I felt less than great in the lead up with a cold. Also, I had to complete the race within 30 hours in order to get some sort of sleep before catching a flight to a family holiday in Gran Canaria. My sister booked it without asking when the race was, so I had to forgoe the first 3 days and schedule a flight for (just) after the race. Not the best lead up to a long tough race!
I got as far as Wasdale feeling ok, then halfway up the climb to Black Sail pass I ran out of energy. My legs fealt dead and within the space of 20 mins my thoughts had gone from, feeling ok maybe sub 24 hours is on, to, well I'll get around in under 30 hours anyway, to, I can't do this. By the top of Black Sail a few went past me with words of encouragement as the night closed in. Unfortunately their good sentiments were wasted, I had already quit in my mind. I struggled on to Buttermere vowing to have a long break to decide what to do.
After 15 minutes refuelling at Buttermere CP (just in case I got food intake wrong, although I doubted it to be the problem) and a good chat with James Ellson, who was going through a similar experience, and decided to withdraw there. I decided to try again by getting to Braithwaite CP and reassessing. I struggled way more than I ever remember on any Ultra, I was moving at what should have been a conservative pace, yet I felt like I was pushing, as if near the end maybe 90 miles in. Halfway through the leg I decided to quit at the Braithwaite CP. I think the cold and Flemy chest had had a bigger effect on me than I realised whilst training.
I felt gutted to pull out only 30 miles into the race, but I know it was the right thing to do as I just didn't have it on the day. A long wait for the broom wagon ensued, and I got to see the entire (apart from the first 28 runners) field pass through. Night turned to day then we set off on the sleep inducing trip of shame back to the campsite.
I've already entered next years race, to put things right. Hopefully!
Looking on the brighter side. I got to see 4 hours in the life of a well organised checkpoint....
... and the start of the Lakeland 50 race.