Royal Parks Ultra 50K - Sunday 12 October 2014
Charlotte Reeves reports on her London experience
After last year’s Amsterdam marathon I decided that I wanted to run an
ultra, as I knew I could run a marathon! Rich found details of the Royal
Parks Ultra 50K, so eleven months ago I entered. Almost straight away I
picked up a calf injury that took several months to resolve.
Around February time I started to up my weekly mileage with
the odd back to back long run thrown in. I ran the London marathon
(4:04) and decided to try the North Dorset marathon (4:20) a few weeks
later to see how my legs had recovered, the answer was they hadn’t – I
found that a tough run.
With plenty of miles in my legs, I set a couple of summer off
road marathons as tough training runs, they were Salisbury 54321
marathon (4:39) and the Purbeck marathon (4:51). After Purbeck I wasn’t
sure if I was ready for the ultra, but others told me I was!
The week before the 50K could not have been worse, one of
Rich’s parents required emergency life-saving surgery and we had a
number of restless nights and trips to hospital - on my days off! With
encouragement from Rich’s family we headed to London on the Saturday
The weather on race day could not have been better, cool, dry
cloudy conditions. With less than 500 other ultra runners taking part I
nervously waited in the marquee for the 08:30 start. Rich did his best
at eating as many of the free bananas and sweets as was possible - what
he couldn’t eat found its way into his backpack as he knew the sweets
were my favourites!
On the start line my only objective was crossing the finish
line 50K away, this was a new level of running and I was completely out
of my comfort zone. With Rich’s words of advice in my ears I started on
a steady pace and ran my own race.
After about two miles I joined a lady who was also running
her first ultra and we quickly got chatting, the miles seemed to pass
effortlessly as we passed several of London’s big landmarks, Buckingham
Palace, the London Eye and then Big Ben even chimed as we passed by him.
The route predominately followed the Thames towards Kew, but running on
the river path had its hazards. At one point we had to dodge a canoeist
taking part in an event. In the final few miles we ran through Bushy
Park where there were massive deer everywhere, some of these deer were
feisty too – one was seen chasing a car!
The support from the other runners and public was brilliant.
The feed stations on the course were every 5K and well stocked with
Percy Pigs, my favourite sweets. The event was well marshalled, I will
confess to having handed an empty gel wrapper to an innocent member of
the public – well she did have a red top on like the marshals!
I can thoroughly recommend this event to anyone who wants to
run an ultra and this will not be my last.
As for my time for the 50K - 4:55:56, with a negative split!
That might have been my longest race, but my biggest is the
Las Vegas marathon on November 16th when I start as Miss
Reeves and finish as Mrs House!