So, I pulled out after 61km. Not because I was hurt nor because I lacked energy. Actually, I felt stronger and better than ever. But, the rain absolutely killed my lust to run. I couldn’t run. I wanted to, so badly but the rain turned everything to mud and after fishing up my shoes for the 10th time I was just DONE. No way I could continue.
Of course, it was a magic start at 5 am. 1000 runners leaving at the same time, walking uphill and running downhill. I love the Ultras. Contrary to when you’re at a half or full marathon, when you can see every kind of people (small, big, tall, short) this was a much more uniform gang. I was very much larger than anyone else, but no-one made me feel I shouldn’t have been there.
I think it took an hour until the rain started, and after that I had 10 hours of pure hell. felt as if I’d entered the Hunger Games instead of a marathon… As I said before, I was actually in good shape. Everything worked out fine. I was given salts sticks from one of the guys I was car pooling with to the race and I took one every hour with big gulps of water. Every 5 k I had a mug of sports drink. I had two Clif bars to nibble on as well as some salty liquorice and a Clif Gel and some Bloks. In my UltrAspire I had about 1,5 liters of water and used all of it.
The UV90, Ultravasan 90 km, has a few stop stations along the way. The first I arrived to with 30 mins spare time, the 2nd with 15 mins and the 3rd I arrived just as it closed. I was however allowed to pass. Arriving to the 4th I was an hour late, and here’s where the madness starts. I knew I was late. I had faced so much mud, so much rain I was just giving up – I also knew I was late and would be pulled off the race. I removed my iPhone from the waterproof (not really) pocket and tried to get it open. My fingers were all mushy from 10 hours of constant water. There was nothing I could dry them with. Everything was soaked. My iPhone reacted as if I was wearing gloves. My “pick-up team” that I had waiting at home, who all were instructed with what to say to keep me going, was out of reach. I was running alone. If someone just told me the things I figured out too late… but I couldn’t.
Arriving at Oxberg they said to me to”keep going, you look sharp, go on!” I said, “I’m late, I hate the rain”. They insisted I’d see the doctor and she cleared me to run. It was still raining. Water everywhere. But then, sitting there sipping hot blueberry soup the sun came forward and I asked “can I really keep going?”, “sure, you’re not last and the shorter distances are still out there”. I knew I had only 19km until the last stop and after that only 10km for the finish line. But once I tried to stand up, after sitting down for 15 mins, it was impossible to move my legs… That was it. Rae ended for me. But 61 km in a race still qualify me to be a ULTRA MARATHONER and that was my excuse to do this anyway 😉
My watch, a Garmin 235 died after 10 hours. I had it down to a minimal energy. My iPhone, in flight mode, was still at 30% when I pulled out.
What I was wearing:
Skins A200, my Brighton Marathon finisher shirt (I managed to pack 2 shirts, both colour teal, both wrong shirt), Nike running socks, shock absorber running bra and ASICS gel kayano SW and Victoria Secret no seam undies. In my drop bag for the 45k I had a complete change (except shoes) + some more Clif bars, clip gels and a full power bank.
It’s less than two years ago I ran 5km for the very first time… Yeah, I can’t be too upset about not finishing the 90k… even tho, I am am – cause I still had som much energy left.
What the rain did, and what I never experienced before was that I got massive sharing from the running bra. On the back I even had open wounds. I guess sweat is one thing, but rain something different.
So, I will do it again next year. I can’t do anything about the weather but the odds that it will rain like this twice must be very small… wish me luck!