Feb 20

Pork Pie and the Missing Path (London Ultra 50km Feb 19th)

What do you get if you cross vomit in Licorice Allsorts and home-made Pork pie………..

Thats right you get Jamie, James and David at this years London Ultra (ably supported by Darren for last 17 miles)

Events started off with Chevs kindly giving us a lift to the start @ Grove Park nr Mottingham where we soon became huddled in the changing rooms and the never ending procession of grown men releasing their bowels. Some great faces and footwear amongst the 180+ gathering with many looking far more professional and serious than us

James before the masses use the toilet

David James and Jamie before the start (naturally!)

We set off approx 09:15am in cool but sunny climes and made our way through South East London always with Crystal Palace looming menacingly up above. First few miles went by fairly painlessly and we got chatting to some cool bare-foot runners and assorted crazy ultra-runners (yes they are all bonkers). Onwards and upwards to Mile 11 where we were met by James’s wife Laura and mum Audrey who were armed with some pork-pie James had made the day before.

Eating delicious Streatham Mowbray Pork Pie James made

After Jamie had seen a competitor lean over to get some sweets and vomit in the box of Licorice Allsorts we finished noshing on some very tasty snacks before hop-footing  it back down Streatham Common and then to pick up fresh-faced, tea and bacon-butty relaxed and handsome Darren who met us @ Balham.

I have to say that I was feeling mighty low at this point. There wasnt a great deal of oooomph in my legs and I hadnt really enjoyed the last 10 miles.

Anyway we plodded on and met Chevs and girls for the first time (Jamie had cleverly called Chevs and pre-ordered food and pain-killers) and once again we ate more snacks. We’d probably would have hung around for a while but it was around this time we began to get pangs of doubt that we were actually last in the race and at least 20 people had waddled past us during this impromptu stop.

So we took off and made our way towards Wandsworth and the start of a glorious stretch that took in Wimbledon and then on towards Richmond Park which had to be one of the real highlights of the day. The weather was plum gorgeous and the course took us right through the wilderness part of the heath. So of course we stopped to take a few pics (its what you do when you’re serious competitors!)

David James and Darren Richmond Splendour

Boy feeling a little pooped at this stage

Ultra Dream Boys Team

After Richmond Park we then enjoyed another checkpoint and started to take on deviant snacks like Coca Cola and Sausage rolls (really are food of the Ultra gods) and then the start of some infamous zig-zagging where we got lost and made a few people behind veer off course before finally getting ourselves along the river Thames and into Richmond. It was here and for only a few wee miles that I personally felt ok and probably the only mile or so that James seemed to find things a bit tougher. Jamie meanwhile was becoming a constant pest and difficult to hold back (where does someone which such disregard for training, diet etc get to just peel off this miles with seemingly no discomfort?)

Onto the final checkpoint for more glorious crap-a-jack (I have to point out that none of us had done a poo at this point which was the eight miracle) and once again the dream team really did have fire it its belly and an unspoken desire to beat a time 5:15 and maybe to crank through the field (we were 95th with 6 miles to go)

Then it all went Pete Tong.

Firstly we came to a part of the track where a barrier had been erected to stop you going any further and sign which read “If you go any further we will shoot not only you but all of your family and that goes double for ultra-runners’. Naturally we took the other path for about 3/4 mile before we all went “Come-on we KNOW that we should have taken that path with barrier”. So we trudged (I tell you the smile was well and truly gone now as the pain was coursing through my fat thighs) back to the barrier where the 15 or so runners we’d overtake during the last 2 miles were all piled up and breaking through.

Onto the last stretch – just enough time to get lost at least 2 if not 3 times (it was getting comical but not funny at this point) when we finally could see Perivale and the finishing line (80 metres at the end of the running track)

Enough time to huddle up and for Darren to kindly take this pick

Its nearly all over

and this

James Jamie and David end of 33 miles

Epic day, really great ‘training run’ with the guys, some great banter, good thoughts around how to fill the ‘running void’ between now and Cotswolds 100, phenomenal support from Chevs and the girls plus Laura and the girls, James’s mum Audrey and just a splendid way to spend 5 hours and 33 minutes.

We finished a credible 70th(71st and 72nd) out of 188 and the full Capital Ring route course dream lives on………so does