This forthcoming weekend (Saturday 16th January 2016) I'll be attending my first ultra run ever. Exciting! :-)
I have been running for years without doing any races, and only started "racing" a couple of years ago. Now - by "racing" I mean joining a crowed of equally minded in some more or less organized event. I compete against myself and no-one else, trying to have a joyful time... Well except just before the finishing line, I try to beat those within reach.
For the past 6 months I have heavily increased my level of weekly exercise with the main goal to take on an ultra. And it's now finally going to happen! I'm nearly there - can almost see the finish line if I put on my contacts, glasses and using my strongest telelens for my camera. Well, maybe not quite, but the event is going to happen - me running an ultra marathon. I'm excited!
I've wanted to do this for a long time - years, but things often got in the way of training or something else more important needed my attention on the date of the race preventing me to sign up. Or maybe I was just scared of the thought itself of signing up. Who knows...? Actually, signing up was probably the most difficult decision to make. Once that was done, everything seemed to get a lot easier - just do the weekly training, follow my program and so on... At least now I didn't have to think about whether to sign up or not, which race to do or whatever distance I should choose. I'm very pleased I'm finally doing it.
The event itself is not that much longer than an ordinary marathon - and only a fraction compared to the really long/hard ultras out there. The distance is "only" 55 km / 35 miles. And as I did my one-and-only (ordinary) marathon without much trouble and had energy enough to capture +200 photos along the course, simply having a good time with no aching afterwards. And the fact I'm in a much better physical condition now than then, 55 km should be doable. There's only one minor detail - the race is alongside the coast of Dover. This minor detail results in an elevation gain of about 1300 m / 4300 ft. Now, this may also not be that much comparing to some of the really hard ultras, but to me it definitely puts a twist to it.
I've tried to put in some hills into my weekly training to increase my strength and to get used to running up/down hills, and I sort of feel fit for the task. Of course, only time can tell if this is true or not :-)
I set out to have a joyful time. I'll bring my camera and see if I can capture the event from the view of a runner... :-)
More to follow after I've finished my race...