Ultra Challenge 2017
In May 2016 I ran my first ever ultra marathon - a total of 100km (62 miles) in one day, from London to Brighton. It was gruelling, emotional, painful and incredible all at the same time. I was running to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.
I recorded a small video of the day (shaky cam in full effect at times), which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/VbljPaohgos
I'm running the same course in May 2017, only this time it's even more personal. My Dad, Peter Gifford, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016. I'm running this to raise more money for a fantastic charity that provides support and care not just for those with the disease but also for the carers and family of the sufferers.
I have a few additional challenges to complete (self-imposed) as a result of this entry.
In 2016 I wanted to run the course within 15 hours. I didn't make it, instead crossing the finish line after 16 hours 14 minutes. Whilst the key goal was to actually cross the finish line intact, the sub-15 hours evaded me and I've never forgotten it.
For 2017 I now know the course (assuming it doesn't vary too much) and what is on offer at each aid station / rest stop so that I can refuel and prepare myself for each leg of the journey. The downside of this is that I now know what lays ahead of me. Mentally this is a big hurdle to get over. I know the areas I struggled and suffered, the many MANY fences and steps to lift yourself over (which after 2 1/2 back-to-back marathons gets really tiring), and the huge near-vertical hill at the 88km marker.
This year I aim to make the sub-15 hour time, which hopefully will not break me.
The second obstacle is time. I haven't run since October 2016, instead deciding to take some time off for the rest of the year and enjoy the food, drinks and festivities along the way. This means I have just five months to get myself ready for the challenge and start running again almost from scratch. That's quite a lot to manage in five months.
You can help
This is a personal challenge, an emotional challenge, and I really need your help and support to achieve this.
Please help me raise as much money as I can for this amazing charity. You can donate online using the following link, and your generosity and support will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
I will be blogging regularly throughout the months of training with updates (mostly for me so that I can see some kind of progress, but some may be interested in it as I go).
Please help wherever possible.
Thank you for your time and please consider a small donation.