What the world doesn’t need is yet another race blog about how some mid pack runner felt at various points of a race, what they ate or didn’t eat, and what kit they used or didn’t use.
Instead, I’m going to list down the 10 things that I learned during the race. It might be useful, or it might not.
1) In hot weather take a hat…. it was around 20c the day that I did it. Makes running in the bright sunshine all but impossible. I reckon one of those caps with a flap of fabric over the neck would be a perfect option.
2) 1 litre water bladder didn’t quite work for me… on some sections I drank very little – but didn’t notice… and other bits I ran out – not realising I was close to running out. So, 2litres probably best for hot days.
3) Savoury not sweet – I really craved savoury food. I guess it is because I was sweating so much. I really didn’t fancy gels. I used 3 during the whole race (2 salted caramel, and one Espresso love)
4) Checkpoint discipline worked for me – I didn’t mess around…. in and out on most of them, other than the last stop before the end…. I was grateful to the lady there for walking me out and getting me on my way.
5) Having a friend meet up on the way is great – I randomly bumped into a running mate of mine in his car – he walked with me for a little bit and kept me moving… after that walking break I was able to get into a bit of a trot.
6) Harvey maps are amazing – especially for point to point trails. No superfluous bits of map… just the bit you need.
7) Carry electrolyte tablets… I remembered that I had packed a couple in my waist pack – but only after I had run 35 miles and desperate for one.
8) Don’t start off too quick…. I was doing 9ish and 10ish min miles for the first 12-13 miles…. I suffered for that later on…. badly.
9) Garmin 305 does not last the full course…. BUT my garmin etrex does…. so I was able to still get my full stats at the end. Yay! The 305 was useful though for monitoring my pace – important for the cut offs (I was comfortably ahead of every one of those though).
10) Mudpluggers are not always necessary for off road – I could have got away with something a bit less aggressive… which would have been nicer on my feet after 40 miles.
Hope that’s helpful… it’s worked for me anyway! Next up SDW100 in 4 weeks time!
What’s your next race? What did you learn from your last one? Have you ever done NDW50 or SDW100?