Could I really run an ULTRA???
Mid Life Running - what a totally appropriate name for the website. Traditionally Mid Life Crises come in the shape of new leather jackets and inappropriate sports cars (for us blokes, at least). Mine was at the age of about 46/47, when a "friend" told me he reckoned he could get me from half marathons to full marathons no problem. I was skeptical, but went along with it and, sure enough, did the 2014 Sauternes Marathon - followed by a tough AONB (hilly) Marathon on the lovely North Devon coast and then that was it! Small, amateur marathons, larger metropolitan marathons; an impromptu "friendly" 26.2 miles/6 pints/6 pubs/6 hours marathon. Even a very boozy Beaujolais Nouveau Marathon.
I'll tell you whatever next - an Ultra. Any distance over 26.2miles apparently classifies as an Ultra, so it seemed the natural next step. This summer, on the hottest day of the year so far, I found myself lining up with 42 other nutters to run 30miles around Street and Glastonbury (a week before the festival really gets going). 3 months short of my 50th birthday and there I am!
I put my target time on the entry form as 4hrs 40mins. Fair enough, it's 4 miles further than a marathon. Oh boy! Heat, hills, overgrown footpaths, heat, few water stops, poor/stolen route markers, heat, sheer distance, getting lost (and did I mention heat?) - all conspired against me so I was out for 7hrs 14mins!!!! I still came in 16th and would have been 8th if I hadn't got lost for the third or fourth time (but then they all say that, don't they!?).
On the plus side - I did it! 34 miles (I did mention getting lost!!). Definitely an ULTRA. Also, a great bunch of people to run with - and because you are running slower, for a greater distance, you actually have more of a chance to get to know them. The biggest plus? I can say I'm an ultra runner and never do another one, ever!
Today I have seen a website for an interesting 50km near Bath, the day before my 50th birthday, so who knows....?