By Dan Aubrey
Well what can i say apart from that this was the toughest run i have ever done. I got there at 07:30 and got out of the car, it was Baltic conditions with a biting wind. I registered asap and i ran back to the car to warm up.
In my opinion, the event is excellent value for money as i will explain a bit later. I dropped off my bag and as I was having a look around, I saw a big, warm, stretching / massage room aswell as toilets and changing rooms. Outside by the registration tent there was a Burger van with tea and coffee for spectators.
At 8:55am I was in the queue to start the race. I couldn’t feel my legs as it was so cold. Whilst I was in the queue I met up with Nathalie Juchau, it was nice to see another BOSHer. The race started and i walked up the monster hill just after the start line. I then began running at a nice pace until I hit a couple of hills, which slowed me down a bit, as you can see in my splits. The wind was awful. Thankfully, I had my buff neck warmer round my ears and mouth to stop the noise of the wind. It was taking my breath away as you will see in the pictures soon.
About 6 miles in I felt fairly good whilst munching on flapjacks and having water at the stops. We then came into the forest, which was a bit slippery, so i decided to stick to the drier route. I bumped into Andy on the way round and ran with him for a couple of miles. At about mile 10 the race changed for me, I was getting warm and I began to feel a bit lethargic. I carried on until I hit these steps that we had to walk up, my quads were on fire.
As I was on the descent to mile 13, everyone was saying about the seven sisters. I decided to ignore the scary conversations and I carried on until mile 16 where I then hit a huge hill, which is presume was the 1st sister. People were walking up it like zombies lol. Most of the sister hills were not runnable so i power walked up them.I stopped just before Birling gap for a drink. Whilst there I cramped up for the first time ever. It really hurt. It was probably because of the hills.
At mile 20 I could see in front for ages, this hurt mentally, but I carried on. Then at mile 23 I could see a massive black cloud coming over so i knew i was going to get hit with the mother of all clouds of rain. It hit me in the face, the wind was about 30 mph with heavy rain. I pulled up my neck warmer and looked like a ninja once again.
At mile 24 I knew that I didn’t have far left to go. Believe me I was hurting everywhere, the cramp was back in my quads and the rain was still pounding me. I could then see an inflatable finish line. I cried at the top of the hill before I went down to cross the line. I don’t know if the tears were from the pain, pure emotion of what i just done or finally seeing the finish line? I crossed the line with a chip time of 4:51.
After I got my medal and water, I waddled to the baggage area where I met up with Andy again. At this point i was now stiffer than stiff , I also felt sick. We went into the canteen to be given jacket potato , beans , sausage, cake , a cup of tea and fruit salad with rice pudding. Now you tell me a race where you get that? I was worried about running it in road shoes but it worked out fine.
The marshals were really good considering they were also out in the conditions too.The support in Alfriston village was brilliant. The water stop at around mile 19 even offered us the choice of soup, tea, coffee, cakes and chocolate. What a value for money event! What makes this race so special is the scenery, which is breath taking. The white cliffs and fields were unreal! The marshals had done a great job of sign posting the race directions the whole way round.
I stood at the finish line for two hours watching Nathalie and Jo come through whilst watching peoples reations when they come through the line. It’s a well earnt medal. Knowing that there were other BOSHers in the elements too, I apologize if i didn’t see any of the others.
If you haven’t done this race before it is an event you have to do !!!
I am now sitting at home feeling the effects of a hard run, for once! This marathon hurts like hell, nothing can prepare you for it.