Warrington Way Trail Ultra by Jason Cook
OK… On the 12th of November I took part in my 1st ultra marathon ..the Lymm runners Warrington Way 40. In preparation for this event is mainly trained off road for a month leading up to the big day and countless hill repeats on the road, if you study any ultra marathon training plan they all have hill repeats in them this is due to the fact that most ultra races are off road and feature hills. When I arrived at registration at 6am the rain was falling sideways and didn’t look at all like stopping but sure enough at 7.30 it stopped just in time for the off 🙂
With 200 eager runners plodding down the road our adventure had begun and reality opened a can of woop ass on us, within 2 miles we were ankle deep in water and mud!
When your running 40 miles in them conditions you don’t run around puddles you just go for it or you may end up running 45 miles 😉
Out of the 200 runners there were 160 solo runners and the remaining 40 runners comprised of pairs running 20 miles each and relay teams of 4 running roughly 10 miles each so you couldn’t gauge as a solo runner what position you were until the end. There were 3 check points at 10, 20 & 30 miles which all had plenty of fuel to restock on and plenty of support I mainly just flashed my number whilst still moving grabbed some jaffa cakes and proceeded on my way (for the 40.33 miles I never stopped). We all know of cow patt alley down at Houghton Bottoms well that compared to the mud we ran through was like tarmac 🙂
The 1st 24 miles was muddy but not half as bad as the remainder of the race which really hampered your pace in places it was near impossible to run so much so that last year’s winner who won again this year ran 40 mins slower in a time of 5hrs 30 mins due to the conditions. I have to say though I loved every step of the way and the feeling you get at the finish far out way’s the end of any road race and would highly recommend one to anyone you have to slow the pace down conserve as much energy as you can alter your mind set to the fact at some point you will walk and your mind will play games with you telling you to stop and go home 🙂 the way I deal with this is just to laugh and this helps to block out any negative thoughts,treat the race as a full day out and you will get there.i got finished for 13.30 in a time of 6.01 for 40.33 miles when looking at my watch when I hit 40 miles I ran under 6hrs which I planned so very happy 8th position for my 1st ultra so quite chuffed.
I next plan to run in the lakes for a 50 mile run taking the distance to a further 10 and feel it’s well within my being. Looking forward to the challenge ahead.
Anyone thinking of taking the plunge try a 50k (31 miles) see how you go – you never know!