There are many positives for me to take from my running in 2018, but the reality is that my training consistency and race performances went downhill all year.
2018 was a year of 50s for me:- 50th birthday, all 4 of the Centurion 50 miles races (making up the ’50 slam’), and my first 50k ‘Beer Ultra’.
I finished every race, but some of them were by the skin of my teeth.
The first race of the year was the Centurion South Downs Way 50 where I finished in a decent sub 10 hour time. I was pretty pleased with this performance and had high hopes for the rest of the year.
I then began resting on my laurels. I did virtually no training for the Beer Ultra – well, that’s a lie, I did plenty of training for it, just not running… That race went okay, but it was more of a day out / jolly than a race.
The next 2 Centurion races were the North Downs Way 50 and the Chiltern Wonderland 50. Again, little training for either so it meant that I was scraping cut-offs, and I didn’t particularly enjoy either of these races – mainly because of the poor shape I was in.
Final race of the year was the Wendover Woods 50. This one was the same, but different. Little training in preparation, but I actually felt really good during the race. I think was down to the nature of the course which is basically you are either marching up a steep incline or running down a gentle slope/track.
Although my quads were pretty shot after a couple a few hours I could still run the downhills – so I was running all the way through, where normally I’d have a period of walking / shuffling from about 35 – 45 miles before being able to run again.
This race is also a looped event (5 x 10 mile loops), which is a format I like, so that played to my strengths too. It was also the last of the four Centurion 50 mile ‘grand slam’ races, so the climax of the years racing.
Overall, I’m so so with the year of running. I covered a shade over 1000 miles in 176 hours – half what I expected from myself, but I completed the ’50 slam’ and had a couple of decent performances.
Onward and upwards to 2019, where I’m signed up for the Centurion 100 mile Grand Slam.