Warrington 40 Miler

Waking up at 0430 hours isn’t fun at the best of times, let alone knowing you are doing it to take on a 40 mile ultra marathon stustarting at 7am!

A big bowl of Frosties with 2 chopped bananas was my pre run fuel of choice that I’d finished just as fellow WRC runner Tim arrived to pick me up!

It’s raining. No, wait, it’s not raining…. It’s chucking it down! And it’s set to stay like this until midday! Bonus!

As we arrived in Lymm, we found out the race organisers had made a huge boo boo by not realising the car park ticket machine doesn’t switch on until 9am which forced us to park on Brookfield road and walk over to the lodge to register. Still time to back out? I was already wet & miserable!

Having registered and caught up with some other fellow lunatic WRC runners the race organiser briefed us and kindly informed us it was closer to 42 miles and not 40…. What’s an extra 2 miles between 40 milerfriends!

7am arrives and we are all stood on the start line, hoods up, soaking wet and ready to begin a journey into the unknown…

I settled into the first 10 miles well, running with Tim, Paul and Amy comfortably into CP1… Seeing Mr Sketts (Lymm runners) face there wasn’t so comforting! LOL

I had started to feel the injury I had been carrying into this race but left CP1 confident I’d be ok.
40 miler 2
The marshalling team at CP1 were fab, very supportive & friendly… There was a selection of fruit and snacks, juice on offer which was welcomed.

Early into the second phase I really started to feel my knee and let the guys go on ahead as I bimbled along at my own pace.

The way markers were OK to direct, but there could have been more. I know the race instructions said it was part map reading, but considering the weather was so bad, it was even hard (for me) to navigate on the map. I think next year, a lot more way markers are needed.

At mile 18 I was ready to quit. My knee was in agony and that check point was just not coming. Eventually I saw the Lymm Runners flag in the distance.

As I arrived, I saw a friendly face, Fiona Eaton! “That’s it for me” I said… “I’m done”… “Have a think about it first” she said! 40 miler 3
Going into the tent for food, another running friend of mine flatly said to me, “You ain’t quitting, get your ass to CP3!”
So off I went!

The support of our running club and others at certain points was just amazing. Really, it does the world of good to get a cheer on when everything hurts and that didn’t go unnoticed.

Coming to the canal, I turned right (instead of left) and ran about 5km in the wrong direction. I was devastated. Again, the way markers were not clear (to me anyway) at that point.40 miler 5

I eventually got to CP3. The marshalling staff were again lovely and I think it was the race director who was there who said to me, “you’re the guy who likes to get lost!”

The final 10 miles was a slog… Lots and lots of horrible muddy fields and tracks. Literally ankles deep in the stuff. The heavens opened again and the wind picked up, I missed the turning at the pub and ran another 3km in the wrong direction before realising and doubling back. A driver hung his head out of the window of his car and told me which way to go! Again, this turn wasn’t clear.
Back on track, I headed through some more disgusting fields, one guy in front of me lost his shoe!

With about 4 miles to go I came to a road and headed across into a field and again, there were no way markers. I was tired, broken and had had enough. I walked around that damn field twice and there were no way markers so I called race HQ and told them to come get me because I was done playing the game, “hunt the way markers”.
40 miler 6

At that point 2 more solo runners came up behind me and guided me on to the Bongs at the back of Lymm and from there I trudged on into Lymm Dam.

Crossing the road towards the village I bumped into Graham and John which was awesome to see. After a brief stop, I pushed on into the village and into the finish line.

The cheering and support at the finish line was amazing with a handshake from the race director and another joke about how I like to get lost!

The after race hot food was amazing and I was grateful it was vegan friendly too which is a big thumbs up from the vegan runners!

The tech tee and medal were fab. All in all, I totally recommend this event. Points for the RD is definitely more way markers and confirmation markers next year! And book better weather please! Potentially mini check 40 miler 4points between the 10 mile ones.

The marshalling team were just amazing and kept us going on a miserable wet day! The support of WRC and Lymm Runners was over whelming!

I’m broken today but was all worth it!

Stu
WRC