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FatPom

North Coast 50 ultra. Devon, UK

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So, after one of my earlier ultras was downgraded (retrospectively) to 3 ITRA points, I found myself needing a 3pt race in a bit of a hurry.  There are quite a few point scoring races left in the UK calendar but most of them are very long, arduous races that take place in the depths of winter, which doesn’t float my inexperienced ultra boat right now.

 

There was one race however, back in the south west called the ‘North Coast 50’.  It’s actually 56km and starts in Coombe Martin in Devon and finishes in Minehead, Somerset and follows the South West Coastal Path, which is a mix of muddy single track, coast path, rocky descents and very tricky woodland.  None of which is the main issue, the main issue is the 2330 mtrs of vert!

I stayed at Mum’s on Friday, which is about a 90min drive to Minehead.  I headed down at 3.30am ready to catch the 5.30am shuttle to the start.  The weather was very bad, cats and dogs rains, as it had been for the last few days.  There was a disagreement between organisers and the coach driver about the route to the start, the coach driver won, went the long way and that meant a 30min delay to the start time.  This was a blessing, as the rain had stopped when we started.

 

There was also a 100km version of the race which started at 10pm the night before, further down the coast and then picking up our route at just before halfway for them.  Because of this and the rain, the trail was very very muddy and your feet were going sideways more than forward. Could really have done with a pair of full on winter lugged trail shoes, as my Speedgoat IIs weren’t coping well. I was using my new Leki poles though, which were brilliant.

 

This course is extremely lumpy, and what descents there were seemed to be either rock strewn or woodland covered in wet leaves.  After my big fall at Easter and at another ultra earlier in the year,  I’m not a confident descender and lost many places descending.  My climbing is improving though.

 

The race itself did not go well for me.  My body had had enough by about 20kms in and everything was hurting and we still have the big challenges to come. These were the climb out of Lynmouth after CP1, which just seems to go on forever, the rock beach section of Porlock Weir after CP2 and the huge challenge of Porlock hill, 8kms from the end.

 

I won’t bore with the gory details but this was not my day. I had many more lows than highs, can’t say I enjoyed it, felt like bailing at CP2 but a spray for my migraine and a cup of tea helped.  I fell over with 6kms to go also.  4 Weeks ago I did a 52km race and came 30/105.  In this race I was close to last and the only people I had overtaken were the 100km walkers.

 

A very miserable 10hrs06, yep, not an error. 10;06 for 56km freakin kms.   Beautiful views and I have my UTMB points but I’m struggling to take the positives at the moment.

 

Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes the nail!  

ETA: Results are in 55/83

 

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Edited by FatPom
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Well done FP. You didnt pull the pin, you finished, you didnt come last, youve mastered the poles, you only fell once. You've got points.  You know you need to work on descending skills for your confidence which in turn will make you faster. Your climbing is improving.  

And you finished 55/83.   On a crappy day. Great work FP xxxxx 🙄👏

Now to make another cuppa & work out why you felt lousy at 20k. A virus or cold still hanging around maybe? Youve said in some of your training runs youve felt off the boil. Maybe youre not 100%.

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6 minutes ago, Surfer said:

Well done FP. You didnt pull the pin, you finished, you didnt come last, youve mastered the poles, you only fell once. You've got points.  You know you need to work on descending skills for your confidence which in turn will make you faster. Your climbing is improving.  

And you finished 55/83.   On a crappy day. Great work FP xxxxx 🙄👏

Now to make another cuppa & work out why you felt lousy at 20k. A virus or cold still hanging around maybe? Youve said in some of your training runs youve felt off the boil. Maybe youre not 100%.

Cheers Surfer. I think the positives will come in the next couple of days.  I've probably done a couple too many races for my first year at it.  

As to why I felt rough?  I did have a sore throat going into the race, had it since Thurs, which incidentally was the same day I had a flu jab.  I've not experienced any side effects with the jab before but I suppose it's possible?

 I'm definitely a bit burnt out.  I have a 10km race this Sunday but that will be a no pressure cruise, plus Flipper has a 1.2km under 9s race at the same venue.  I'm taking a few days off training and working out how I want the next few months to go.  

I'm thinking of joining the local athletic club to get a bit of run structure in my training but also to have a bit of banter with some training buddies.  Change of scene and all that.  :)

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2 hours ago, FatPom said:

Cheers Surfer. I think the positives will come in the next couple of days.  I've probably done a couple too many races for my first year at it.  

As to why I felt rough?  I did have a sore throat going into the race, had it since Thurs, which incidentally was the same day I had a flu jab.  I've not experienced any side effects with the jab before but I suppose it's possible?

 I'm definitely a bit burnt out.  I have a 10km race this Sunday but that will be a no pressure cruise, plus Flipper has a 1.2km under 9s race at the same venue.  I'm taking a few days off training and working out how I want the next few months to go.  

I'm thinking of joining the local athletic club to get a bit of run structure in my training but also to have a bit of banter with some training buddies.  Change of scene and all that.  :)

Training buddies & banter are gold 😊

Enjoy next weekend, you n Flipper can share race stories 😉

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