“Ultra!?” I hear you say. I know, I don’t really do ultras and well this wasn’t really an ultra for me. The course was a long a 4.5 mile strip of disused railway line south of Ironbridge in a picturesque countryside spot near the tranquil village of Coalport. There were 2 distances available to the runners, 3 out back laps totalling 27 miles (not much more than a marathon) or 4 out back laps for a 36 mile ultra. And yes you guessed it I plumbed for the 3 lap, almost a marathon distance option.
At first is doesn’t seem like the most inspiring race to be going up and down a disused railway line but it was along the side of the river Seven and through some lovely country side with a mix of woodland and fields. There was also a well preserved railway station half way along the route to enjoy twice each lap. Another benefit of a course like this is you get to see every runner whether it is the slowest or fastest and therefore meet and encourage everybody in the race. The course was slightly down hill on the way out which meant on the last lap there was a slight incline to attend with for the last couple of miles towards the finish. The trail was made up of good hardcore but was very stony which after a lap or two made it tough going on the soles of your feet.
The race was held by Denzil a fellow 100 Marathon Club member who directed the race like the Fat Controller out of Thomas the Tank Engine wearing a top hat. In the past I’ve not had much luck with Denzil’s events, I’ve either been unwell, injured or endured bad weather. This even started the same way with heavy ran at the start that would have had Noah concerned. But as the race progressed into the 2nd lap the rain stopped and eventually the sun came out to end the day pleasantly warm.
The course was long and came out at 27.86 miles according to my Garmin so I was very pleased with my finishing time of race in 3 hours 43 minutes 16 seconds with almost even splits.
All in all at great day out and very enjoyable, thanks Denzil.