South Downs Way 50: pre-race ramblings

It’s 1920hrs and I have just started writing. What’s the relevance of this statement? Well, it is still very light and will remain this way for the next hour or more. Why then must I carry a spare headtorch or light source as per the mandatory requirements for SDW50?! The mandatory kit list does seem a little on the heavy side considering the race is over well marked and pretty well trodden trails!

Aside from this I am feeling pretty prepared and upbeat about the endeavour. The pain will come at some point, probably earlier than I’m used to given the elevation gain over the 50 miles but it’s something I’m mentally prepared for. I’ve heard cows might be rather prevalent on the course which does give me some butterflies as I’m not a fan of the bovine species at all – I intend to face them head on, waving my arms and shouting confidently as apparently this will likely disperse them from my path without slowing me down or making me a stampede target!

Something I’ve realised over the past couple of days of my taper is that lots of ‘upness’ also means lots of ‘down-ness’ and I’m really hoping to make some good speed and time on the down – I’m also hoping my quads don’t explode from following this tactic!

I’ll be travelling down to Worthing, and the start line, tomorrow afternoon with my ultra-comrade and running pirate – Trev. He’s not feeling too great at the moment and is battling a cold and some sore hips so I’m not sure how the race will pan out for us an ultra team?! We have a race plan and strategy which I’m feeling fairly confident about given my state of preparedness and desire to gather the last of the points I need to get into the lottery for CCC 2016. At the moment though, I’m not entirely sure that Trev is in the right space and I really hope that by Saturday morning we are in a decent enough state to run the majority, if not all, of the course together as per the race plan! As for support on the course and at the aid stations – there will be nobody specific waiting for either of us this time around and I want to be in and out of every aid station in 3 or 4 minutes, less if possible!

I’ve promised myself a pair of Hoka road shoes if I can finish inside my goal race position (I’m not telling you what it is, that will be revealed in my race report). That, alongside the 2 UTMB points that are on offer will be enough to spur me to the finish line in the fastest time I can muster! This is my third ultra now so I don’t feel like so much of a novice as I did before the previous two – I’m taking a lot of miles and a lot of learning into this one and it is going to serve as good preparation and training for my A-Race this year which is a 70 miler on July 31st. With that dear reader, I am away to continue sorting out my race vest and post-race kitbag…and to make the final decision between Salomon Sense Ultra or New Balance Leadville MT1210 for the race?!

Peace Out x

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