I’d heard that Gatliff was hard and it lived up to that assessment. The course was extremely muddy and had plenty of water on it, both making for difficult running conditions. I must be wired wrong because under those conditions I stop bothering to avoid muddy puddles and simply run right through the middle of them. It’s actually much easier to plough through the middle than to edge around the sides trying to avoid getting your feet wet. Another factor is that walking through mud is way harder than running through it.
The instructions we were given covered 9 A4 pages and in most places were easy to follow. It certainly helped having a compass because there was often bearings given in the instructions. The consensus from other runners with Garmins was that the length of the race was not 50k. I’ve heard estimates from 55k through to almost 60k.
I thought I’d mention the conditions and the distance before saying how long it took me ….. 7 hours and 41 minutes. This is not a fast time for 50k. I’d normally expect to finish at around 6 hours but not on that course, not on that day.
My strategy for these distance races is usually to go out hard and just to see how I get on. I knew that I’d slow down from about 2/3rds distance and that turned out to be the case. At about that point I hooked up with two guys I’ve run with before and we ran together until the end.
I’m certainly going to want to do this event next year as it was a ton of fun. I wonder what the weather will be like…