South Downs Way 50

Distance: 50 Miles

Organiser: Centurion Running

Route: Worthing to Eastbourne

Running mate: Tom McKay

My second ultra-marathon of the year, this time in the company of Tom McKay. Tom and I had run the route as a run > wild camp > run,  adventure with jungle buddy Harry Patrick Wade, a couple of years ago.

On what turned out to be a beautiful hot clear day, perfect for a jog along this national trail, what struck me, and Tom, as we ran along the chalk path ridge was how picturesque the route is, a real snapshot of English countryside.

It's a real runners route of rolling hills, with the odd sharp decline usually off the ridge and into a village and matching sharp incline out of the village and back onto the ridge.

Running mate tom McKay, looking sharp.

Running mate tom McKay, looking sharp.

Tom and I started strongly, making good steady progress and holding our pace well. I fell by the wayside first, I'd struggled with an upset stomach and slightly heavy legs from the start, and felt I was holding Tom back, this was at around mile 20, Tom kindly refused to let me wave him on and we dropped off to a run walk for a couple of miles, that seemed to do the trick and and I was able to pick up the pace and stay with Tom from there.

An unusually hot April day, I managed some pretty impressive sunburn by the end.

An unusually hot April day, I managed some pretty impressive sunburn by the end.

Centurion Running, organise this race, they have developed an army of volunteers, who man and stock the aid stations supremely well, making the event feel closer to a very long buffet than a run. 

Tom and I, both had a pretty tough day at the office and consistently dropped places in the middle section of the race, it felt that we did this from the middle to the end, the results sheet showed we in fact made up ten places from the half-way point to the finish, this must have been a result of a pretty spirited last 4 miles, where I do remember over taking a number of runners, i'm surprised that is was as many as that though.

Not sure what the issues were but this ranks as one of the toughest days running I have 'enjoyed', up there with some of the stages of the Marathon des Sables and Jungle Ultra, which is absurd, still it was brought to a successful completion and all adds to this years training mileage tally.

Next race: Hardmoors 110 May 6th and 7th



Hardmoors 110

Hardmoors 110

Chester Ultra - 50 Miles