My brilliant golden boot award from my wonderful work colleagues :)
Posts tagged L2BC
Wow, well first of all I have to say how well organised this event was. Organised by www.actionchallenge.com it was extremely well sign posted, the staff were all helpful and friendly and they never ran out of food and drinks at the rest stops. The amount of injuries and blisters that were constantly being seen to, always with a smile was quite amazing.
I am glad that I didn’t take this challenge lightly. Walking or even running 100km as some did is a massive challenge in itself, the fact that we had so much mud as well made it even tougher on the muscles. Sticking at least to training schedule provided is the very minimum that should be done to get the body ready for such endurance.
Quality equipment is a must, especially boots and socks, keeping the feet dry and blister free is the most important thing, and the unfortunate reason why some had to make the difficult decision to stop.
Would I do it again? Ask me in a few more days! I would certainly do another Action Challenge event, whether it will be L2B again, or something different, even through the aches and pains, I have the bug!
75-100km. The final stage!
Leaving the rest stop at 75km, we stepped out into a glorious morning, albeit a vey cold and frosty one. The sun was just beginning to rise. It was 4.30 in the morning and tiredness was starting to kick in. I put in my earphones to listen to some music and was soon quite far ahead of the rest of the team. I felt a little bad, but knew I had to go at my own pace or I would start to flag to soon to the end.
I turned on my phone as there was no longer the need to reserve the battery. All through the challenge every time I turned on my phone I was inundated with messages of support and this was no different even though it was the night. One message spurred me on in particular. The team member that pulled out with the sprained ankle, had been taken to the 82km point, and after being treated by the medics was keen to carry on to the finish. Exciting news!
I carried on eager to meet up again, and met our old friend mud again. This was in a section I had trained in so had been expecting it, as it had been muddy before the rain, this was probably similar to the night section, but much shorter so at least I took a snap or two to give an idea of what the conditions had been like.
Reaching the 82km rest point my team member was waiting for me, so it felt great to be cheered and and have a welcome hug. As I was in front of the rest of the team I made the most of the offered leg massage, but it was so good that I made sure everyone else had one too, before we all once again set off as a full team.
Myself and my rejoined team member were soon out ahead again and we hit the steepest hill of the course Streat Hill, the one I slightly feared as it had put me out of training for a week with Achilles problems. Reaching the summit, we knew we were close to the end as the Brighton Football stadium was in sight. We had also heard that there was an extra rest point at 94km. Looking back we couldn’t see the rest of the team, feeling a little sad that we might not cross the line together, the two of us decided to push on. I wanted her to cross the line as she had been so amazing to carry on with the sprained ankle.
Climbing the final hill we could see Brighton Race Course in the distance and knew we were getting closer. We also knew it was an illusion and would feel like the longest 5km of the challenge. As we finally got closer we were on the race track and going around the bend, we could hear the supporters cheering and the organisers talking us in.
Crossing the line, we had our medals put around our necks and could hardly believe that we had done it. Meeting friends and family we sat down and waited for the joyous moment when the rest of the team crossed the line. I await the official times to be released any day soon, but am very proud to have been part of such a well organised event full of truly inspirational people!
50-75km section. Otherwise known as the night from hell!
We arrived at the 50km stop, slightly battered and bruised. The sun had set just before we arrived, and the final hill had seemed never ending. This was the first hot food stop, so we filled up, on meat balls, pasta, potatoes and veg, to fuel us through the coming night walk. The first photo shows the size of the marquee. Hats off to the organisers who never ran out of food or drink, The amazing first aid crew who patched everyone up where needed, and the route markers that stopped us getting lost.
One of our team was feeling quite low after the last hill and was suffering badly with blisters. She put on a brave face, we all put on our head torches and set out into the night. We hadn’t gone far, when the first call of “mud” came from ahead, and then my feet nearly slid out from underneath me. It was suddenly very slippery and boggy somehow at the same time.
I wish I could have photographed this section, and maybe with a flash it would have given some idea, but the truth is, it was rather dangerous, and everyone pulled together to help each other through it. Just staying on your feet was the most important thing. It became an assault course. The first really deep mud, was full of car tyres, which I guess was supposed to make it easier to cross, but just seemed like a joke. It was around 20km in pitch black, in which we trudged, slipped, climbed enumerable stiles, waded through flooded paths, clambered down mud caked steps, croosed bridges made from planks, and then climb massive mud caked hills only to repeat it all again. The stiles were all slippery and covered in mud, some paths had barbed wire down one side, and an electric fence on the other, so if you slipped there were other dangers.
I was very lucky with blisters, but this must have been even more of an ordeal for those who were already suffering, Goodness knows how the dragon got through, as well as others in fancy dress and many many more outstanding people. It is nearly impossible to describe just how hard this was. It was one of those, you have to be there to really understand moments. I later read on Facebook that an army team said it was a harder challenge than any of the arduous commando courses they had done. This blew me away!!
The second pic, shows the halfway refuelling point on this section. The tent here was literally full of steaming feet and broken bodies, we were amazed to have got here. I also heard the sad news that one of the team had slipped in the mud, spraining an ankle and popping 2 blisters, and had to pull out. The remainder of the section was less muddy but seemed to go on much further. We finally arrived at 75km point with the smell of bacon in the air. Happy that we were three quarters of the way through, and that by the time we had eaten, the sun would be rising and we would be able to see what we were walking on again.
Reaching the 25km stop it was down to us to provide our own lunch, but having said that there was still many snacks and hot drinks available, on what we were realising to be an extremely well organised event.
Leaving this rest stop we passed through Coulsdon, the ascended onto the Surrey hills near Caterham, before crossing the M25 and hitting the 38km mid point break, we refuelled, filled up water bottles and made any running repairs as quickly as possible in order to keep on going.
We soon hit some boggy fields which was our first sign of what was to come. It turned into 12km of 2-3inch deep water and mud, plus the first of what seemed like hundreds of stiles. Wooden planks that allow you to climb over fences between fields.
The ground finally became harder and the going easier. The sun was now starting to set as we were approaching the 50km break and I snapped myself walking along as I knew photos would be thin on the ground for a while.
As we walked through Felbridge, the support from the locals really lifted our spirits. Especially some of the children who were offering drinks and sweets as we passed by. We were all feeling hungry by now and 50km was our first hot food break, a welcome site!
Special mention to Kim, who completed the whole course dressed as a Dragon. An amazing achievement considering the conditions at the later stages!
The Start in Richmond Park to around 25km
We were due to start at 7:15, so after warming up with the “legendary” Mr Motivator, we set off from Richmond Old Deer Park on the long 100km trek towards Brighton, slightly in awe of the runners who had set off before us. The route took us along the Thames pathway, out of Richmond, through Kingston and down through the south London suburbs and into Surrey.
The organisers warned us at the start that even though we were lucky with the weather on the day, because of the rain over the previous few weeks, the course was extremely muddy in parts. As we followed the Thames path some of it was flooding slightly and some of the walkers that started after us ended up having to remove their boots and wading through the river that had completely covered the path. Perhaps a warning of things to come!
We had to walk through many suburbs before hitting the 12.5km stop, we got quite caught up in having a welcome cup of tea, and repairing feet, that an hour had soon passed, and we suddenly became very aware of how far we had to go, and that we had to up our pace.