The Boddington 100K takes place on a 2.2 mile lap course on flat country roads in Gloucestershire. I entered it as it’s a new distance for me, so it seemed churlish not to. I was very wary of the 11.5 hour time limit, especially as the race was just 3 weeks after GUCR (and 5 weeks after 10in10) and I had no idea if I’d be recovered enough from those to be quick enough.
The organiser took me to one side when I was collecting my number. She asked if I’d done the distance before and what sort of time I could manage.[hahahahahahahaha – Ed] I could have said that while I hadn’t done 100K, I’d done 3 longer races, another 5 races of 50 miles or more and over 20 shorter ultras. But as I wasn’t feeling too confident about getting round in time (mainly because my knees spent all of Friday feeling just plain wrong), I think I just mumbled something about having done a few long runs. My running friends, who overheard and had far more faith in my ability, found it hilarious – “doesn’t she know who you are?!”. It’s a good thing they were there as it was otherwise a rather disconcerting way to start the day.
I needn’t have worried. I wore compression bandages on my knees – possibly their main purpose was to act as security blankets – and my legs held up very well throughout. I ran a relaxed first marathon in 3:53, went through the double in 8:13 and finished in 9:56. I am very pleased with that. I actually ran the first 70K (stopping only to fill my water bottle and grab gels or food from the checkpoint) and even after that only had a short walk every couple of miles or so. I think I’d had more than enough walking at the canal, so was far more comfortable just to keep running.
I like laps. A good thing as there were 28 of them. As the marathon and 50K were on the same course, all starting at the same time, it meant that there were plenty of people around. I don’t mind being lapped by faster runners – I enjoy watching people who are good at their sport. And for a change I actually lapped quite a few people myself too. I ran with Lindley, who’d I’d met at a couple of previous races, for a few miles at the start, but spent the majority of the race just pootling along on my own. It was pretty warm, but with a pleasant cooling breeze. The race memento was one of those laser etched paperweight thingies. The 100K race was a Celtic Plate team competition: England v Ireland v Scotland v Wales, with 3 from each country to count. It was won be the English men and the Scottish women. As it turned out, I was the only English girl there who finished. Seemed like a missed opportunity – if there had been a couple more, I could have said I competed on the England team. Better than the football.
A lovely day out all in all.