Ridgeway 40 – race preview

Salomon FellraisersTomorrow I’m going to attempt to run 40 miles, a full 14 miles than I’ve ever run before and yet I feel strangely relaxed about it. Even though I’m running it in shoes I bought this week and with a knee that has been aching all week I still feel confident. Maybe it’s the fact that the first 20 miles is on a trail that I run on 5 days a week, taking away the unknown factor makes a huge difference doesn’t it? It might also be the lack of hype, the build up to Taunton marathon was quite intense with so many other spring marathons happening Twitter was buzzing with people talking about it. This time it feels like it’s only me racing this weekend.

The main reason for choosing this race was to do an ultra to bridge the gap between a marathon and then the 100km of the Race to the Stones. With the added bonus that it’s also on the Ridgeway like the Race to the Stones so is the perfect preparation and practise. Although I’m not sure if I prefer the wet and windy weather that tomorrow is promising or the 30 degree heat that last years Race to the Stones was run in.

Chia chargedIn my mind running 40 miles is going to be ok, not easy clearly, but achievable. I’d like to do it in under 6 hours which means doing 9 minute miles, a minute slower than I ran my last marathon so as long as I pace it right from the start I think I can do it. Either way I like going into this race not having a time target or even many other runners to run with (it’s organised as a long distance walk). Means I can just enjoy being out on the trails and the beautiful English countryside. It’s also quite nice that there isn’t a fixed start time, you turn up from 7.45am and just, well, start. No big countdown or nervous waiting, just hit the trails when you’re ready and off you go.

However despite being relaxed and reasonably confident it did freak me out a little plotting the route on an OS map and realising the race is longer than the width of the map! Just have to keep telling myself it’s one foot in front of the other, nothing more.

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