30 miles in 30 degrees... The OMM Intro Ultra

Hottest day of the year - check

30 miles planned - check

Hard climbs at the hottest parts of the day - check...

That was possibly the toughest event I have ever done, physically and mentally.

Physically, it was about balance - knowing that by going slow I would keep going and that if I went at anything like a pace I'd burn out long before the end.  Balance against that was my desire to do a good time for me (GTFM), GTFM is different than a PB - its just that feel runner get about what should be do-able and you'll be happy with.

Mentally, it was best part of 13 hours on my own. Occasionally, chatting with the other back of the pack people as we leapfrogged each other for much of the day and talking to the marshals at the manned checkpoints.  Other than those moments and the arse-hole of a mountain biker... I'll explain in a bit... very little conversation apart from that in my head.  13h in my head - not recommended!

The first 21km were good, enjoyable, a known entity - between a race last year and my walking in the Peak I knew the course and what to expect.  And then we hit Win Hill... I know and love Win Hill, it was my first fell run, I've done it in all seasons and at night... Going up the short side,  240 m in 1.5 km is never easy... Less in the heat (by now touching 30degrees) and made worse by the aforementioned mountain biker... I can almost accept the verbal abuse to his mate (who was being sick), I can sort of forgive almost having my head knocked off as he swung his bike onto his shoulder... start suggesting I'm going slow cos I've not had my porridge and commentary will get dark, and yes I will belittle you... Not proud of that, but hey ho...

Win Hill took a lot out of me, I knew it would, but the heat hurt me... accompanied the walk up to Bradwell Edge - and my first nav error, for some reason I got turned around in a small estate and lost 20 min finding the right route up the hill... and that was possibly my lowest moment, nav errors on the hill happen, in a town are just pigging annoying.

Up the hill, overgrown and my legs bear the scars of the brambles, across Rebellion Knoll and dropping down to Shatton, and another favourite walk of mine - along the Derwent to Hathersage.  From Hathersage (and a much needed top up of water) it was another climb, up past a pub where I've enjoyed the sausage platter with the GWC, if only I could've stopped... A pat on the back from one of the 60 miler ultra-runners helped keep the smile on my face, and then I hit Hathersage Moor - path finding isn't easy on the moor land and I ballsed up.  Instead of carrying on and turning back I lost confidence in my map reading and went for the slower and easier to nav route. No big issues, and it amused the marshals on Carl Wark.  Then coming off Carl Wark, I dropped to the right rather than the left, again a safe fail and one I could work through, but it added at least 1500m.

Hopping, literally I was getting hamstring cramps, over Burbage Rocks and Moor, led to the side of Lady Canning's Plantation and I knew home, well my tent, and a hot meal weren't far away.  Ok, by now my target of 12h was blown, and it was getting dark, but I was still moving.

Sticking my headtorch on for the last bit I truddled down Limb Valley and with c500m to go went wrong, aided and abetted by a 60 mile runner, who was borrowing the light from my headtorch (she was running by the light of her phone!).  Frustrating as hell, but understandable when we back tracked, it also had a fringe benefit - for the first time in my life I saw a live badger:-)

In, finished, hot stew, biofreeze applied to my legs I slept badly - cramping feet and hamstrings don't make for a good night's sleep.  This morning started with the comedy of putting full length compression leggings on whilst in a one-man tent... It worked though, I'm able to move, slowly.

So thanks to the Dig Deep team for letting me take on the challenge, and not being too obviously worried by how slow I did it in.  Thanks to the 3-amigos I kept passing, and being passed by, the banter was good...

Yes, I lost a toenail, and gained a blister, but I also gained something else - this was pretty much my worst case run - 54km (inc nav errors), 1750m of ascent, in 13h 5min - I'm tougher than I thought I was... Stubbornness and/or fitness I don't know, but it worked and gave me a GTFM for that distance and heat.

Now excuse me as I order a rather large curry... 6000cals in a day is enough that a treat is in order!




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