Runners are starting to arrive at the Day 3 finish now, at different speeds and by different means.
A few have arrived by taxi having cut their day short and managed to contact a taxi firm, who have probably been alerted by now that they could be called out to the middle of nowhere to collect some rather smelly athletes, and take them to a different middle of nowhere! There must have been some perplexing phone calls with racers trying to explain where they wanted collecting from!
A group have also arrived in race vehicles having been brought round to the finish from the support point. There is now a small sub-group of racers effectively racing a ‘half Dragon’s Back’, either running to or from the support point.
Charlie Mawson was the first to cross the finish line today, having set off from the support point and was enjoying his moment! “I ran past Ian Corless taking photos and didn’t tell him,” he said with a smile, “I just put a spurt on! I think I’ll do the same thing tomorrow.
He was in the kitchen tent waiting for the fresh chips to cook (very popular) and talking to Lou Willings who had stopped at the support point yesterday and said, “We did the same thing today. We were out for 10 hours and covered 43km over some big mountains ... it seemed like enough!
“I think we’ll do the same tomorrow. We don’t want to totally exhaust ourselves and arrive really late at night, then have to set off early next day. We’ll enjoy what we do and its one of the great things about this race that you can do that and not go home after the first or second day after paying to enter. This way you can enjoy what it’s possible for you to do and be very much part of the race, plus those who are a bit less confident know they can attempt it and be supported if it’s too much.”
With the third day being the longest at 68.3kms the fatigue and injuries are taking a toll and the medics and masseur will be busy tonight, with the likelihood that the ‘half’ group will grow tomorrow.
Race Director Shane Ohly always said this 3rd day would be the crux. He met Jez Bragg in the finish line, who said, “The days don’t get any easier do they?”and Ohly replied, “I think they do get a little easier now and after tomorrow it’s the final day.”
The elite racers were still coming over the line at a good speed and as on day two the top women racers made up most of the early finishers. The first full course finisher today and running in as though she was in a 10k was Beth Pascall and also among the early finishers were Lizzie Wraith, Jo Zakrzewski and Jasmine Parish. Wraith said, “That was much more runnable today,” and Paris enjoyed the fast downhill descent off Plymlimon at the end of the day.
Many of the quicker runners said there was much more running today, but it was still a very long day with the quickest runner, again Jim Mann, taking 9.12.03 to cover the course. There will surely be some very late finishers again tonight, even though the cut-off was brought forward today by 40 minutes. (This was because yesterday there were 8 late finishers arriving after the 23.00 cut-off at camp.)
Mann was looking very weary at the finish (where cruelly the finish funnel runs up the hill) and said he’d had a tougher day. He’d not caught up with Paris today and his first question was to ask about her time, but he had still extended his lead. (Her time was 09.44.26 and Pascal just beat her today finishing in 09.42.26.)
Different racers had different impressions of the day but perhaps the most succinct was Jonathan Williams who said, “It’s a monster isn’t it. I need a cup of tea!”
Written by Rob @ Sleep Monsters