At around 12:45am I entered the Eastbourne Sports Park and completed a loop of the running track before crossing the finish line to close the book on South Downs Way 100 Mile foot race - what has been the most epic of trail adventures that began in Winchester at 5:00am Saturday Morning.
Crossing the finish line in 19:47:37. Coming in under the rather optimistic 20-hours that I had predicted last September when I signed up for the race.
A sub-20 hour finish was looking hugely unlikely as the race wore on. Soaring temperatures, nutrition struggles and stomach issues, but I always told myself - ‘be conservative for the first 80-miles, and then race with whatever you have left.’ Cooling temperatures, some runnable segments, and well, what I managed to find deep within during those miles to claw back an unlikely outcome has once again left me in awe of the human body, and spirit. It was a special experience to witness.
I’m going to take some time to reflect on this one and share my reflections in future posts, but my uttermost thanks goes to everyone connected with Centurion Running - the volunteers were UNBELIEVABLE. No words can do justice just how brilliant everyone was at each aid station. Encouraging words, sharing their own tips, and the food choices which greeted the runners was top quality nosh - even if I could only stomach watermelon for most of the time. I have a newfound love for that beautiful fruit.
A special mention to Anna Woodley and Trevor Davis who at differing times both took the time to drive down and meet me at various checkpoints.
Lastly - a huge thank you to my crew chiefs. Dad and my sister Nic. Just seeing you both at the aid stations gave me the greatest of boosts. I’m truly grateful.
Congratulations to all fellow runners. Sharing miles with some truly incredible people.
I look forward to sharing more from this adventure over the coming days. Until then…
Steps 👣 + Smiles 🤗
Keep #Smilinggg 💛