Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The JW Ultra: from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bourneville

And just to prove that I don't ONLY run in Cornwall...

In September I had my first experience of an ultramarathon: the JW Ultra, which runs along canal towpaths for 30 miles or so, from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bourneville, Birmingham.

It was a smashing race. Brilliant scenery for the most part (the breathtaking Edstone Aquaduct in particular), and a wonderful, welcoming atmosphere throughout. An amazing introduction to Ultra running... so good, in fact, that I've already entered my second Ultra! (Eeek...). It'll have a lot to live up to.

I was running with the inestimable Martyn (AKA 2 Flat Feet) - at least for the first 20 miles, anyway. After that, things got a bit tricky, as the video will show.

(What video there is... it's not the easiest using the camera during a race - even an event as friendly and laidback as this - so I've supplemented the footage with pictures from my missus, and also The Race Photographer - in a an effort to tell the whole story).

In summary, though: if you're thinking of trying an Ultra... do it. You'll have a great time, and meet some brilliant people. In fact, do the JW. It's the best introduction to the sport that I could think of.

Here's the route. I'd warmly recommend the first 20 miles to anybody (the section closest to Birmingham is maybe a bit of an acquired taste...)
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