This was to be my second 50K ultra within 3 weeks, which is taking my endurance running up to a brand new level.  I bumped into Erik Seibold as soon as I arrived to register, and we took refuge from the biting cold in my car for an hour until the briefing was due to start.  As we set off at the start I lost Erik straight away as he stormed off, and I settled into a comfortable pace.  I had counted the number of women competitors ahead of me, and after passing all but one in the next mile or so I was pretty sure I was the second placed woman.  Then I lost a shoe in the bog…then another one a few minutes later!  I briefly felt really frustrated but managed to sort my head out fast.  The course was really lovely, made up of three 10 mile’ish loops in the New Forest.  There were frequent water stops with food as well, but I stuck to Clif shots and dates (although getting at them with numb frozen fingers proved difficult at times).  It made such a refreshing change to be in a race where you weren’t rammed in with hundreds of people for every step, and everybody was so friendly.  This was my kind of crowd!  In the last 5 miles I was sure I’d lose my position, but used all the mental strategies in the book to keep going…I crossed the line in 04:46:33 (10 minutes faster than my previous 50K), and was second woman.  I bagged a nice little cash prize…maybe I’ll use it to pay for my entry again next year?

Time: 04:46:33

Gender pos 2/11, pos 14/50
Alex Portwine

1st, 2nd and 3rd place ladies (from right to left)