An Ultra weekend for Notfast members.

The venue for a quartet of Notfast serious runners, namely Mike Bullock, Liz Walton, Caroline Upton and David Watt, was Whitby, a perfectly beautiful North Yorkshire harbour, with Captain Cook connections…and what a setting for the North Yorkshire 50 mile Ultramarathon..Breathtaking and Bad.

The Whitby 50 was as Mike said, phoning in, when 6 miles from the finish, “The hardest thing I have done in my life”…8 am to 7pm, he arrived back to sub-zero conditions, but 24th out of 88 Ultras. After phoning …he was to then go off course and take two hours to do six miles..Mike was as Americans would put it..’Bushed’

The Trio came in 3 1/2 hours later, effectively demolished, but alive, having been orienteering in the dark with head-torches for about 6 1/2 hours. When Caroline, Liz and David got back to Whitby Abbey it was so cold , and they were so wet ,that they could not undo their shoelaces as they were frozen one point Liz had been knee-deep in ‘slurry’…don’t ask !.  Organising their own route, on hands and knees, a bit of falling down, and enduring quite abominable conditions, un-runnable climbs and terrifying, treacherous descents….can it surprise any Notfast member that, the next morning, all four, walking like Herman Munster could only report ..” Brilliant, Fun, Scary….Would do it again”

There is NO glamour to this Ultrarun…get back to a simple finish line, cup of coffee and a bit of food, sitting on a plastic chair in a cheap tent and get back into the car, on a bleak, windswept, sub zero Whitby Abbey,..home,..bath,..fill bath with soil,..limp to bed,..down to breakfast the next morning on your bum down the staircase with a huge grin.

A little confidence here…one participant said to another …”I’ve been checking out some Ultra Runs today”…reply……….”So have I”…you guess who they were…………….

In addition to the quartet doing the 50 at Whitby, Colin Green and Stuart Ashley did a poor mans ultra, a 32 miler around Derby, namely The Wilmot Wander organised by the local scout group.

Starting at Chaddesden at 7.00am  in the dark shortly followed by a beautiful sunrise with plenty of frost to harden up the mud. The temperature gradually increased enough to thaw the mud but still a cold cloudy day.  The route did a complete anticlockwise circuit of Derby passing through Stanley, Duffield, Quardon, Mackworth, Radbourne, round the back of the Toyota works at Burnaston, along The Trent & Mersey Canal to Swarkestone Lock and then northwards back to Chaddesden.

Colin and Stuart finished the 32 mile route  together in  9 hours 26 mins.


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