On Saturday I ran my first ultra. The 38 mile Jedburgh Three Hills ultramarathon. It’s more of a trail run with the Eildons thrown in halfway through, but no less a challenge. Out of the ultra and relay runners I didn’t see any other Carnethy tops, but chatting with a Harmeny runner he said they had 27 down, mostly for the relay.
Around 270 runners made the start line at 8am on Saturday. A wonderful setting by the Abbey in Jedburgh and perfect running conditions, if not a tad on the mild side for the end of October. The organisation of this event is impressive, with a dry line of Jed humour throw in to make it clear what they think of runners with headphones ignoring marshals, including the punishment they would mete out (30 mins penalty).
Given this was my first ultra I was taking the approach of “start really slowly and finish strong”. The route took us along the Jed Water, the Teviot and the Tweed rivers. All showing their striking autumn colours. Given it has been relatively dry of late the conditions under foot were perfect. After 17 miles we arrived at the 2nd check point at Rymers Stone before the ascent of the north Eildon. Having run on flat up until now it was a welcome relief to gain some height. The sun had come out and the views from the tops of the Tweed Valley below were stunning. On a different day a leisurely pack lunch would have hit the spot. The ascent and descent of the three Eildons provided a welcome change and was the part of the race I enjoyed the most! Bounding down the mid Eildon was especially worth the entry fee and I even got a couple of “go Carnethy” cries.
The 2nd half of the race was more serious. My training and previous runs up to marathon distance had not been great in terms of nutrition. Resulting in pretty bad nausea. I’ve been trying out Tailwind and this was what I used on Saturday. For the most part it worked well. I took drinks of coke at the check points and stayed off solids. The last 3 miles and especially the last mile as you come into Jedburgh seemed to take an age, but the support helped and I managed a semi-sprint finish, clocking a time of 07:55:58 which was my goal to come under 8hrs. The winning time was Mark Sutherland with a time of 05:12:06. Full results here – Keep it Simple Timing Jedburgh Ultra 2016 Finish
It is a fantastic event and looks to be growing each year as a sure bet in the diary each year for the runners I spoke to. Whether I do another ultra is down to whether I can sort my nutrition out. I loved the distance, just not the bad stomach. Any suggestions from members is most welcome.
Jedburgh Three Peaks Ultra Marathon