My race report:
We had to get to Hunters Inn in Parracoombe for the start. My first thought was that there was a lot of mountains!!! Everyone looked really hardcore and I felt terrified. I started at the back with all the dogs and the first 3 miles was all climbing. At 6 miles I honestly thought I'd never make it as I was already tired. I met the lovely davemars at the start which gave me a huge boost.
My family waved at mile 6 and my son was really encouraging so that spurred me on. In all honesty I was already pretty tired at that point as it's so hardcore!!
I then met a lady called Kerry who I'm sure was my guardian angel. We ran the rest together. She had run 61 marathons including the Marathon Des Sables. She talked a lot but it kept me going. We walked up the hills and ran down. The first water stop was at 6.8 miles. Not loads of food but was nice to see a checkpoint. We were told the next one wasn't for 10 miles ( gulp). I ran out of water at about 13 miles. Thank god for Kerry she shared her water and told me about running in the desert and how regular water is so important. At 15 miles I suddenly felt really sick and dizzy and I was so hot in the blazing sun. Kerry made me eat and gave me water. At that point I would have given up. Then the checkpoint came and my family were there. I filled up my bottles and my daughter gave me 3 rhubarb and custards!! They saved me, I kept one in my mouth as I powered up all the hills. It was really really hard. We then eventually got to the final checkpoint at 23.5 miles. It was a welcome sight and by now my bad ankle was screaming and my entire body was drained. We kept running and finally saw the flags of the finish..... really emotional, I think we were v close to last and we ran through the finish. It was an incredible experience and has made me appreciate how tough the trail and climbing hills is. I know all my training in the woods helped me no end. I could feel all of you spurring me on and I'm so grateful.... my final time was 7.59 so just under 8 hours. I can safely say that was my longest endurance run but I know I can now ✔
I'm thirsty for more now although I still can't actually walk properly... hummm