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  • gethinthomas7

Endurance Life - Gower Ultra 2016

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Having caught the Ultra bug during Race to the King I decided that I wanted to enter the UTMB one day and to do that I needed to start collecting UTMB points as quickly as possible. Knowing that I would not be able to collect enough points for the UTMB in time I started collecting them for the CCC instead. To do that I decided to enter an Ultra slightly closer to home and opted for the Gower Ultra run by Endurance Life.

This race also coincided with Wales Vs Argentina, which I had tickets for and my plan was to finish the race and go straight to the game. Not much seemed to go right during this event. The race itself was only 32 miles and I should be finished quickly with enough time to make the start of the match. Error No 1.

It was a damp day in the Gower, but I think I had been spoilt by my previous Ultra where the checkpoints were well stocked with food, gels and drink as a result I opted to carry less of my own nutrition and rely more on the checkpoints. Error No 2. The first few miles went quite well, but I pushed harder than I should have not learning my lesson from the last race on to of being in a rush to finish.

Getting to the first checkpoint only to find a small tray of cut up Clif bars, half bananas and jugs of water that were not being refilled quick enough to cope with the runners coming through. 2 small bit of bar and I was back out onto the course that on a summers day would be very scenic running along the coast path and beaches with a few cheeky little climbs. The downside of this event is that is two loops, or to be more accurate a smaller loop within a big loop and you have to go passed the start/finish point which can be quite frustrating and tempting for those who have had enough.

By the time I roughly reached the 18 mile mark I knew I was behind the pace I had intended and needed to be to make the start of the match. So I decided to try and push harder, in doing so I forgot about my nutrition. Error No 3. As a result I started to slow down as my body was not getting the energy it needed which in turn made me try and push harder and totally neglect my nutrition. Error No 4. In reality I should have deliberately slowed down, taken stock of my situation and concentrate on eating for a while, this would have paid off in the long run.

I finally crossed the finish line in a time of 7:45:01 and in 75th out of 132. Not a terrible result or time but a race that taught me several things:

  1. On race day only focus on the race

  2. Don't always rely on aid stations

  3. Don't forget nutrition and hydration

  4. Slow down as not to forget nutrition

My experience at the Gower Ultra had put me off Endurance Life events, which is a shame as I had been looking forward to running one of their events since I read 50 Races to run before you die.

For those who are interested I made it to the Stadium ready for the second half, Wales won 24-20.

Key kits and bits

  • Trainers: Salomon S/LAB ULTRA

  • Watch: Garmin Fenix 3

  • Pack: Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 3.0

  • T-shirt: Salomon

  • Shorts: Nike

  • Socks: CEP run sock 2.0

  • Cap: Inov8 Race Ultra Running Peak Running Cap

Nutrition (carried by me)

  • Gels

  • SIS - Electrolyte tablets


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