Posts tagged challenge

London 2 Brighton 100km 24/25.5.14

After a lovely evening reunion with half of my challenge buddies, and a good nights rest, it was into the cab, and off to the start line. I was hoping for a good time, maybe even my best 100km time, but knew that would be hard. I would also be walking with friend who was doing the first 56km. His first challenge and the furthest he would have walked in one hit. I had a nervy sick feeling in my stomach as the flags and bustle of people at the event start came into view.

After registering and meeting everyone else my nerves soon turned to excitement. It’s a long way and you can never really know what is ahead. I had done this challenge 2 years ago and now about to start my 4th 100km knew that you can never know how the day will unfold no matter what your training.

100km would make a small book to recap everything so here’s some key points. Starting off as a large group we set off at our allotted time from The Old Richmond Deer Park, along the lovely Thames Path for a towards Kingston before heading away from the Thames into South London Suburbia. Walking with my friend we set a good pace as we weaved through the urban Surrey hills. The highlight of this section being Nonsuch Park, once established as a deer hunting park by King Henry VIII. Reaching Oaks park we completed a fairly easy but surprisingly hilly first 25km.

The next stage at last became more rural with rolling downland and pretty meadows interspersed with the something we would soon be getting very used to. Mud.
As the sun started setting the excitement of the night stages grew, but so did the amount of mud. My friend had changed his start time to an hour later to be the same as us, and he didn’t have a head torch as this wasn’t on the 56km kit list. Not expecting this amount of mud I soon slipped over, stupidly not using my trekking poles. Realising how tough this must be for my friend I leant him one of my poles, and as much as I could, kept turning around to give him some light.

Reaching the 56km and “halfway” point I was very happy to see my friend achieve his medal. Asking him how he felt, he replied, “fine up to 50km, but the next 6 were hell. Looking around the marquee it resembled a field tent. Quite a lot of people looked pretty done in, and I’d seen the blue lights of at least 2 ambulances. After eating and then a quick change of socks which turned into a blister patch up too, I set off into the night with 2 friends and it was only a few minutes till we hit yet more mud.

The event organisers later said that this year had seen the toughest conditions ever. Off course due to the mud, which was made worse by a few torrential down pours over the event. The mud was relentless and energy sapping on the leg muscles. The many many stiles, slopes, fallen trees, bridges and more became coated in it and gave no break from is squelchy grasp. Each obstacle caused participants to bunch up causing delays. As we made our way through the night the dawn chorus helped the spirits to rise and we were making good progress

But hitting the 80km checkpoint tiredness finally kicked in, I felt absolutely shattered, could barely think straight and my muscles stiffened leaving me feeling that I wouldn’t be able to carry on. This was a bigger wall than I had ever felt. I had eaten at the halfway point but perhaps not as much as I should as I ended up eating 7 bacon and sausage rolls at this point. I ended up resting for 2 and a half hours and after having many messages and calls of encouragement I had still decided to pull out but heading past the water I thought I had better fill my bladder for the transfer to keep hydrated. But the support must have hit a nerve inside as I headed back out rather than stopping. I had wanted to run more on this 100k but the mud stopped all that. I knew there wouldn’t be any more mud on this section and so ran the next 7km in 55 minutes. A pretty quick run for me!

Another friend who was marshalling at the end stage, an experienced runner who has complete the Marathon des Sables no less, came to meet and help pace me in. I got my trekking poles out again and kept up a power walk overtaking quite a few people. L2B finishes at Brighton race course and as I saw the 99k market it was just by the 4 furlong marker and I ran in the last 800 metres to quick a packed crowd of cheering which was something I had never really felt in quite this way.

It was an amazing challenge made even more challenging by the mud. It was a shame I couldn’t run as much as I wanted but felt good running the bits I did, and feel encourage to train harder to run more in The Isle of Wight 106km in August and am getting tempted by the Gower 50 Ultra in October.


Well it’s challenge time again. Another 100km this time in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It’s looking like a wet and possibly stormy weekend so that could certainly add to the challenge, as if crossing the Pennines wasn’t enough. Thanks to all those that have sponsored me, and if you would still like to then please follow the link.
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OliverPrentice

Well it’s challenge time again. Another 100km this time in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It’s looking like a wet and possibly stormy weekend so that could certainly add to the challenge, as if crossing the Pennines wasn’t enough. Thanks to all those that have sponsored me, and if you would still like to then please follow the link.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OliverPrentice


blissedasanewt:

Pennine Way signpost and hillsides above Edale. The way down to the right leads to Grindsbrook Dale at the very start (or finish) of the walk.

