For the 14th edition of goats on the run we’re going long – really long! – as we shine the spotlight on half a dozen Lonely Goat ultramarathoners who’ve recently caught our eye on our Facebook, Instagram and Strava channels.
At Lonely Goat Running Club, all runners are welcome, regardless of the speed you run, the distance you run, the events you run, or the reasons why you run. This is why, in goats on the run we celebrate all achievements and like to include a variety of different events. That said, sometimes there is a flurry of Goats running similar events that we can’t help but notice and shout about.
Over the past couple of weeks there have been a few ultramarathons (any event longer than the 26.2 miles of a marathon) taking place and the Herd has been well represented. Read on to discover how some of them got on.
It is often said that running an event is not about the miles you run on the day itself, but about the many, many miles you run, and the challenges you’ve had to overcome to get to the start line. Chelle ran in the 24 hour long Sublime Twenty4 event in Peterborough recently, where she had to run as many laps of the 10km course as she could from midday on Saturday to midday on Sunday. However, her challenge started long before that. In her own words:
“This picture shows what you can achieve if you really want it. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and managed to fracture my pelvis front and back along with a stress fracture of my femur. I rested as advised and slowly but surely the fractures healed. I began a slow start back to running – that was over 18 months ago – and this weekend I ran my first ultra in 24hr challenge.
I completed 92.5 miles in that time, was second female and even got presented an award. I am lucky in the fact I had friends and family support me through my whole journey over the years. I’ve been a Lonely Goat for a while now and love the fact that there is a fab support network here too.”
The challenge of running an ultramarathon is, unsurprisingly, finding the mental strength to keep going when your body and mind is telling you to stop. Being able to change your plan and adapt is key to reaching the finish line, as Elle managed at the Stonemad Running Festival. She chose the longest of the five distances offered, all of which started in the picturesque Irish town of Graiguenamanagh. Elle wrote:
“60km ultra today. Mentally tough for the first half: I was on my own (very Lonely Goat) and it was a canal bank so flat but heavy going in places. I decided at 11 miles that I needed to make a new plan as I was losing faith.
Run/walk on the flat is fantastic. 10:1, then 5:1 and finally 4:1. It saved my energy and gave me something to focus on. I finished strong in 6:38′ and surprisingly was 3rd lady home.”
Lisa Rodway and Ian Shearer
Times become less important as the distance increases, with just getting to the finish line being the main challenge of an ultramarathon. Sam experienced this as she completed the Eddum, a 50 mile challenge on the Epynt Way. The event showcases some of the most challenging and beautiful trails in Wales, sitting between the Brecon Beacons and the Cambrian Mountains. Sam wrote the following:
“Sorry I had to post, ‘cos I just woke up! I completed my first 50 mile ultra this weekend! The first 30 miles were epic (near sub 8 hours) then I had a horrid leg injury. I dug in and dragged myself around the last 20 miles to become one of the 2019 Eddum finishers!
I feel like I went through every emotion & then more – brutal! My completion time became less important as time went on and I just had to finish, pick up my medal and show my family you can do anything if you keep pushing forward. I’m so delighted that I did!
Anyway, I thought I’d share because if I can do it then so can you!”
Sue and Walt Cartwright
Sue and Walt represented the Lonely Goat Running Club and Sue wrote:
“Goats, we did a bit of an ultra across London! There were 20 runners and we came 15th and 16th. There were lots of tourists, ins and outs and getting lost!
But all in all we feel quite fine today! (Walt had sore nipples! I’ve been whining about chafe marks from my vest!)”
Has this given you an urge to enter an ultramarathon – or even to try and run further than you have before – but you’re not sure of how best to go about it? If so, head to the Facebook Chat Group or the discussions area of the Strava Group. There’s a whole community of runners who will be more than happy to give you some advice and point you in the right direction.
Just make sure to let us know how you get on.
Until next time
That’s it for the 14th edition of goats on the run. Congratulations to all the runners mentioned, plus all those we missed. As always, if you’ve achieved something in your running that you’re particularly proud of – completing an event or otherwise – feel free to let us know about it in the Facebook Chat Group or use the #lonelygoatrc and #lonelygoatrunningclub hashtags on Instagram.