A big thank you to everyone who turned up last Saturday and congratulations to the 7 that completed all 30 miles. I wasn’t sure how much interest there would be when I came up with the idea , so it was fantastic to have 18 keen runners and 2 dogs lined up outside Ludlow castle on a glorious spring day.
The 30 mile trail from Ludlow to Kington comprises an elevation gain of 4664ft ( if my Garmin is accurate) and a mix of road, forest tracks and fields. It shows off some of the finest local countryside and the views were fantastic, enjoying them gave us an excuse for a rest now and again!
Catherine had very kindly volunteered to help with a support vehicle and our first stop at the top of Lucton lane to fill water bottles was very welcome, especially to also have encouragement from our injured secretary, Nicky.
Various people were dropping out once they reached their preferred distance so when we saw Catherine for the second time with numbers reduced and her cheerful news that we hadn’t quite got to half way, that certainly lowered my spirits a little.
The climb into Shobdon wood was tough and as the gaps between the various groups grew; we would walk rather than stop to let others catch up for fear of seizing up – top tip from the experienced Rich H .There was then the long downhill to Byton and our third and final drink and food break with Catherine and my wife Carol providing very welcome support.
At this stage we had done 20 miles and the next 10 really seemed to drag. Every time I looked at my watch we had only covered less than a mile and my respect for all you ultra distance runners grew and grew. The track up to Wapley was a long narrow climb making it awkward to get any rhythm, but to Stansbatch and then Titley was much better.
The last section climbing out of Titley to Rushock really showed how much training Rich has been putting in, as he very kindly waited for me now and again. I was by now rather shuffling but he still seemed to bounce along, and the car park in Kington where we finished in 6 hrs 4 mins couldn’t come soon enough for me (although I think Richard could have kept going at that pace for a lot longer). Dave Ameghino and Jordan Mcqueen (Presteigne, who joined us at Richards Castle) were just 4 minutes behind and Matt ( with heavily strapped calf), Dave R ( he of very little training, amazing), Dave G and Iain Prentice ( Ludlow) and dog finished another 10 or so minutes later. We then enjoyed a well deserved pint in the Burton.
Very well done to all who ran and especially to those who completed all 30 miles. A huge thank you to Catherine and Carol for their moral and nutritional support.