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Two 'Ultras' in 8 days

17/05/2014

On Saturday 10th May, Les Hill tackled the Kintyre Way Short Ultra. The reason for it being called the short ultra is because it is 'only' 35.5 miles!.. the long one run on the same day covers a distance of 67 miles...

Les ran this race because it is one of the counters for the 2014 Runfurther Series. When the race set off from Tayinloan Les stayed with the leaders of both the solo race and some of the first leg runners who were doing the same event as part of a three stage relay. After 5 miles the route traversed the summit of the first climb and Les found himself being left behind by four from the solo event and two from the relay, however he was not too concerned as he was happy with his pace judgement.  

Twice during the first section as he headed for the checkpoint at Carradale, (15.5 miles from the start), he caught up with a relay runner who had strayed off route. Unfortunately, the second time Les found he had also gone astray and subsequently added on 1.5 miles! However, at the Carradale check point he discovered he was still in fifth place but had lost a lot of time to the four runners ahead.

The route has over 4,700 feet of ascent and this continues until the last few miles. With approximately 8 miles to go Les realised that if he continued to run at a steady pace he could possibly finish in under six hours and he was delighted to achieve this, completing the race in 5 hours 58 minutes 13 seconds and also to stay in 5th place from a total of 57 individual finishers, with only two of the relay teams finishing ahead of him.

Now, after having completed three of the counting races he is well positioned in the Runfurther Series in 6th place overall.

Basel 24 Hour race

In his euphoria he then foolishly (his own words!) booked a flight to Basel in Switzerland so he could enter the Basel 24 hours race which took place exactly one week later. From the start at noon on Saturday 17th May, he ran well for four hours covering over the marathon distance in this time but then the previous weeks efforts kicked in and he gradually got slower and slower. He then set himself a new challenge of just jogging and walking until 12 hours had passed at which time he stopped, having managed 53.4 miles, a double marathon in one day.

Photo courtesy of Kanai Zimmerman, Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

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