Photo of my Trail Runners

Apocalypse 50

This page contains all my updates prior to the run. For a write up on the run itself, please check out My First Ultramarathon post.

I’ve already committed myself to doing several stupid running challenges, like the Boundary Run marathon and the March March march to help raise some money for charity. Somehow I’ve committed to upping the stupidity by signing up for the Apocalypse 50 UltraMarathon. I should probably be committed for this one.

I thought to myself, well if I can do the Boundary Run at 26.2 miles, then I should be able to do the March March march, which is around 31 miles. By extension, I should also be able to complete a 50-mile ultramarathon, because, you know, it’s only another 19 miles. The problem with that logic may be that I haven’t actually completed 31 miles yet. I haven’t even survived the Boundary Run yet. This may be a mistake which backfires completely.

I signed up for it more or less on a whim because a rather mad work colleague pointed it out to me and it isn’t all that far away from where my mum lives. It means that I’ll get to spend some of the weekend with my mum, my sister and my nieces. I now realise that I may have been able to find a better excuse to go visit, but I’ve paid the entry fee now, so that’s it I’m doing it.

You can take a look at the Apocalypse 50 route here. It consists of four loops:

Conquest – 9.5 miles, 2350 ft elevation.
Here I’m going to have to climb two hills; Caer Caradoc, an awesome iron age hill fort, and Wilstone Hill.

War – 13.5 miles, 2600 ft elevation.
Here I’ll be following a footpath over the Long Mynd, apparently following in the footsteps of Shroptshire’s “Mad” Jack Mytton.

Death – 12.5 miles, 2400 ft elevation.

Here I’ve got to ascend and descend the Long Mynd twice, just for laughs.

Famine – 14.5 miles, 2450 ft elevation.
Here I just have to run for a while, I don’t get any snacks for 14.5 miles. That’ll be fun too.

UPDATE: 2 Weeks Out

Okay, so I never got around to doing the March, March, March. Mostly because a friend who wanted to do it was too injured. So I’m jumping from 26 miles to 50 miles. I also haven’t quite got the mileage I was hoping to from the 1000 km challenge, so all in all preparation has been rather poor. I’ve done a lot of strength training and some sprints. I’m hoping it’ll all be alright on the night, but any dreams of doing this in some sort of respectable time are now right out the window. Last years winning time was 8 hours, I’m going to be just a tad slower than that. This one is going to hurt!

I haven’t decided which shoes I’m running in yet, and I don’t even have a running backpack. Apparently I need to carry warm layers, additional foods, mobile phone, and a few other odds and sods. Sorting out kit is going to have to be one of my next missions.

Similarly hill training has been problematic, because, you know, Cambridge, fens, flat. Here’s where I’m hoping the squats and leg presses and sled pushes will have helped strengthen me up for what’s ahead. I’ll try and get my long run in sometime this week. This week is the last training week before the run.

UPDATE: 3 Days Out

I’ve found a bag, almost sewn up my trail runners and gone for a late evening run. I’ve still got to buy some foods and stuff to munch on during my run and set up a playlist of songs to listen to when I need to get lost inside my own head. I feel that I should listening to something like Ride of the Valkyries or motivational rock music like Sail, but it’s almost certain that I’ll end up listening to something a little more silly.

I’ve been for my final run; a 10 km night time run. This was both useful and a bad idea for the same reason. I have now learnt that texting while running, off road, in the dark, is a bad idea; that’s the good part; it’s good to learn new things. The bad part is that I somewhat twisted my knee. This falls under the category of things that I didn’t want happening the week before my race. Oh well, at least there’s plenty of time to rest, ice and ibuprofen it. I am now alternating wildly between being totally confident about my run and fearing that I am destined to fail miserably. I’m sure that reality will end up somewhere in the middle of those two things, so all will be fine. Next up – the race!

You can read about how I got on with my ultramarathon in My First Ultramarathon post.

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