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Ely Monster Marathon 2015
Sunday 27th September 2015
Nick O

As this was my ultra-debut I thought it made sense to write a short report, and it was great to see that C&C was represented in all 3 races that constituted the 'Ely Monster Run Fest'.

The events kicked off on a gloriously crisp & sunny morning with Ely cathedral towering above the start/finish line. The events were well-staggered, with the ultra starting at 8am, followed by the marathon at 9am and half-marathon at 10am.

First up credit must go to lightning-fast Sam Lewsey, not only managing to shake off a 'stinking cold' and complete the marathon, but she also won the women's event - a remarkable achievement which must have taken real guts. Sam finished in 3:39 and was ably assisted by pacemaker extraordinaire Ian Richardson.

In the half-marathon event Rodrigo Santos managed an impressive 3rd place overall with a time of 1:29. His achievement was only bettered by what can only be described as the best finish line photo ever!

In the ultra event, a daunting 68k (approx 42 miles) lay before me, my longest ever race to date. The course mostly followed bike route 11 all the way to Cambridge and back, with large sections going along the river and the fens. The conditions were perfect for running, with a cloudless sunny sky but a nice gentle breeze so it never felt too hot. I made a strong start that was mostly fuelled by instinct - all ideas of pacing seemed to go out the window & I seemed to just run as long as I felt comfortable. This refusal to see common sense and a rapidly rising heart-rate led to a hellish last 12 miles - not helped by tight hamstrings & stomach cramps - but mostly due to gung-ho pacing that backfired horribly! Nonetheless I managed to reach the finish just beyond my sub-6hrs target and can reflect on an enjoyable, low-key first foray into the world of ultra-running.

Monster Racing yet again delivered an excellent series of events which was well marshalled and supported throughout. I'm not sure if I'll do another ultra again, but I've certainly learnt another hard lesson about pacing!

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