“Here’s a report from the fun run I did yesterday……”
Imber Ultra – 6th March 2016
At the beginning of the year, I thought to myself that I’d like to get a PB. The problem is that the years haven’t been kind and I am so much slower these days. I know….I’ll find a distance that I haven’t done before. I looked at the race list and found the Imber Ultra which is 33 miles. I have done a few ultras but not one 33 miles in length. The only problem was it was on Mothers Day and my wife’s birthday. Nevertheless, my long suffering wife gave me permission!
Luckily race day was dry if cold. About one hundred competitors took part. As we gathered at the start in Westbury, Wiltshire, I felt rather unprepared relative to my fellow runners and it seemed most of them had done the race before. There was talk of getting lost and the need to navigate parts of the course. Then there was the choice of footwear…..I decided that comfort of well-worn road shoes was preferable to new trail shoes. That may have been a mistake!
The first 2 miles were mostly uphill on some very muddy tracks and on to the Imber Range Perimeter Path (IRPP). Most of the race follows the IRRP; the range was hosting a military exercise that day so best not to stray too far! It was mostly following the IRRP signs but after thinking I had gone wrong a couple of times early on I decided to keep in sight of other folk who looked like they knew where they were going. After 7 miles of the up and down muddy surface, I wondered why had done this race and considered dropping out at the first check point. However, at 10 miles I felt a bit better and the terrain got a little bit easier (not quite as much sliding sideways). I got into a bit of a rhythm and was actually overtaking folk. At 21 miles the tracks became more solid (almost roads) but still hilly. It was often quite exposed but luckily the weather was quite kind that day. I struggled for the next 6 miles but then the thought of a curry takeaway for tea spurred me on. The last 2 miles were back down the track we strarted on so more slippy slidey! At that point a contact lens decided to leave home so I had to finish partially sighted.