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Race Report Nottingham 50K Ultra

ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
Where. Sherwood Forest to Nottingham
When. 7 October 2012
Marshalling. None other than at checkpoints, you have a map and trail markings and GPS if you are flash - don't get lost
Facilities. Sports centre to register and change,van for kit bags, food/water and cheery smiles at checkpoints at 10K intervals
Technical. Some road, a lot of track, open fields, stinky sticky mud quagmires which if you fall into will never be seen again
Freebies. Finisher's medal, Mars bar, SIS gel - but also some excellent high res race pictures available on free download

Well as my tag says, ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

Not enough, running suffered this year (chest infection, idleness etc.). Had to decide whether to go minimal or carry stuff. Decided to carry as I knew I would be out for a long time so unlike the gazelles I would not be running fast enough to keep warm. Bought a Quechua running rucsack

Video shows gazelles moving gracefully and quickly over rugged terrain – just the ticket for me – cough, cough.

Asics 2120 trainers
Nike long compression running socks
CEP compression calf guards
Knee supports – nothing special just cheepos
Nike compression running shorts
Nike short sleeve compression top
High vis technical tee
Asics running cap
Quechua running backpack
More mile high vis running jacket (in backpack)
Athletika compression tights (in backpack)
Light gloves – left at home - doh

10k High 5 Energy source with 1 tab High 5 Zero electrolyte tab
20k High 5 Energy source with 1 tab High 5 Zero electrolyte tab
30k High 5 4:1 with 1 tab High 5 Zero caffeine electrolyte tab
40k High 5 Energy source+ with 1 tab High 5 Zero electrolyte tab
I cut the end of the sachets, folded them back then sealed with gaffer tape on which I wrote the distance
Picnic bar – Snickers, flap jacks etc available at the check points

End of part 1


  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Part 2
    The route follows the Robin Hood trail which is marked, in addition the organisers put in additional marking – stickers, red/white tape and yellow sprayed arrows. As I would be using my Forerunner 305 I worked out how to convert the route on Google maps to a GPX file then convert to a TCX using GPSies, then dropped it onto my 305. Only problem is that the checkpoints have to be created manually in the Garmin Training Centre; I opened up the route both in the Training Centre and on Google with both windows visible and then created the checkpoint using best guess, not perfect but worked well enough on the day.

    Race day:
    Woke at 2:47 decided not to go back to sleep for the extra half-hour. Billy my cat sat up blinking wondering what was happening then decided to go back to sleep, good move.
    Brekky, oaty cereals, toast, juice and coffee.
    Rubbed Bodyglide over my toes, between toes, nips, shoulders, inside of thighs, under arms etc. You get the picture.

    Did some research on parking and this was going to be a problem as Sunday parking is metered with max 3hr stay but found the Queen street rail station had parking on a Sunday all day for £4 and only half a mile away.

    Arrived at the RV/finish point at Nottingham castle at 7:00am where the bus was waiting to take us to the start point at Blidworth Community Leisure Centre, drank my own coffee mix – very happy boy. On arrival dived straight into the toilets whilst everyone else was chatting, sure enough on exit a 10 yard queue. Took stock of the others, young, fit, lean fell runner types – no surprise there.


    Race brief, pre-race group photo, http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33168220435

    With a minute to go set my Garmin – Training-Courses-Nott 50- select ‘do this course’, then on the off started Timer and also started my wristwatch timer.

    End of part 2
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Part 3
    First 750m through the village http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33170305426
    and then onto woodland tracks http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33171546445
    with occasional foray onto a road or open fields http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33172307571

    Undulating tracks, GPs was working very well even in the woods, giving me good data, HR, avg pace, current pace, distance to next checkpoint, map with location and compass indicating bearing. Necessary? Well the navigation was a good confidence booster (without being reliant on it) and going through the data helped take my mind off things when I really needed a distraction. Route was well marked. Kept pace with an Italian girl, Simona http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33171790966
    we both had same pace and run/walk schedules so that worked well for 10k or so.

