Just a quick update on yesterday's London to Brighton Off-Road Ultra Race. The race was a 'low key' event, with there being only 90 entries, resulting in surprisingly only around 55 starters. So compared to my previous race, the Montane Lakeland 100, where there was the amazing busyness with the huge numbers of both runners and spectators, yesterday morning there was a quiet friendly atmosphere as the 55 runners were getting ready for the 6:00 am start.
We started in the dark, with the impressive London high rise landscape visibly close. The first miles were mainly on well lit cycle paths, so there was no issue with the darkness. I adopted my usual fast start, which was aided by a steady drop down from Blackheath Common, so within the first three-quarters of a mile, I had already established a lead of around 150 metres. I therefore ran the entire 60 miles on my own, with the friendly checkpoint volunteers being my only company, apart from my family Frances, Rob and Chris, and some friends, who cheered me on at around the 37 mile mark.
I reached the finish on the Brighton foreshore in a time of 8:54:58, a bit slower than my planned race schedule, but still a pretty respectable time. Second place was Ryan McCrickard in 10:51:22, closely followed by Bogdan Petrutu in 10:52:09. First woman was Catherine Hayden (12:59:38), in a close finish with Kirsty Williams only 13 seconds behind (12:59:51).
Overall it was an enjoyable run from London to Brighton. The course the organisers have set, is really a great route. For such a good event, there really should be hundreds of runners taking part, as there were some pretty spectacular tracks we traveled along, and some pretty impressive views. I think the very strict cut-off time of 13 hours 30 minutes may have something to do with the low number of entrants. Which for 60 undulating off-road miles, it is a very demanding cut-off, so excludes many runners.
A full race report should be posted later in the week. And for a change I think it will be quite a brief report, as really not much happened apart from me simply putting one foot in front of the other!
PS You may have noticed my new logo for 'Stuart Mills Run Coaching' which was designed with the help of my son Chris. With regards to my coaching, I am finding it an enjoyable challenge, now with eight runners signed up. I have decided that in order to provide a quality individualised coaching service I will only coach a maximum of eleven runners. So if you are interested in working with me to improve your running performance, then zap me an e-mail, although you may have to be quick!