It is hard to know what to say about this. I ran with friends over 4 days. Covering 177 miles and 7,700ft of ascent in just over 46 hours. We started at Dartford station, and ran to Hythe. We stopped in Chatham at the end of day 1, then on to Sittingbourne for day 2, then Ramsgate on the penultimate evening. It was tough – but sleeping overnight helped a lot. I woke to almost entirely fresh legs each morning. I didn’t feel I had done an ultra on them the previous day. That all changed on the final morning. My legs hurt – and for the last 20 miles I struggled, on and off with what felt like shin splints in my right lower leg. I took ibuprofen, and sprayed it with magic spray. It helped. A bit. I even managed a 7 minute mile sprint at the end!
You’ll be interested in the kit that I used…. I will blog more extensively about the whole challenge once I have my thoughts in order 🙂
Shoes – More mile Cheviot 2 fell running shoes (around £30). http://moremile.co.uk/mens/footwear-1/more-mile-cheviot-2-mens-trail-running-shoes-mm1506.html These are tried and tested extensively by me on a number of ultras. Overkill for the conditions during the Kent Coast Challenge but I wore them because I find them incredibly comfortable. We ran on mixed terrain and I didn’t need to call on their amazing grip at any point. On Day 3 I wore some very cheap shoes from Decathlon (£7.99!) – they are called Kalenji Ekiden 50. They were great. Gave me a different feel for the long promenades and hard off road terrain from Sittingbourne to Ramsgate. They were box fresh. I didn’t suffer any hot spots or blisters with them.
Jacket – More Mile Wind jacket http://moremile.co.uk/mens/more-mile-wind-mens-running-jacket-mm2130.html It is very lightweight and easy to stow. Also cheap. I paid £12.49.
Nutrition – I mostly relied on GU Energy Gels and Asda Smartprice Midget gems between stops.I went through around 20 espresso love – plus a couple of strawberry and banana, a couple of tuna sandwiches, one cheese sandwich, half a terry’s chocolate orange, a battenburg Mr Kipling’s Cake, two pieces of malt loaf, three packets of salt and vinegar walkers crisps, a couple of handfuls of sour cream and chive crisps, a few cups of coffee, one and half bag of asda smart price midget gems during the running – plus to fuel up at night – (the night before I started I had meatballs and pasta (with a glass of red wine). The end of the first day I had about a baguette and a half of garlic bread and a bowl of veggie pasta, and some sausages, and a quarter of cheesecake, and two pints of bitter shandy. The second night I had chilli con carne with rice and tortilla chips with a budweiser, glass of red wine, and a glass of prosecco. On the third night I ate a plate of fish and chips, and had two pints of bitter shandy. When it was all over I finished with fish and chips at the end to celebrate. Oh, and a beer, and some champagne (when I got home). Think that was about it. Since I finished I have had three sausages on two bread rolls, a posh fishcake from M&S plus some chips, a half bottle of red wine, several cups of tea, and three quarters of a packet of asda smart price tortilla chips.
Running tops – from Maidstone Harriers – kindly donated by the club.
Compression tights – from Kalenji – £9.99 each. Yes – you can spend more… but why do you need to?
Compression socks – from More Mile – £5 each – http://moremile.co.uk/mens/accessories/more-mile-r2r-compression-cushioned-socks-mm1838.html
Arm sleeves – these were great. I got them from Decathlon. They allowed me to wear t-shirts and to keep my arms warm when it was a little cooler during parts of the day.
Buff – £2.99 from More Mile to keep my head warm – plus one from Enduralife when I did one of their races. http://moremile.co.uk/mens/accessories/headwear-gloves/more-mile-andes-multiway-neck-warmer-mm2019.html
Shorts – from More Mile – £10 – sometimes these come in a pack of two at a reduced price. http://moremile.co.uk/mens/more-mile-5-baggy-run-short-mm2145.html
Backpack – A Kalenji Ultra trail bag 12 litres – (usually £20 ish) with 2 litre bladder http://www.decathlon.co.uk/ultra-trail-bag-id_8216075.html
Bumbag – £12.99 from Trespass – but I paid £5 in a sale. http://www.trespass.com/dax-01261 Lots of pockets to store gels, mobile phone etc.
Headtorch – LED Lenser H7.2 – http://www.ledlenser.com/uk/headlamps/h72/ This was great for the days when we finished in the dark.
Navigation – Garmin Etrex 20 – £135 – This was invaluable for keeping us on track. Literally. http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/garmin-etrex-20-gps-topo-uk-and-ireland-light-a2110187
GPS Watch – I got this secondhand for £50 https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/discontinued/forerunner-305/prod349.html
Portable battery charger – these can be had for around £12. Invaluable for giving GPS watch a quick charge while on a long run – I got mine from Amazon http://www.ianker.com/External-Batteries/category-c1-s1
GPS Tracking – Apple Iphone 3G – solely for GPS tracking using http://www.racedrone.net The mobile phone pings a location to the website and allows people to see our progress, speed, location.
Gloves – £1.99 from Decathlon – http://www.decathlon.co.uk/seamless-gloves-id_8281758.html Why spend more!?