2014 winner and friends race in the Endurancelife Suffolk Coastal Trail Series UK
It’s 3:30am and the car is filled with excitement. Daniel Ceobanu who won the Ultrabug 2014, Constantin Lucutar, Relu Orheanu and myself was on our way to run in the Endurancelife Suffolk Coastal Trail Series. Daniel entered the half marathon where as the rest of us the 33-mile ultra.
In perfect weather conditions we set off, Constantin towards the front closely followed by Relu and myself. For me it felt like home. It was flat and at sea level but for the guys it was a different story. They are used to mountains. Working hard on the way up and then making time up on the downhills but today we had to work hard the whole time. It was a fast course despite the moorland, grass, pebble beach and forest paths.
As with any ultra respect for your body and the course is needed in order to complete. Constantin’s lower leg injury started to play up which ended in him walking within the first 13 miles. I got to about 14 miles and for no particular reason tripped over causing some damage to my hip, knee and hands. Determine to complete I got up and washed the blood of with my water bottle. Now I’ve been fully converted to soft running bottles due to their weight and space saving features but the one defect I found was they are not the best choice when it comes to wound cleaning.
By now I knew that Daniel would be well on his way in his half marathon and is probably nearly finishing. Relu was somewhere in front. I still felt sorry for Constantin. When I passed him he asked me how much further. Seeing his pain I felt bad having to say that there are still 20-miles left.
As I ran I could feel my knee throbbing and I couldn’t seem to keep the speed up. The marathon runners which started later than the ultra runners on the same course was starting to catch up. We’ve all done the same distance the only difference is that they will stop at 26.2 miles where we will then follow the 10km race route before finishing.
Running pass the finish line to start the last 10km was hard. I was running in third female position until I got over taken on mile twenty four. Mentally I was gutted but seeing Razvan our loyal supporter and driver, and Daniel gave me a bit more energy. Daniel could see my pain and as he is a PE teacher decided to pace me for the last 10km loop. It was hard work forcing myself to run and not walk. Having Daniel jog backwards on sections was a good indication as to how slow my running, if you can even call that running, has become. I followed the signs for the 10km remembering the briefing not to follow the ultra signs on the second loop. Tired and in pain I got to the familiar signs, left half marathon, right ultra. In my mind and according to my race plan I’ve been to all the check points and with no marshal to ask I took the half marathon way. When I reached the sign only one mile to go I glimpse down to my Garmin that didn’t felt like 10km and seeing Relu finishing I knew something was wrong. Getting my check point print out I realised that I’ve missed a check point. Were I took the half marathon sign I was supposed to follow the ultra sign to go back to check point four. A annoying mistake which costed me my fourth position and a official time for my personal best over 30 miles. But that’s ultra running.
As the clock ticked away there was no sign of Constantin. Eventually Razvan got a message he too took a wrong turn but whereas I made the course shorter he was on his way back to check point one. Gutted and in pain he turned up at the pub where we’ve been waiting. Daniel completed his half marathon in 1h40, Relu came in 9th position. We all celebrated!
Ultrabug 2015 is going to be so much fun! It’s 100km over 3-days fully supported through the Carpathian Mountains , Romania. It’s open to everyone from beginner to experienced runners, walkers and hikers.
For more information visit http://www.ultrabug.co.uk