|The sun rises over Blackheath|
It's been a tough year and I was really struggling to recover from the Lakeland 100. To make recovery that much harder I threw this in to the mix just five weeks later. So rather than train for this I sort of recovered into it. Come race day I felt as good as could have been expected but I was determined to crack 10 hours. The course also measured 4 miles longer some how, so 60 miles it was. As an extra incentive a sub 10hr t-shirt was on offer. Well that's like a red rag to a bull for me!
|We are off|
(photo by Jon Lavis)
We left Blackheath at 6:15, it would have been 6 but one of the runners turned up 6 so we waited for him. Aren't we nice. We headed off down towards Ladywell and I started chatting with a guy I'd previously run the Tanners with a few years back. Good company and he runs at my pace so the time passed easily as we worked our way through the London streets chatting away. There were two other runners ahead but I wasn't bothered, I had a plan and was determined to stick to it. My plan was simple, run each 10 mile section in 1hr 30, allowing for a bit of drop off and minimal stops would get me in under 10 hours. As much as I was enjoying my company, running with someone else isn't a good strategy when running to a plan. I had carried a bottle of tailwind in addition to my water bottles for the first leg . My idea was to drink the tailwind in the first 10 miles meaning I could run straight through cp1 and still have all my water for the next leg. I did just this and left the cp alone and ready to run my own race.
|Running into CP1|
(photo by Jon Lavis)
So this was it, I'm leading, 40 miles to go. Stick to the plan and keep at those 8 minute miles. The miles ticked by nicely and I was enjoying some lovely trails. I have been lacking energy during my last couple of races so I upped my calorie intake and decided to eat a gel every 45 mins with the occasional bottle of tailwind. This was working just fine and running was coming easy. I ran through 30 miles bang on schedule. I passed through miles of glorious countryside and London was a distant memory. I had no energy dips so that meant no walking. Luckily I was following a GPS and not map reading, it's quite a fiddly route and map reading would have slowed me down massively. The route is very intricate with some real under used pathways. On more than one occasion I was battering through stinging nettles but there was little time for loitering as I was constantly conscious someone could be right behind me.
|Yay I got a black T-shirt|
It was so pleasing to run such a perfect race. I had a plan and stuck to it, my nutrition was spot on, I got the time I wanted and the black t-shirt all on such an iconic route. When everything goes so well there is nothing left to prove to yourself on a course so that'll be the last London to Brighton I run. Great course, Great organisation, Great result.