SDW 100 – DID. NOT. FINISH.
I’ve had to let the dust settle completely before starting to write this blog post. Unfortunately at the South Downs 100, I had the first ever ‘DNF’ next to my name at the end of the race. I just didn’t have it in me physically or more importantly, mentally, to get through this challenge.
This was always going to be an entirely different race as I had over 12,000ft of ascent to deal with and unexpectedly the weather was absolutely stunning apart from a major downpour a few hours in. I’m not the best runner in the heat and the energy sapping conditions made it difficult from my first stride to the last.
It was an early start with the race starting at 6am and during the first few hundred metres I felt a twinge in my right Achilles. Nothing too serious but a concern and something that would play on my mind throughout the day. After only 6 miles I started having serious reservations about what I was doing and the noise in my head from those negative voices beat me down with every step.
There was plenty of walking involved in the 54 miles I did manage to cover and I made the decision to pull out once I made it to Washington totally broken in mind, body and spirit. A fall at around 43 miles knocked the wind out of me, splitting both knees open and totally knocked my confidence. At the time I used this as my excuse to pull out but the reality is that I just wasn’t up to the task.
It’s taken me a while to get over this experience and slowly I’ve come to terms with what happened and have started running again. I thought long and hard about pulling out of my next race – the North Downs 100 – on the 9th August as my ‘Grand Slam’ dream has died but I’ve decided to give it a crack.
My head is screwed on tight and the moment I made the decision was honestly glorious – actual shivers down my spine. That’s what I lacked before the South Downs and may be what contributed to my failure, I didn’t care enough. I’m back now and I’m going to put everything into it come race day. I’ll keep you posted on my build up to the race in the next couple of weeks.