The idea was that this would be a great warm up to the Ladybower 50 which some Striders would be doing later in the year and also a good step up for those wanting to move forward from Marathon distance. So roped in were Six Striders (Tagged in?) to the highly rated and exceedingly good value Nomad 50k Ultra race promoted by those very friendly lot at Long Eaton Running Club.
There were certainly a few nerves before the day for some as the six striders (Myself, Dan Valencia, Mike Bryan, John Houghton, Michael Atton and Ultra vet Rich Gray) pondered what we`d let ourselves in for. Certainly the gang seemed more optimistic the night before after revealing we would be joined by a lady of the voyage, the lovely Zoe Sewter of Hermitage Harriers who was just as daft as us and drank as much also!
A laid back start with the group starting slowly from the start at Breaston before a long canal section past Shardlow and our first water stop at Chellaston at 10.5 miles. Already some were having problems as `Nips` Atton was having massive chafing issues either that or spending quite a few miles impersonating Dolly Parton! We headed into Derby city centre and by now the Sun was just absolutely beating down, already some of us were slowed by it, you can’t imagine how much strength it takes from you.
The next stop came around 17 miles and from then on the course became more and more offroad based especially after the village of Morley. The course was pretty well marked out but special mention to Rich who actually bothered reading a map and saved quite a few people throughout, lesson learned! Real splendid scenery but again the heat was an issue, talk was becoming less and `I’m out ` as our water bottles drained made us feel we were at times crossing the Sahara. At 26.5 miles I actually put on a fast run past the whole pack just to get to the next water stop, by now our pack is joined by a guy in black and two runners from Liverpool.
Last few miles are amongst the most scenic but also the most tiring –I may have ran the lot but I`m sure people walking were passing me at times, our pace has slowed to a crawl but the last three miles really seemed to take so long. Finally come into Breaston and decide it’s the sad time to finally empty my water bottle not knowing the actual finish is 100 yards away round the corner! Finish the race hand in hand with Mike Bryan (hope someone captured this!) first ultra done!
Best Goodie bag ever (hand pulled pint, Tech T-shirt, Jacket potato, buff, and all sorts) the stops en route were very well stocked, the feel of the race was lovely no pressure just a great ambience, marshals and helpers were mega friendly. Really would like to do this event again and be nice if we can get even more of us doing so. [Rob]