Monday, 16 July 2018

Race report from Club member Juhanna Kirk

“On sunday the 10th June I ran the Weald Challenge 50K Ultra Trail race starting and finishing in the small village of Muddles Green near Golden Cross.


“This is an out and back run along the Weald Way as far as Kings Standing clump on the Ashdown Forest and returning along the Vanguard way. It is a beautiful undulating route with about 60+ gates and stiles to navigate. There is also a half marathon option which shares part of the route and sets off an hour or so after the Ultra.
“The half marathon is well marked but beyond that the 18 or so miles of the 50K is not extensively marked apart from the Weald Way and Vanguard Way finger posts and occasional race markings at critical points.


“The day was due to be warm but cloudy. There were 202 starters in the 50K and the pace off the gun was pretty fast at the front. I was sharing the lead with another runner who seemed quite comfortable to start fast to try and lose as many behind as possible.


“We swapped the lead for much of the first two hours but he was a stronger runner than me (His Strava profile confirms this with his 50K PB at 3:30:48!! Just as well I didn’t know this at the time) and was ahead at the 16.6 mile half way point at Kings Standing although still in view so I was hanging on. I had a route map that I was partially following although having run the race in 2016 I was familiar with much of the course.


“The lead runner didn’t and a couple of time I caught up with him as he was uncertain of the route to follow. Things continued this way up until the fourth checkpoint where the Ultra re-joins the half marathon route for the final 6 miles.


“I thought by this time the lead runner had dropped me but I was surprised to hear I was the first runner through on the Ultra, so not quite sure what position I was in I continued on though slightly buoyed by the chance that I was in the lead.


“Overtaking some of the slower half marathon runners it did indeed seem I was the first coming through of the 50K so I pressed on, I had in a best case scenario hoped to finish in under 4 hours and I did seem possible for a while but I was tiring and although I gave it my best I finished in 4:04:26 and despite a bit of confusion as there were still half marathon runners finishing I was confirmed as the winner when the other runner came in 7 minutes after me.


“He had got lost and taken a wrong turning in a farm! There’s a lesson there as the Ultra is advertised as partly navigational race, and although this year it was better marked than before I was glad to have had a route map.


“A great run by fellow East Grinstead Triathlon Club member Alex Payne saw him come home in third place with a great time of 4:23:52.

Capture
“It was a fantastic day, and it is honestly one of my favourite races locally. The scenery is stunning and there is a great handmade mug for all finishers. Entries open in October so I highly recommend entering for next year, I know I will be going back.”

Upcoming Events

Sat Jul 21st 2018 - 6:30am-7:30am
Swim (All In) Session 1
King's Centre
Sat Jul 21st 2018 - 7:30am-8:30am
Swim (All In) Session 2
King's Centre
Sat Jul 21st 2018 - 7:45am-8:15am
Core Session
Sat Jul 21st 2018 - 9:00am-10:00am
Saturday Run
Kings Centre
Sat Jul 28th 2018 - 6:30am-7:30am
Swim (All In) Session 1
King's Centre
Sat Jul 28th 2018 - 7:30am-8:30am
Swim (All In) Session 2
King's Centre
Sat Jul 28th 2018 - 7:45am-8:15am
Core Session
Sat Jul 28th 2018 - 9:00am-10:00am
Saturday Run
Kings Centre