One cold November night in the pub my friend Frankie casually announced she wanted to up her game and run an ultra. The ultra in question is the UKanTrail St Begas Ultra (SBU35) a 36 mile off-road run round the Lake District, selected on the basis they gave you beer at the end…
Feeling slightly fuzzy a few pints of cider later I, of course, thought it would be an absolutely awesome idea to spend a weekend up in the Lake District running the furthest distance ever in my life…off-road…and piped up that I would love to do it too! So, after putting off the commitment for a couple of months, this week I finally took the plunge and signed up. Yes, I have signed up to run an ultra.
The SBU35 was apparently designed with new ultra runners in mind and they say it’s ‘as tough as you want it’. Following the route of a legendary Irish princess between 2 chapels, it starts at Bass Lake and finishes (36 little miles later) in the West Coast village of St Bees. Stunning views have been promised!
I’ve got several friends who frequently participate in ultras and they’ve often tried to convince me that it’s actually easier than running a marathon…and the more marathons I run, the more this seems plausible. Constantly chasing a marathon PB is a physical and mental battle that leaves you frustrated, disappointed and a little bit broken. With an ultra there’s no expectation – what’s a good time for a 36 mile off road race? Does anyone know? Just getting to the finish line would be a pretty awesome achievement, right?!
I’m aware 36 miles is a long way and will require some hefty training but, assuming all is well, I will come out of Spring marathon-fit after doing the double in Brighton and London and I aim to keep that fitness through the summer. Cat tells me the best thing about ultras (apart from the cake) is that it’s totally acceptable to walk sections of it, so I don’t need to be able to run 36 miles non-stop, I just need to be able to keep moving forwards.
I have no idea what’s in store for this one, has my head finally agreed to something my body just won’t do? Looks like I’ll find out soon. Errrr, cheers Frankie!