Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Good things come to people who wait...

After racing around the world for the last 5 years collecting qualifying points for the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc 107 mile / 10,000 meters of accent race. It's all come down to the final few days before I fly out to Chamonix to participate in this years event. I have tried over the last few years but just haven't been lucky enough to gain that lottery place. But 2015 is the year I finally get to toe the start line!

UTMB Course Profile..

Since my last blog post I have done a couple more races and that extra training ready for next weeks event. I am a strong believer of keeping speed work up whilst running ultras and not just going out doing long meaningless miles, for my speed work many of you know that I enjoy racing my 5kms and these last few weeks was no different! Below is a few race results from the last couple of weeks:

  • 1st August - Conwy Parkrun - 2nd Overall in 16:48
  • 8th August - Conwy Parkrun - 1st Overall in 16:53
  • 9th August - Vale Of Clwyd 5km - 1st Overall and New Course Record in 16:36
  • 15th August - 200th Anniversary Highbury Fields 5km - 1st Overall in 17:24
  • 16th August - Richmond Ultra - (Joint) 1st Overall in 4:13 

  • Mountain Fuel UK, kindly help me with my nutrition. (

The 16th of August I had entered the Richmond 48km Ultra Race along the Thames Path in London. I wanted to run this race as my last longish run before the UTMB but also to run in the race environment what I often prefer than our training by myself. From the off it was clear the leading 3 (including myself) wanted to get away from the field and race towards the finish line. 10km in myself and 9Bar athlete Darryl Carter pulled away from 3rd and continued towards check point one. My aim was to keep a steady pace and tick the legs over without having to work too hard and ultimately not recovering in time for next week. We both come into check point one within seconds of each other and was informed we was easily under course record pace. A quick fuel up and drink of Mountain Fuel Xtreme Energy from Gem my support crew who had made the trip with me to look after me along the course, and off I went towards check point two. 

Arriving at Check Point one! 
Little did I realise this was going to be like running blind.. I pulled slightly away from Daz and was feeling great and fresh until I started to get lost! Somehow I managed to miss one of the Thames Path signs and ended up running along the streets of London right out side the Westminster buildings what wasn't a great idea I must admit.. After managing to escape form some Asian tourist who wanted to take pictures of me running I found my way back to the correct route only to see Daz further up the road. Picking the pace back up I caught up with 1st place again and we was running together towards London Bridge and ultimately check point two. Daz had also had a few problems with the navigation side of things with signs along the way, trying to navigate around busy, narrow streets along the river Thames is harder than you think! You miss one sign and you could all of a sudden miles from where you need to be what happened to us. We had overshot a sign somewhere and continued to race towards London Bridge and missed check point two. Working out we was a good mile and half passed the check point we made a quick call to the organiser explaining we had overshot the check point but had cover distance needed just via a different route and agreed to carry on towards the finish line. Problem was we both was running out of fuel and water not being able to top up in check point. The sun was beaming and both was getting warm/dehydrated, next second we ran past a little corner shop where we took a pit stop and topped up on water/coke and sweets to get us too the finish.

Finish Line - Shared the victory. 
Pushing on together, through gates, narrow alley ways and tunnels under the river Thames we finally found the finish after a few more hic-ups and shared the joint win overall. An adventure was defiantly had and I was very pleased at how the run had gone (apart from getting lost of course, covering an extra 4-5km along the way) my legs felt great the whole way, never felt any struggles and my heart rate was kept low most of the way. Great way to finish my training for next weeks UTMB.

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For anyone wanting to follow my progress next week at the UTMB, live tracking will be available online and updates will be posted along the way on my Twitter and Facebook pages from my support crew...

Thanks again to everyone who follows and supports me along the way!
Paul x

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