how beautiful the scenery on the course is.

    don't care how long it takes, just want to finish.

  • Oh wow.... what time are you aiming for, have you done similar? Any learning you could share????

  • not aiming for a time but past experience around 6-7 hours.

    I have done 3 endurancelife marathons, Dorset x1 , South Devon x2

    main thing with these is to be self supporting, need to carry own food for the whole race as its only water at the check points . Sometimes a banana or a few jelly beans.

    take food you are comfortable eating when running , gels etc whatever works for you.

    it is possible our group will be running in fancy dress, so if you see a Mexican, Elvis ans cat woman then that is us!

  • wow that sounds really good, I will certainly look out for you, and thankyou for the tips!!!

  • yes come and say hello.

  • I will look out for you guys :)

  • also I wouldn't consider myself particularly experienced with this race, however my companions are, they have run this one many times. If you have any questions on the day then they will certainly be able to help.

  • Thankyou so much..... what is your strategy for the hills out of interest?

  • Run the gentle ones, walk the big ones.

    Gets to the stage when walking is faster than running.

  • I thought this was coming up soon ju-ju. Lots of luck and of course we will all be thinking of you as you panther up and down your trails! In response to your worries....

    1. Think ju-ju's bubble - you can handle the crowds and they will soon thin out.

    2. You are strong and if you need to walk, I suspect many will.

    3. Well, you won't be!!

    4. You might not.

    5. Remember this (my favourite) quote from "Running like a Girl" (Alexander Heminsley): "It turns out that to survive you just have to keep going".

    6. They will not laugh at you because you are the SAME as them, Mrs Hardcore - just believe in yourselfπŸ™‚

    Really, you will be awesome ju-ju, you have trained so hard for this and I hope it goes brilliantly and that you enjoy it. Can't wait to read your race report.πŸ™‚x

  • Thankyou so much, all of you are giving me such a boost that I really need :)

  • There won't be the numbers of people that there were at Brighton or Paris, so they will thin out reasonably quickly. You may, however, find you get stuck in queues where the path is narrow, best to just relax and use that as an excuse for a breather!

    Somebody has to be last, but they probably won't be you.

    I really don't think you'll fall off a cliff, but you do need to maintain a level of concentration to avoid tripping. Some techniques I've heard of that I like - draw a black dot on your hand to glance at as a reminder to focus, or just say "I'm back!" out loud :) If you find your mind drifting too far, stop and have a short break.

    Eat and drink regularly as you go, as per your training. You and your legs will carry on just fine.

    It's highly unlikely anyone will laugh at you, there will be all sorts there, and you're all in it together - there'll be nothing but cameraderie!

    I don't know you very well, but I do know you love running trails and hills! Good luck and have fun!!!

  • Thankyou for these ideas, I will do that.... really helpful :)

  • 1. its a trail run its not like Brighton on big open roads it be a small footpath, so there will be less people alot less. But beware they may be more friendly and actually talk to you.

    2. then walk! alot of people will be walking. wont be last dont be stupid, they always have tail runners. You won't even be second to last, i bet alot of people will walk to the whole thing.

    4. this might well happen, take a parachute.

    5. then walk regroup your energy eat stuff and drink.

    6. no one will laugh at anyone, i have never seen anyone laugh at anyone's ability. what will happen is they will be lots of encouragement.

    Just go and do it! remember all the stuff you tell other people! well now we are telling you, you got nothing to worry about.

    your smash it!

  • wow wise words indeed, thankyou so much!!!

  • Aren't they a lovely lot on here! I can't add anything else, except to say we will all be rooting for you and I am in absolute awe of anyone who can run up inclines like that.

    Happy panthering to the ultimate panther!

  • Thankyou, ultimate panther eh?!!!!!! I am honoured :)

  • Going by my experience of these events (albeit the easier ones - moderate and strenuous only rather than extreme :-) ), I would say:

    1) no need to fear crowds - it's more like a largish group; last year there only about 120 people doing this marathon.

    2) you are well trained on hills - you will be fine (remember they say you may have to walk up some of the hills)

    3) You won't be last! These events always have people as untrained as me - again, have a look at last year's results!

    4) Don't be daft!

    5) You have done marathons and long runs in general - you know how to get past it!

    6) No, they're not all hardcore types!!

    So basically, you have so much experience in trail running and hill running, you will be fine. Yes, it will be tough and at some point along the way you may well ask yourself why on earth you ever agreed to do this ;-), but you will get through it and you will enjoy the bits you don't hate and be pleased you have done it when you have finished!!

  • thankyou your words are really helping me......

  • I sincerely doubt you'll be last, ju-ju! And you are definitely hardcore to have signed up for this kind of race. Just remember that you have a gang of people cheering you on in here!

  • thankyou and that does mean so much :)

  • Banish those nasty little taper terrors they have no place in your mind. You ARE a strong confident runner with the ability to ace this event.

