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2020 – an Ultra Year!

By ActionGeek. Posted in Action, Running | No Comments »

While I’ve had “Complete an ultramarathon” on my list for a long time, 2019 was finally the year I got to cross it off. Wanting to build on that I decided not to sign up for 1 more in 2020, but for 3 of them!

First will be the Cousin Jack Ultra in February. An out and back on the Cornish coast path, starting and finishing at St.Ives with the turnaround at Cape Cornwall for a total of 35 miles. It will be the most exposed route I’ve done so far, and with a night time start the first couple of hours will be done in the dark with a head torch. I’ve been running with a head torch for years so that doesn’t bother me, but I don’t usually run on the coast path in the dark so I want to get some practice in before the event.

Next up is the Classic Quarter. This was actually one of the events that originally peaked my interest in ultra running. It starts at Lizard Point (the most southerly part of mainland UK) and follows the coast path for 44 miles to finish at Land’s End (the most westerly part). It’s a step up from my longest run so far which was 40 miles, is perfectly timed as a “training run” for event 3 of the year, and will likely bring back memories of rolling into Land’s End back in 2003 when I cycled the length of the UK from John O’Goats to Land’s End in 11 days. This one is in early June which builds perfectly into event 3…

The Plague! Part of the Roseland August Trail (RAT) running festival, last year I ran the Red Rat (20 miles) this time I’m skipping past the Black Rat 32 mile option and going straight to the 64 mile (100km) run. Starting at Porthpean (where all RAT runs including the red I ran last year) finish, it’s another out and back this time following a very jagged stretch of coastline south to St.Anthony’s Head and back. It starts at midnight so will be quite a few hours of running in the dark, and is a significant increase in distance so I need to be well prepared.

So – 35 miles, 44 miles, 64 miles, seems like a nice solid progression! I have to admit the thought of the 100k still makes me nervous, but that’s half the point isn’t it… if it was easy there would be no point. Competing my first ultra last year gives me confidence, and hopefully completing both the Cousin Jack and Classic Quarter in turn will only build that confidence further. I have what I think is a solid training plan in place (which will no doubt go out the window once or twice along the way when life throws spanners in the work) and I’m raring to go… let’s do 2020!

This is a fantastic short film about a runner’s first entry to the plague. I’ve already watched it twice, no doubt I’ll watch it a couple more times before the event it both gives me confience I can do it, and reminds me how tough it will be at the same time!

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