Race To The Stones

Hello everyone and I hope that you’ve all had a good week.  This has been my second week on my marathon training plan and I have run 21 miles in total.  I did three treadmill sessions, under the air-conditioning, and two outside sessions.  The first outside was 3.8 miles on Monday which was a good run at a steady pace and the second was this morning, 5.9 miles.  Hot and a bit tough but I made it round and I’ve crossed off my second week with all sessions completed.  That’s my week, I’m happy I completed it but not very interesting so I thought I’d write about what David’s been up to.

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Route of Race to the Stones

Last year we did the Cotswolds Challenge, walking 100km from Bath to Cheltenham over two days, camping over night.  Although we took the two-day option of walking, many others were running it in one go.  Since then David has wanted to do an Ultra marathon, which technically is anything over a marathon distance.  He had signed up to do the Green Man in March which is a 45 mile loop of the Community Path around Bristol, starting and finishing at the Green Man statue in Ashton Court.  Unfortunately this was cancelled due to the bad whether, though it will take place for those who still want to do it in September.  So he signed up for the Race to the Stones.  100km along the Ridegway (the oldest recognised path in the UK) from Lewknor in Oxfordshire to the neolithic stone circle at Avebury.

His training the last couple of months had not been ideal as he kept getting niggles that needed managing.  Big races he has signed up to before have had to be missed due to injury and he was determined that this wasn’t going to happen this time,  He has spent quite a bit of time running with me.  This has been nice for me to have someone to run with and has also helped David to slow down his pace, this was one race he was not going to be able to wing. He kept his training up as much as possible, whilst managing his niggles and did his last long run two weeks ago, Portishead to Bath (52km) running a total of 100km that week.thumbnail-9

This week he’s done very little, then Friday we went off to stay the night in Stokenchurch.  Up at 6am for a bit of porridge and then off to the startline.  There were different waves of start between 7.30am and 9.00am.  David started at 8am.  We didn’t have to wait very long, parked up, bought a t-shirt, visit to the portaloos and it was time to go.  An abolsutely beautiful morning, a hawk circling on the thermals above the corn field, and much too warm already to be running 100km. There were pitstops on the course every 10km or so for the runners, but because of the nature of the route it made it difficult for supports to get to many of these.  I had arranged to meet David at the halfway pitstop, near Wantage,  where supporters were able to gather.

thumbnail-5I spent a lovely 2 hours lying in a field in the sun listening to music and flicking through a magazine.  Not sure David was enjoying his time quite so much.  He came into the pitstop at approximately 2pm, 6 hours to cover the first 50km and he looked surprisingly good given the heat.  He said the heat was making it tough and he walked some, but all in all everything was holding together OK.  The second 50km however would be slower.  After a reapplication of sunscreen, topping up the water bottles, and some snacks he set off again and I’d see him at the finish.

After a brief stop back home to pick up two of the daughters we headed off to the finish line.  It was a lovely atmosphere as the sun was starting to go down, lots of families there to support their loved ones coming in and cheering and clapping as each runner came home.  David came into view and I was able to get in front of the finish to take a great picture of him crossing the line, and they let me put the medal round his neck.  His final finish time was 13 hours 5 minutes, coming in 94th out of 892 100km non-stoppers.thumbnail-8

Well done David, that was an amazing achievement.  You have worked very hard to make it to that finish line and we are all very proud of you.

I hope everyone else has an amazing week and get to achieve at least some of your goals.

Heather

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