    Your going to be fine, just remember if your feeling it a bit up hill slow down for a while get your breath back and carry on. Remember you mantra. Push the panther, punish the panther at times when you need to dig deep and smile at everyone around you so they smile back at you and help you feel part of the pack. Most importantly HAVE FUN!

  • Thankyou so much RFC lovely words :)

  • Cant really add anymore to the excellent advice already given Ju, but just want to say you will be absolutely fabulous . Youve done the training, it is definitely not above your capabilities .

    Good Luck and get those paws up, Panther ! :-) xxx

  • Thankyou so much XXXX

  • They won't laugh!! You will be great, we all have such faith - draw on it. Hope you enjoy it and feel fab afterwards.

  • Thankyou :)

  • I cant add a great deal to whats already been said... but YOU DO have the experience, training, mental strength and physical strength to complete this run...

    You are hardcore!!!! xxx :-)

  • Thankyou, wow I had better live up to that hadnt I ( no pressure!!) .... :)

  • Gosh I can only wish to be a hardcore panther like you are! No advice to offer but you have trained hard so you can do it. Use your mantra, keep calm and keep going. I wish you all the best in your panthering journey.

  • Thankyou so much :)

  • I can't say it better than Madge50 and everyone else, so I'll just say what I said to you once before - you regularly run a trail that would make grown men weep; you can so do this race. Go for it, you'll be awesome xx

  • ha ha thankyou, it is true I love trails and this is going to just be an extra big one :)

  • It will be hard but you have the tools in your box to manage it. You have trained for this day so enjoy it. There will be so much to see and be interested in that I think the race will pass quite quickly

    Walking some of it will be a given. On the hilliest bits folks will walk but will still make good time. This is a marathon, not a sprint πŸ™‚

    I think you have steely resolve and guts! Come on! πŸ’ͺπŸ˜€πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸ…πŸΎπŸ°

    I think it's natural to be nervous so don't worry. Easy for me to say, I know 🀐 We will be cheering you on and willing you up those hills.

  • Thankyou- very wise words :)

  • Wow, juju, what a hill profile. It looks daunting, but I'm sure if you just do what you always do and slow down when you need to, you'll be alright. You have done the training. You are ready. πŸ™Œ

    Will be looking out for your race report!πŸ…

    Wow again... I want to be like you when I grow up (as a runner)πŸƒβ€β™€οΈβ€οΈ

  • awwww that is so so kind, I am really touched, and thankyou :)

  • I just read the blurb. Extreme! On the Richter scale of difficulty this is it.

    Gulp 😜

    You are made of girders. Go and get it Ju πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ

  • I know, can you see why I am so nervous! But I DID choose to sign up and i did read that bit!!! so its all my own doing!!!!

  • Thank you for this post - it's helped me with my own nerves! Although I'm not a panther like you, of course. And now I wish I was doing a trail marathon too :)

  • I do too, we could have done it together... maybe in the future ?

  • I'm always up for another go at Beachy Head marathon :) Well, apart from this year cos I'm in the 10k. Actually, I'll let you in on my "secret" ultra plan, I found this one I'd love to do for my 50th birthday in 2019! :o

    It's a good idea to start planning for future ultramarathons three days before a marathon, right? :)

  • That race looks amazing!

  • I used to go hiking in the Lake District a lot when I was in my 20s, and Skiddaw was a particular favourite. But I haven't been back there in years!

    I bet I'm fitter now than I was back then :D

  • Omg, the mandatory kit list freaks me out!

  • You'll have a great day Ju-Ju, what a challenge but one to be relished! :) you CAN do this and you will! Can't find any better advice than the above , but we are all routing for our resident panther! have fun!! :)

  • You are fit!

    You are a class act!

    You will do great!

    We will be cheering you on from cyberspace and looking forward to seeing a smiley photo of you afterwards. :)

  • I wish I was doing this as well! Anyone else? I have not dipped my toe in the marathon water yet though so that could be a tad optimistic πŸ˜€

    Maybe not that particular one Ju as it's a level five. Perhaps a level 2. I didn't see a level one though πŸ˜€

    The events look awesome. The one is Sussex is mad πŸ˜€

  • You'll storm it Ju-Ju. Panthers are invincible xx

  • What fantastic advice and tips from everyone! I am in awe of you ju-ju - you will be wonderful. Enjoy the lovely views (well may be not when running near the cliffs!). My family live in Exmoor and I know the area where you will be running, it is beautiful. Once you get started I am sure the nerves will disappear, best of luck.

  • Or...none of those things will apply are ju-ju- :)

    Go for it x

  • I have loved reading all the encouraging words on here and I really have nothing to add. I am in awe - I can't imagine doing anything like this - you are a superstar!

    I will be thinking of you tomorrow as I get ready to support my son who is running the Paris marathon on Sunday. A weekend in Paris - and no running for me!

    Have a wonderful time! The scenery will be amazing, especially in the sunshine! Can't wait to read the race report.


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