Quite possibly the most ‘marathoned’ runner in the club’s history (I await a challenge to this statement!), Rob Beech took on the Manvers Dusk till Dawn Ultra this weekend, and came away with over 50 miles (not entirely intentionally, it turns out), under his belt. It won’t be long, I’m sure, until that belt has a Centurion buckle on it – challenge for your there Rob ;)
“As anyone who knows me is aware, I love a marathon, I love laps, and if it happens to be around a lake then even better. Manvers Dusk till Dawn Ultra was therefore the perfect race. With a start time of 6pm and a finish at 6am it was also family friendly and at the bargain cost of £15 with camping, parking and food/drink included it was simply unmissable. So I took myself off with the intention of running a marathon at worst and getting a qualifying distance for a big boy ultra at best.
At 6:00pm a claxon goes off and the race starts, 3.2mile loops of Manvers Lake via canal path, country park and a public park. The weather held up quite well and by 10:00pm I had finished the marathon and the first decision about whether to carry on. Given that my legs were great and it had only just gone dark it was an easy choice. I carried on with the next goal of running 50k, something which I haven’t done for a couple of years. Before I knew it 50k had come and gone and I was still lapping.
Midnight arrives and thankfully I don’t turn into a pumpkin. To be honest it’s not often I stay up past midnight these days and again given the weather continued to hold up and my legs felt good I decided to continue. So run, eat, lap, repeat and so on steadily passing 35 miles, 40 miles, 45 miles and then the long awaited rain finally arrives. The problem with off road running along country park paths is that the second the rain comes the entire path turns to sludge.
The qualifying criteria for quite a lot of international and popular ultramarathons is a 50mile finish minimum and it was therefore a no brainer to continue to the 50 mile point despite the horrific rain that ensued. Notwithstanding the incredibly muddy trainers and near transparent T-Shirt 50 mile came soon enough. unfortunately I’d forgotten that this was a 3.2 mile course and I’d therefore have to run 51.5 mile to finish so a final slog to finish the distance in 8 hours 4 minutes and there we go, not only my qualifying distance for longer ultras but also my longest run ever by a mere 20 miles.
I cant praise this event highly enough. it was cheap, everything you could possibly need including accommodation was included and they still managed to donate money to charity and provide certificates and medals. Hopefully next year a few more will join me!!!”