For honesty’s sake I’m splitting this post into two parts as I started drafting part one the day before the race. Here we go…
As usual preparations began a couple of days before the race. Route checked, kit sorted, mental strategy planned: I always set myself a point in the route, usually a little over half way, where I say to myself- “I’ll be happy when I get to…”. For this race it was CP9, 28k.
Nutrition sorted day before, Nutella sandwiches for Ed, jelly babies, syrup cake, gels, coke, sports drink and of course, my sausage rolls!
Pretty much sums me up:
Although I wouldn’t do watermelon on an ultra again after Grand Tour of Skiddaw, just didn’t really do it for me.
We were staying in Sheffield so it was an early start. The organisers hammer home how tough the route is on the website and looking at the elevation map you can see why:
I wrote part one of this blog the day before, full of optimism! Here comes the reality…
Very, very hot day. Started well, maybe too well. Felt pretty good, climbing fairly freely. Started to feel a bit out of sorts on the second big climb, couldn’t catch my breath, chest tight, dizzy, legs heavy, kept going dark, kept shaking my head thinking, “just keep going it’s fine”. So I did keep going, if I’d stopped and thought about it and been honest with myself at that point I would have known I was in trouble.
Anyway I kept going, making it up to the highest point of the route and the self clip on the Druid Stone. I felt awful, really awful. Made it down a pretty steep descent through the heather (it is a stunning route, not that I was taking much notice at that point) and continued along the road, picking up a track past a farm.
Another major climb here and I knew I was in trouble. My legs felt like jelly and I just felt myself going down. As I sat there on the grass, my head was spinning, I felt so hot, so ill. Then I started spewing (apologies if TMI!) and it wouldn’t stop, I couldn’t take in any fluids and all the fluids that I had taken on were gone. Ed eventually got me off the hill, I kept trying to sit down and rest, I was exhausted, but kept wretching. Got back to the farm where I was completely out of it. From here I can’t remember too much, the farmer (a fell runner himself) and his wife helped cool me down and in a flurry of activity that went on around me, all I could do was spew and lie on the ground. Long story short, I was put on a drip, two bags of fluid, anti sickness meds, glucose and taken to hospital. Heat exhaustion, dehydration and low blood sugar.
I have to thank all those I involved in getting me sorted- I will be getting in touch with everyone to thank them personally.
So I guess there’s a lesson here about being honest with yourself or something, or maybe sometimes things just doen’t work out how you want them to, I could write something philosophical at this point but ffs screw it.