So I received my rejection email yesterday afternoon which to be honest I have mixed feelings about, it’s one I have to do again at some point in my life. After the fiasco of that first attempt (if you’ve not already heard about this you can read about it here), I know I will be coming back to London at some point and I will smash it 😉💪🏼 it’s just not meant to be in 2018. I know how lucky I was to have got that chance in 2016 so I’m just grateful to have got that ballot place which starting my running journey. To be fair I already have plans in place for next year and this gives me a chance to focus on something else for early in the year. There’s plenty of other marathons out there for anyone who hasn’t got in and wants to give it a go, you can find some here on the runners world website, I may even give one of these a go myself.
Ryan @runboyrun35 on twitter was the next ultra runner to answer my questions for me – be prepared to suffer is sticking out the most from this and I’m expecting some mood swings 😬.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into Ultra running.
I’m 40 years old living in County Durham, I’ve been running since 2009, mostly half marathons and marathons then decided to make the step up in 2014. I entered the race the previous year and soon after entering my father passed away so ran for charity to help with motivation.
2) When, what and how far was your first Ultra? Tell us a bit about it / add pictures if you have any.
My first was G2E, Glasgow to Edinburgh, 55 miles along the canal paths. I chose because some old club mates had done it and they said it was flat and great race (I’m no longer into flat running!)
3) Which Ultra would you now put down as your favourite and why?
Lavaredo Ultra Trail in the Dolomites. 75 miles in the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. The race itself was very tough underfoot, lots of rocky technical sections and the mountains were so beautiful.
4) Do you follow a training plan?
I always used to follow ‘relentless, forward progress’ but in the last 15 months I’ve been getting coached by Donnie Campbell of Get Active Running.
5) What advice can you give for those looking to complete their first Ultra?
Be prepared to suffer, once your comfortable with suffering you’ll be ok. Also keep moving forward, you’ll get there in the end. Break the race down into chunks, never think past the next CP.
6) What fuel do you take on when running long and how often?
I use Tailwind Nutrition, I’ll have 1 stick pack per 500ml bottle every hour then occasionally top up with some other foods like flapjack or noodles but only for a race over 50 miles. Under 50 miles just TW. Saved a lot of faffing at CPs and works great for me. I work on the basis my body can only absorb 250-300 calories per hour, TW gives me 200 of those.
7) What is the best equipment / clothing you have every purchased for running?
Salomon, I love it. So comfortable and light, it’s not the cheapest but it does last! I have some shorts I’ve had for nearly 3 years and can regularly get 800-1000 miles in the trail shoes.
8) What would be your dream race?
Squamish in Canada, they do a 50 mile one day and 50km the next (Squamish 50/50)
9) In one word describe how we can expect to feel whilst completing our first Ultra.
Everything! Emotional, pain, suffering, happiness, mood swings, you name it, you’ll feel it.
10) Favourite re-fuel food?
Pizza, Sunday dinner or burger!