Equinox24 

I did it!!! After the months of training I have completed my first ultra marathon.

I didn’t think I was going to make the 12:00 start of Equinox24, I had left plenty of time for the journey to Belvoir from Norfolk, but having never been to the event before I rather naively didn’t plan for the huge queues to get in. We got onto the campsite around 11:30, I helped Hannah put the tent up, got changed, checked in and ran to the start line with a couple of minutes to spare. Phew…….. not quite the relaxing start I had hoped for, but we were off to a massive cheer from the crowd.

The course winds off round the countryside with a mixture of grass trails and tarmac roads, and is alot hillier than I was expecting. One of the nice things about the course is that it loops around close on itself a couple of times so you get the chance to see other runners going the other way, and one of my highlights from the weekend was getting cheered on and cheering on my other vegan runners team mates as they whizzed past. This also means that Hannah could meet me at the start line ask if I needed anything then be able to hand it to me a couple of km’s later, she made a great support crew at her first attempt and I would have really struggled without her help.

I completed a couple of laps and felt really good and it started to sink in that I could do this…. I could complete my goal and well before I turn 40……. bloody hell I’m actually going to do this!!! Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy but I felt OK and completed the first 50k non stop which is what I had set out to do. I probably could have carried on but I decided to have a pit stop and get some rest, I still had around 18 hours left. It was starting to get dark by now and everyone was wearing head torches, there’s a video on my facebook page, but it’s a great sight seeing all those little lights moving around the countryside in the dark following each other up and down the hills. I decided to have a sleep and get up early enough to have a run in the dark the next morning.

After the alarm going off at silly o’clock and having a rubbish night’s sleep on a under inflated mattress the legs felt tired but pain free, so after a warm up walking lap with Hannah it was time to get some more miles in, and I managed another 18 before the 12:00 cut off. So 49 miles in total, and yes that 1 mile does really wind me up 🙂

All in all I really enjoyed the whole experience, the atmosphere was great, the organisation was great, and I’m really glad that I picked Equinox as my first ultra. It’s now been nearly a week since the race and my legs have been surprisingly good, although I have had to try and catch up with some sleep. What’s next?………

This weekend I am racing at the Maverick Inov8 original series Kent, which as part of the committed Inov8 competition my entry was sorted out by Inov8. I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m hoping my legs hold out and I do Inov8 justice. After that I am planning on taking a rest from racing, but knowing me probably not.

Neil

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