Race Report: London 2 Brighton

Reports

On Saturday 25th May I ran The London 2 Brighton, my first 100km ultra that I naively signed up for after completing a 50km ultra last year…

It was an early wake up on Saturday, needing to get to Richmond for 6am to sign in and get ready for a 7am start. I was very thankful for the beautiful weather which I knew was going to make the day more pleasant.

The route started by following the Thames down towards Kingston upon Thames where there were many rowers out in force which was great to see. The first 10 miles I was trying to focus on my pace, making sure I didn’t go out too fast, but also not being entirely sure on what my 100km pace should really be… I stuck to around 9:00 minutes per mile which then slowed to 9:30 minutes per mile after 20 miles or so.

The legs were feeling okay, a slight ache in my right thigh early on which caused a bit of concern, but before I knew it, I had got through the first 31 miles in under 5 hours and I had hit the half way mark.

Shortly afterwards, I was greeted by my family as I ran through Tulleys Farm, which was an enormous boost. After 40 miles I could feel my pace slowing a bit more and some pains developing, most notably in my left knee and lower right leg.

At 50 miles I had slowed to about 12 minute miles and I was fighting a mental battle to keep on running and not just walk. However, I was about to hit the South Downs and face the worst of the elevation which for some strange reason gave me a bit of relief as I knew I could enjoy a walk up the hills. Once I reached the top I was greeted by the sight of Brighton Race course in the distance, the location of the finish, which gave me the last bit of encouragement I needed because by that point I was really struggling. I dug deep and continued my slow jog to the finish.

I have never been so happy to finish a race before, the feeling of accomplishment and knowing it was all over was overwhelming.

I was the 11th male to finish in a time of 11:36

Sam