The Ladybower 50: Part 3

Andy Luke
Friday, 12 October, 2012


After the longest lap of the race so far I approached the finish line very slowly.  Still walking.  My girlfriend came to greet me.  I wasn’t in good mood.  I was dying to tell her that I wanted to pull out but she didn’t give me a chance.  She force fed me more pasta and some chocolate and told me how Gary had been raising concerns about how I was coping.  I’d rested for nearly ten minutes now but I could feel life returning to my body.  7 and a half hours in now.  The food, the water and the encouragement Dom was giving me started to give me an edge.  She forced me to get going again and reluctantly I did.  I left, starting the last lap walking but with the knowledge that the start line would in fact be the finish line the next time I saw it.  

Making progress


I was making slow progress and I mean slow.  My bursts of running had become minimal but I had managed to catch another competitor.  We chatted for a bit and exchanged words of encouragement and tactics.  I knew the route I was on and how this would be the last time I had to look at it.  It was little things like this that started to boost me.   Then at the 40 mile mark my second guardian angel appeared.  It was Dom, she’d walked part of the way round the five mile loop to meet me and help me keep going.  I was so happy to see her I even poked her arm to see if she was real.  She was armed with more water and she’d turned into a personal coach.  She would pick a target like a tree or a fence to run to and once we reached it then we’d walk.  Dom stuck with me for close to two miles before she started to make her way back to the start.  That really helped me out.  I mean it really boosted my spirits no end.  I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

The end is in sight

  I kept going with my combination of running and marching knowing that every step I was taking was getting closer to the finish line.  I forgot to mention that it’d been raining for the last few hours and the wind was getting up but again I saw this as more reason to keep going and get finished.  I was beginning to see less and less people now around the course.  I was marching onwards towards the top of the reservoirs knowing now that I could only have 5 or 6 miles left.  A smile cracked across my face.  Whatever happened now I knew I was going to finish this race. Dusk was setting in during the final few miles of the course.  I had forgotten my head torch so pressed on to make sure I wasn’t moving through the pitch black.  Slowly but surely I was getting closer and closer to the finish line and before long I could see a lone figure standing ahead of me.  It was Dom again and she’d come to help me make the final push up to the finish line.  I managed to muster up the energy to speed up the hill towards the finish and cross it.  I was overjoyed.  11 hours and 3 minutes was my finishing time.  I checked in and was given my finishers T-Shirt and was offered bananas.  I shook the hand of Stephen the organiser stating I didn’t know whether to like him or hate him but then he offered me a can of lager so I opted to like him. The experience I had doing this race is unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  I’ve done marathons but this really is endurance.  One of my friends told me that the mind gives up way before the body does and he was right.  I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this for a long, long time.  Would I do it again?  Of course I would.  I’ve got a time to beat now.





Comments

  • Posted:
     Great post! I'm aiming to do this race in 2014 and (if I'm honest) not looking forward to it TOO much :-)
    
    Your story has certainly got my motivational juices flowing, thanks!
    
    Andy from
    
    [url=http://www.myrunningtips.com]MyRunningTips.com[/url]
     
    Great post! I'm aiming to do this race in 2014 and (if I'm honest) not looking forward to it TOO much :-)
    
    Your story has certainly got my motivational juices flowing, thanks!
    
    Andy from
    
    [url=http://www.myrunningtips.com]MyRunningTips.com[/url]
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