    First checkpoint, 1:19, http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33171919868 feeling good, avg pace 8.5kph http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33172206012 ; topped up my bladder – ooerr Mrs - scoffed some Snickers and off.

    Route flattened out a touch across fields http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33172452902 , bit muddy which slowed things a tad at times but this stage was quite fast, much faster than my planned pace but very comfortable. Big lumpy bit at 15K then descent to checkpoint 2, 2:10, position 70th.

    Whilst doing replen got chatting to a chap, Andrew, who completed a 35 miler the day before !!! Has a place on Marathon des Sables and was getting some ‘back to backs’ in. Started off again, came onto a road – WTF - thought ‘John better pull out, you are hallucinating’ - 6’ white rabbit looking at me with probably the same thought ‘what a bizarre looking creature’. Then saw he was holding a sign advertising a furniture sale at an outlet down the road; Mr Rabbit helpfully pointed out the route so we both waved at a few cars had a quick dance then off again.

    End of part 3
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Part 4
    Route flat before rising again at 25k; during this leg I was pretty much on my own, encountered horrible stinky, sticky mud. Not much scope of avoiding unless I retraced my track and went a considerable distance around so just plodded on at last than walking pace, it was really hard going; top tip wear gloves as if slipping and grabbing out blindly to stop yourself falling A over T into ooze a nettle is not the wisest thing to grab.

    Route onto road then up to checkpoint 3, 3:35, still in 70th. Saw a young slim blonde wearing incredibly high heels, v short black dress with open cutaways under the arms extending down to the hips (not that I was leering or anything) seemingly doing the ‘walk of shame’ home. I asked one of the volunteers if she was racing, she laughed and said ‘no, pity as it would give you something to follow’. Woohoo, sausage rolls, made a break from all the sickly sweet stuff I had been ingesting for the last 3 ½ hrs.

    Km’s 35-39 were brutal, some stinky mud and short sharp ascents, not very high but in quick succession, arch of my right foot was hurting and going into spasm. I was pleased that I wore my 2120’s, they were coping really well, no pinching or chafing but the sole could have done with a layer to protect my soles from stones etc but they are just a basic road shoe, nothing flash and performed very well in the circumstances.

    End of part 4
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Part 5
    Really hurting at checkpoint 4, 4:59 still 70th by this time Andrew had caught up with me so as we both set off from checkpoint I expected him to gradually pull clear particularly as we immediately hit a steep climb into Woolaton Park but we plodded on and both agreed that our pace seemed to be picking up together. All these people enjoying the park and the historic house and then us two mud splattered, stinky, sweaty blokes looking like strays from the Inca run weaving between them. Out of the park and onto the streets of Nottingham for a few K and then onto a canal path, only 2.5K to go. Reflected on the last 6 hours, alongside the Outlaw this the most challenging thing I had done and pleased that I had entered; when with others we had little exchanges or shared our communal experience in silence, alone just driven by the one thought – finish.

    Left turn onto the road leading to the castle and finish, uphill and on cobbles past the pub where everyone was having a drink and cheering on these lunatics. We both paced out Andrew came 68 about ½ metre ahead, I was 69 and were both given the same time, 6:20:02.

    We shook hands and Andrew said that at times he would have started walking but running with me made him push it out, I told him I was just going to say exactly the same thing.

    Then had my pic taken with Robin Hood http://kingsad.tumblr.com/image/33175083701

    Turns out that I was feeling quite chuffed at position 69 but 50 had DNS so was only 69 out of 82 finishers not 69/130, but pleased to say that all who started had finished.

    Took a few pictures along the way and then decided to record some video, quality is iffy but hope it gives a flavour – caution I use a naughty word. Didn’t record the finish as I was just concentrating on finishing, sorry.


    Garmin data here http://app.strava.com/activities/24410581

    End of part 5
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