A pretty uneventful week, for the most part. Although there was the small matter of the SVP50 on Saturday, which I’d entered a couple of weeks ago for reasons best known to myself, despite the distance being well out of my comfort zone, and before it turned out it would be taking place in a 32°C heatwave.
The race is the relatively new little brother of the SVP100, and covers 50km of the Stour Valley Path, from Sudbury to Brantham. Definitely not an event to treat as a race, especially in this weather, and I ran it with Emma, who’s done a few ultras before. I left her in charge of setting the pace (including walking the uphill bits, and deciding to switch to 25 min run/5 min walk by about halfway), which meant all I had to worry about was keeping up. Both of us have something of a reputation for poor navigational skills, but somehow we managed to cancel each other out, never both missing a turn at the same time. I managed to trip over 2½ times, but without doing any damage to either my body or my Garmin.
The heat was definitely the main feature of the day, and the excellent volunteers on the three aid stations with food, drink and hosepipes were very welcome, as were the occasional churchyard taps which gave extra opportunities to soak caps and flexible sports head pipes1 in cold water. We finished in about 6 hours 37 (oddly the tracker shows a two minute difference between our times, despite crossing the start and finish lines together. Not sure whether the actual results will be more accurate when they come out, but anyway it definitely wasn’t a day to worry about times).
Overall it was much less unpleasant than I thought it might have been, and there wasn’t really any point where I’d have said I definitely wasn’t enjoying it (or maybe I’ve already blocked the memories out). To be honest I don’t really think I felt much worse than the last time I was at Brantham Leisure Centre, after finishing the Friday 5 there a couple of weeks ago. Maybe there’s something in this long distance malarkey after all, but I’m definitely not going to start calling myself an ultra runner yet!
1Robin’s name for the generic version of a Buff™