Having tried twice before I really wanted to complete the Oner this year! To that end I started a training program back in Sep which built up to some 30 mile Sat and 20 mile Sundays, even so I had no idea if it would be enough on the day of the event! Here is the plan I followed – http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-100m.asp
So after 7 months of training, here it is – The Oner. Having driven down the night before I was able to have a nice lie in. The van was a little cold in the morning but a cup of Thermo got the system going as it always does.
To say I was nervous would have been an understatement but I had plenty of time before registration opened to mess about with my kit and change and re change my mind about what to wear! As the other runners started to arrive all I could think, after all the training, was that I was the least fit person here….
With registration and the briefing over we loaded up into the vans to head for the starting line – something we had all trained so hard for and for me the question was still – had I done enough to be able to finish, to be able to go 50 miles further than ever before!
I already knew it was not going to be easy, but starting about 400 mtrs from a massive hill was a bit harsh – and to put a photographer at the to of the hill!
The early part of the event was great, a light rain kept me cool whilst the hills kept me warm. I had no niggles and I was able to maintain my nutrition easily so the early hours went by without problems. I was encouraged by the fact that I was not a back marker and although, after a few hours, I did have some people go past me for the most part I maintained my position and my speed.
It was great to go past a couple of placed where I had gone wrong the first time I had attempted the event, at the first of which I was able to help someone who was about to make the same mistake I had. I then had to smile when I went past the area that had finally done for me that first time, in the day light it was much easier to go the right way!
Getting back to the ferry bridge, the HQ where I had registered, with over an hour in hand was great – and getting to the next checkpoint at the end of Portland in the daylight with 2 hours in hand was fantastic. Unfortunately my trip back to the Ferrybridge did not go so well and I lost 45 mins going the wrong way a few times as darkness fell!
Weymouth was no problem, although I did not like the feel of tarmac under foot so only ran alternate light posts through the town. I was caught at the far end by Ian who had been doing the same thing but a bit quicker. We spent the next few hours with each other into Lulworth Cove, he with route knowledge as he had done it before and me with a GPS device to help us stay on track where it was not obvious in the dark. We also came across another runner, Tom, on the wrong side of a hedge and suffering on pain killers just before we came into Ossminton Mills.
We did the next session together, me getting up the hills great and Ian getting down them quickly but I was feeling stress having to wait at the top of hills. I left them at Lulworth, feeling a little guilty to do so as I had the GPS but also not wanting to miss out on my chance to finish and Tom was suffering with his feet and was slowing considerably. I may have paid for that over the next section, the hardest on the course as I must have gone wrong somewhere as Ian got to Kimmeridge 5-10 minutes before me yet I never saw him go by me and at times I had clear views miles back and head torches showed up easily. Not to worry, I made it to Kimmeridge with about 15 minutes to spare – this was the most worried I got about the cut offs and at one point I did think I would not make it!
The checkpoint guy told me the next section as really difficult but I should try it and just enjoy it – thinking I would fail. So this section, with the hills through Chapman’s Pool was my “mid life crises” section and I really went for it. When I look back at the results only to top three guys went through that section quicker than I did 🙂
Once through CP 10 I felt I had done it! Trouble was that meant I started to slow. I had no problems at all – nutrition still working perfectly thanks to Herbalife Prolong and Rebuild Endurance. I knew I had a couple of blisters but they were not causing any real difficulty.
So the last few hours were enjoyed, looking at Claire’s updates on Facebook as she tracked me via the iPhone now remind me of the final hours and the final march along the beach. I did worry for a while, when the end of the beach turned out to be just a corner! But I make it in with about 10 minutes to spare just behind Ian, job done, happy as can be, almost burst into tears but just held it together.
All but 24 hours, loved it all!
Tags: Herbalife 24, Herbalife Nutrition, swindon running, The Oner, ultra running