This is going to be a long post, an ultra post if you will. Settle down, get a brew and let’s go.
Surrey is a fair distance from Nottingham so we’d booked ourselves a premier inn in Aldershot for Friday night. We set off late in the afternoon in cold but clear weather. When Guy and I go to events together we always seem to have dramatic weather- we’ve had torrential rain and 50mph winds so I’d long been convinced that this weekend would bring blizzards. I was delighted to be proved wrong, at least until about 15 miles from Aldershot. We had proper blizzards with cars crawling along the motorway. It got worse after we left the motorway, there were abandoned cars and cars stuck all along the dual carriageway. What’s needed in these situations is a 4×4 truck, as luck would have it that is exactly what we were in. After a few bold driving decisions and a bit of navigational freestyling we made it to the bright lights of the premier inn. We were probably the smuggest motorists in the Home Counties. There was quite a queue at check in due to a coach party having to abandon their coach because of the snow. This seemed to be the most exciting thing that had happened to the passengers in quite some time.
On the way down Guy was telling me about a conversation he’d had with a member of the local running community, let’s call him Dave. He’d filled him in our weekend plans, Dave’s response was “don’t come home in a body bag” but delivered in a way that implied that this was neither unlikely nor undesirable.
We had dinner in the Brewer’s Fayre (oh the glamour) and watched the first half of the rugby. After that it was off to bed with a brew and full command of the remote control, sometimes it’s the little things.
By Saturday morning the snow had stopped falling but it hadn’t thawed, Aldershot Tesco was like a winter wonderland. We had breakfast and set off for Farnham. The world’s most condescending satnav got us there “turn second left (scumbag)” in good time for the 9.00 start. We collected our numbers, dropped our overnight bags off and did what we do best – had a brew. I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am at the start of a race, perhaps because it wasn’t really a race or maybe because I knew I wasn’t going to be alone. The scenery at the start area was beautiful, snow covered fields and views towards the hills. There was a good mix of people there, from racing snake style serious ultra runners right down to first timers like me (and plenty less experienced than me). Eventually it was time to start, the snow was crisp underfoot but not slippy. The first photo opportunity was a few miles in
Up on the hills doing our best Frozen impressions.