So the day of the ultra finally arrived and I wasn't feeling ready. I hadn't really done much running since Christmas and no long runs but at least I had the best team mates in the world and Ali as our support crew. The race was an hour and a half from home so that meant leaving at 6am but at least it gave lots of time for the rest breakfast to digest.
Us canicross lot started five minutes after the rest of the runners at 9:05am, a nice low key start as there weren't loads of us. I was starting with Chip and obviously she set off like she had a 5k race to win! Especially as her pal Bernard was up front. Soon she settled a bit but was pulling hard so I tried to go with her as much as I could without killing myself. The hardest bit being a ploughed field where most people were walking so we had to do a lot of overtaking. Once on the canal we found our spot though. Here it was surprisingly muddy and I was sliding a lot. Once or twice I thought I was going to end up in the canal! I kept seeing jen and Laura with mav and echo, they were running faster than me but maybe stopping a bit. Before long the support crew were there cheering and then Ali was there with George. We trotted past the first feed station as I'd made sure to carry enough water and food and before long Ali popped up again, this time with Cybi and George. Chip was super happy to see them. I shared a mini pork pie with chip as she ran and she was running like a pro. At about 16miles I thought she was licking the grass so tried to persuade her to have some water. Then I realised she may have been eating it. Another pork pie and she was back into pro mode. We came across a metal bridge and she stopped, I carried her across and would have done anyway as I would have been worried about her paws going through one of the gaps. Onto 19.5miles where Ali was waiting with Cybi and George to swap over. I set off feeling sore but fine and we went onto the Trent flood bank. After a mile we were running into a freezing headwind and I was really struggling. I had to walk for a while and got some more food into me. George took the opportunity for a woogle since I was walking. Back running and we reached a stile, Cybi popped straight over but George refused. A nice man picked him up and lifted him over which George loved as he loves men! Turns out there were lots and lots of stiles which I ended up lifting George over, a couple Cybi even struggled with. Then on the last one there was a gap underneath so George went underneath and Cybi over, nearly hanging himself in the process!
I was really struggling now and doing lots of walking. I was looking forward to seeing ali but she wasn't at the next checkpoint, half an mile later and there was her and chip to chivvy me along. Cybi was being a star, walking sensibly when I walked and pulling but not too hard as then it was too much when we ran. He was constantly checking on me and really looked after me. I saw Ali again 2 miles from the finish and then she was there with chip just before the finish who joined us to cross the line. 31.5miles in total. My longest run ever by some way! U even managed to finish just before it started raining.
It was a great day but I really suffered for the last ten miles. If I do another one I definitely need to get more long runs in. Today my legs are super sore. My four legged team mates were amazing and Ali as always was the best support crew I could wish for. Now to recover.