Well, those of you who know me will realise by now that I love a challenge or something a bit different so when I heard about a night 12 hour race across the Humber Bridge I couln’t resist it. So last weekend together with my good friend Elaine Oddie we motored up to Hull for the first running (excuse the pun) of this unique racewhich started on the North side of the bridge at 7-00pm so we checked in to our Premier Inn just a couple of miles from the venue at 2-00pm with the idea of grabbing a few hours kip before going to the race. We had stopped for a meal at lunch time and planned to have a snack about 5-00pm.
We took the car as we didn’t fancy the walk back in the morning and the car park was very close to the start area. There were a few people there that I knew out of about 90 starters. There was also to be a relay event. We could feel the exitement in the air as there were a lot of ‘newbies’ to multi lap ultra distance running, some only having run a Marathon distance before.
Heavy rain was forecast for 1-00pm so we were prepared for that but, just as we were starting, it began raining so we donned our showerproof tops and set off around a curved path and then on up to the bridge. The circuit was exactly 2 miles to the turn around on the south side of the bridge and this proved to be very difficult with climbs either end and even the middle of the bridge was not flat. The refreshment table and portaloos were in the car park where we started from where some runners had small tents and crew helping them (located on grass under some trees).
There was a small marquee housing the team of lap recorders there also.
We ran the first lap but then decided we would walk the inclines at either end and jog the rest. As usual after a couple of hours we began to tire so the walking breaks became longer and the jogs shorter but we were enjoying the experience. The first shower didn’t last long and it stayed dry and not too cold until 2-30pm when the heavy rain came. It also got a bit windy so we were glad of our jackets that we had tied around our waists. We kept going through the night with a couple of breaks for grub and hot drinks. We actually finished at 6-30am as there was not time to complete another full lap. We could have done half a lap but would have had to walk all the way back (the last 2 miles would not have been recorded).
The winner Kevin Lally completed 19 laps (76 miles) and the first lady, Jennifer Bradley, 3rd overall did 17.5 laps (70 miles).
Well, Elaine and I managed just 9 laps (36 miles) but felt o.k. at the end although Elaine had a couple of blisters!
After a sandwich and drink in the visitor centre cafe the presentation was done, we collected our t shirts and headed back to the hotel. Elaine had a shower but I soaked in a nice hot bath then we both managed about 3 hours sleep before our drive home. I stayed the night in Westcliffe on Sea with Elaine and travelled home by coach the next day.
Well all in all a great weekend away and, as for the new race, couldn’t really fault it except that a portaloo at the southern end of the bridge would have been nice. It appears that this will be one of the improvements for 2012.
Unfortunately we will not be there as it will probably clash with my 6 day Ultrafest.