(© Copyright Andrew Hill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)


Less than 3 weeks till I take on the Trans Pennine 100km challenge, looks like it could be a hilly one! Doing this in memory of my aunt and for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Please sponsor me for this great cause.
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/oliverprentice

blissedasanewt:

Pennine Way signpost and hillsides above Edale. The way down to the right leads to Grindsbrook Dale at the very start (or finish) of the walk.

(© Copyright Andrew Hill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

Less than 3 weeks till I take on the Trans Pennine 100km challenge, looks like it could be a hilly one! Doing this in memory of my aunt and for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Please sponsor me for this great cause.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/oliverprentice



With my medal having just crossed the finish in 24 hours 25 minutes including all rests.

With my medal having just crossed the finish in 24 hours 25 minutes including all rests.


Almost there. About 11km to go at this stage. Nice of them to have this crazy steep bridge!!!

Almost there. About 11km to go at this stage. Nice of them to have this crazy steep bridge!!!


Can’t believe I’ve just finished my second 100km trek, and I sprinted last 25m across the line. Was so hard, but glad I carried on. Had to dig deep!!


28km in. Lunch stop!

28km in. Lunch stop!


Tomorrow afternoon i’ll be setting off to Putney in London to prepare for the Thames Path 100km Trek. I didn’t imagine that at the beginning of the year I would be doing anywhere near that distance, let alone twice, and climbed the 3 Peaks in between.

I started challenging myself a few years back with shorter walks for charity, and as I got fitter, upping the distance which of course meant tougher fund raising targets. I have always supported Hope for Children and have seen them grow over the years. It is great to support a small charity and see the great work they do. I amazed at peoples generosity and have raised approaching £2,000!

This one is different as I now know many people who are also doing many different challenges, raising money for all sorts of charities, so it will be great to walk among friends. Some this time are marshals helping out at checkpoints or walking parts of the route so there will always be a friendly face along the way.

Strangely the weather is nearly the same as before, a week of heavy rain, with a clear weekend forecast, which means it could be ideal conditions but muddy under foot. Either way these challenges are addictive, and I will continue to push myself and raise money for Hope. Who knows where it will take me!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OliverPrentice


3 Peaks: Ben Nevis

The 10 hour drive to Fort William went surprisingly quick, with the drive through Scotland, after Glasgow really being an eye-opener of just how epic the landscape is. We soon found our accommodation, and a pub for some hearty local fare. Chicken stuffed with Haggis. Well, when in Rome. 

We checked the weather for the ascent the next day as Ben Nevis only has a few clear days each year and wanted to make sure it would be safe. It was due to get worse as the day went on closing in at midday. So we set off as early after as we could after breakfast.

A small strip of low cloud hung over the car park as we embarked on the first climb, full of high spirits and a little uncertain of what lay ahead. It was great setting off in good weather and we made good progress. The path soon changed to rocky steps and it began to hit home that this was going to be quite a challenge as we looked up towards the summit that was still out of view, and starting to get harder to see, as the clouds were closed in. 

The rocky steps flattened out to give us a respite, and walking past a tarn we could see the green fading into rocky grey. This was the start of the famous zig zags and the beginning of the steeper climb to the top. As we reached this area it was waterproof time as the rain started to come down. 

The zig zags got rockier and harder as the visibility got worse and the rain and wind got harder. The final climb is not too steep but is a bit of a clamber over a boulder field from cairn to cairn. (piles of stones to mark the route) These were starting to disappear into the murk and it was slightly worrying that we may loose the path as this was around the area of the infamous five finger gully. Thankfully to the great map reading and use of GPS we reached the summit. It was very cold and everyone’s fingers starting to loose feeling due to the probable below freezing wind chill. After adding extra layers, quick photos and a bite to eat we quickly and carefully made our way down. 

Once clear of the cloud cover and seeing the route down we knew we were clear of real danger but the rocky steps were very slippery and I found it quite a difficult descent. Especially with 50mph gusts and stinging sleet! I was certainly glad of my trekking poles. It was an intense climb requiring full concentration, and we didn’t realise what we had achieved till nearly back at the car. Peak 1 ticked off! Click the link below for all the route details:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/218886633#.UEZzBhskXco.facebook


I’m currently in the middle of climbing the 3 Peaks, which I am using as part of my training (yes crazy) for another 100km charity walk. This time it is along the Thames pathway from Putney to Henly, and with only 4 weeks to go it is rapidly approaching! 

I am again walking for the great charity of Hope for Children, so please dig deep and lend your support!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OliverPrentice

http://www.hope-for-children.org/



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