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Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

IAU World 100km: A bad day at the office

I sat by the side of the road with my head in my hands. It what was a feeling of shock more than anything. I have never experienced real failure during my still relatively brief running career, yet that is what I suddenly faced. I couldn't believe it. It was a horrible and premature end to a race which I had high hopes for. It was also only the second time I have ever pulled out of a race.

The first 37km of the race followed a linear route from Tuscania to Tarquinia (100km NW Rome), along country lanes through pretty rolling countryside. It was very pleasant, if a little more undulating than the organiser's route description had suggested. But the early kilometres passed without too much trouble, albeit it was too warm to be feeling completely comfortable.

At about 30km the first signs of trouble started to show, I lost rhythm and with it the comfort I should have maintained much further into the 100km route before the usual 'dig deep' stage. By 35km I was starting to panic, something was not right and it wasn't like a typical lull that I know well from running ultras. As I hit the 14.5km loop on the outskirts of Tarquinia (to be run 4 times) I suddenly started to slow and my pace dropped by 30odd seconds per mile. I knew then that whatever was up with me was catastrophic. Soon after I had come to the decision to pull out which I did at the 45km aid station.

I know deep down some of the factors that may have contributed to my poor performance but I've now got plenty of time to mull it all over and remedy things before racing again next year. No more ultra races this year; definitely time for some r&r plus time with much neglected girlfriend, friends and family!

Looking at the big picture this is the first time I've really taken a step backwards for the 3 or 4 years I've been running competitively. I've had a good spell and inevitably a blip was going to come at some stage, it was just gut-wrenching that it came when I was wearing my GB vest. Being philosophical maybe it's someone's way of saying I need a rest, or maybe just an event to help re-kindle my motivation? Whatever happens I'm looking forward to a fresh start in 2009 and plenty of race-planning in the interim!

Thanks to all for showing interest and the messages of support.


John Kynaston said...

So sorry to read you had to pull out. I was trying to follow your progress on the internet but there wasn't much information.

I'm sure we learn more through tough races like this than when everything goes well so I'm sure you will store up lessons learnt which will make you stronger next year and in years to come.

Recover well!


Julien said...

Sorry to hear that Jez. We all know how it feels to pull out. Have a good recovery and you'll be stronger next year.

Tim said...

Really sorry it didn't work out for you but as you say, you're probably overdue some R&R. Enjoy some time off and I'm sure you'll be back fitter and faster.

Scott said...


Thought about you on Saturday and had hoped for better results. As your 2008 racing season comes to a close, you've had a phenomenal year! Enjoy the R & R and plan for a 2009 racing season (which I hope includes WS100).

Happy Holidays my friend.

-Scott St John

Scott said...

I thought about you on Saturday and had hoped for better results. As your 2008 racing season comes to a close, rest and reflect- you had a phenomenal season. Happy Holidays to you as you put some thought into your 2009 racing reason (which I hope includes WS100!)


Vicky Little said...

Sorry to hear about your race Jez. Enjoy your rest and I'm sure it'll set you in good stead for some good racing next year.

Nick said...

Sorry it didn't go well last Saturday. We all know you can do it. Recharge your batteries for the rest of this year and start afresh in 2009.
Hope to see you at the runfurther party in the Lake District on Saturday. Fancy forming a team for the 2-hour score event? Should be a laugh. You might even care to jog off some of your frustration on the Wensleydale Wedge on Sunday, provided too much alcohol doesn't pass your lips (same goes for me) :)

Anonymous said...


Have a good recovery and you'll be stronger next year...

Anonymous said...

Jez - am sure the recovery time will allow you to reflect on what is still a sensational season.Sure there were disappointments, but you get that ..Nobody died and you still own a 95 mile stretch of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world .. All the best - Keith