Race Report by Brian Boyle.
First report, so please forgive any waffling.
Having researched the car parking situation for COD events Railway Ultra, it was with confidence I set off bright and early for the M6/M54 jump into picturesque UNESCO world heritage territory.
This being my longest ever run, 28 miles, I made sure I had the right kit, nutrition, but sadly not a full training camp. A new puppy will disrupt anything.
I pulled into the car park near to the youth hostel in Coalbrookdale, at 0850 and was immediately concerned on my solitude, hmm. Reception had been open five minutes, where was everyone? Due to the depth of the gorge 4G wasn’t available, so up the hill, double check email, aah, the youth hostel at CoalPort!
Having parked and made a brisk 1 mile walk I managed to get signed in one minute before cut-off, drama? No, the queue for the portaloo was drama. Hearing the race start from the confines wasn’t a great feeling, and led to a gung ho approach for the first out and back 9 mile loop. Saying hi in passing to Lou and Lisa I was feeling strong but had totally forgotten today’s mantra, “It’s a training run, not a race!”
Hitting half marathon distance at 1:45 I knew I needed to slow down, and actually appreciated the scenery, I hadn’t noticed the lovely Apley Hall on the first lap. The following two laps slowly passed by, the ever changing camber and seemingly constant uphills really bit.
At about 27 miles my smile for running my furthest ever distance was magnified when Lisa & Lou were just starting their third and final lap and we all stopped for a Massey selfie. Crossing the line and ringing the bell wasn’t as emotional as last year’s London Marathon but 28.4 miles was a mini achievement for me.