My feet felt as light as helium balloons and my adrenaline thumped like boiling oil as we sprinted off the starting line. It had been 4 weeks since my last ultra running race so i was thrilled to feel so good.so what I had ahead was a good day out, a few lessons to learn, a deeper understanding of my limits, I think, and a head full of amazing imagery from a spectacular setting.but also the first time I have ever got so annoyed in an ultra race .
The Causeway Coast Ultra is one of 5 events that take place on the same piece of stunning coastline on the same day. Ultra, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and Challenge Walk, something for everyone. The Marathon is a straight forward out and back from race HQ at Portballintrae to Ballintoy Quarry and back. To make up the Ultra distance, competitors are bussed out to Portstewart and run the 13 miles or so back to HQ and then run the out and back marathon course. Still with me? We were being treated to perfect conditions for running The scenery was ever changing and majestic. The first 13 miles of the Ultra are a mixture of sandy beach and civilized coastline, promenades, seaside parks and a bit of road. Easy going and smooth. After running through the marathon start at HQ the character changes and you are in to an area of outstanding natural beauty. Underfoot it changes from concrete to trail, stony,Climbs and rocky in places but overall very runnable. Now here is were this ultra marathon got disappointing for me,with 31 miles of the 40 mile ultra run the half marathoners and 10km runners started to catch me as they all set off much later in the day and suddenly the once open trail ahead just become a line of people in front of you.I spent more time stepping to the side of the trail leaving them all run past costing me time.I was going much slower then them(i had just run 31 miles they were on the 3rd or 4th mile)and a number of occasions a few of them were very rude because i was holding them up and shared there unhappiness with me.One runner even commented to the person they were running within ear distance of myself that those ultra runners should not be left on the course as they are to slow.To be honest it spoiled an other wise great day. so i will leave you with this.
TAKE SOME TIME TO THINK,
TAKE SOME TIME TO BE WITH ACCOMPLICES,
TAKE SOME TIME TO RETROSPECT AND CHANGE,
TAKE SOME TIME TO RUN WITH PURPOSE,
TAKE SOME TIME WATCH OTHER'S RUN,
TAKE SOME TIME TO ADVICE THOSE IN NEED
RUN A MILE,YOU WILL ACQUIRE A SMILE
RUN 40 MILES,YOU WILL SMILE FOR DAYS
RUN FOR DAYS,YOUR SMILE WILL EARN YOU A HEAVENLY GAZE
A side note also had the honourer of running the same race as Anthony Whelan (pictured with me) who finished 2nd overall in his first ultra race in 14 months.keep an eye on him in the future lads for many more wins.