Caught by the Grim Sweeper – Dusk Til Dawn 50 Ultra

I got my first DNF at the weekend. I was running the Dusk Til Dawn 50 mile ultra. Met some great folks. We were chased the whole way by the Grim Sweeper. He was moving at 3.55mph and picked up and dispatched anyone in his path. Also enjoyed running with Mary- a runner who entered as part of a magazine competition. She was brilliant and helped me out walking with me when I bust my ankle.

The weather was absolutely horrific. It was the start of the storms in England and it was mighty wet, windy and cold up in the peak district. I managed to get to 18 miles before injuring my ankle And my pride. But finding that a further 26 starters didn’t finish out f a field of 96 meant I was in good company.

What did I learn?

1) get used to running with a pack.
2) it gets mighty cold at night
3) running in the dark is tough especially if its new route
4) a good head torch is an absolute must.
5) Hill training is vital
6) going down is as hard as going up
7) my external battery pack plugged into Garmin 305 worked well
8) rice krispie squares are high calorie / low weight
9) ultra runners are the best
10) the right kit is absolutely important

I will definitely be back for another try next year. I will get some more hill training in my schedule and give it another crack. Hopefully I won’t injure myself next year. The race itself was so well organised and I’m really grateful to the chap who came out to pick me up once I injured myself. And to Mary for motivating me along and for helping me out when I screwed my ankle.

So. I’m all strapped up. I’ve tested my ankle on a gentle run. I’m pleased with my inov8s but need to look into lighter shoes. All in all a useful learning experience.

Coming up – Ashford (5k) and Gatliff Marathon (33 miles)

Til next time.

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