For a 24-hour race, 100 miles is considered a very respectable result for the average runner! Author and ultrarunner Adharanand Finn set out to do just that in our 24 hour race, held in Battersea, London. His story of perseverance makes for very inspiring reading, regardless of whether you are a top-level ultrarunner or just a beginner. Here is a small extract:
As the hours ticked by I started to make calculations in my head. I hadn’t set out with a pace plan. I had just trusted that if I got into my zone and kept running, I’d make it to 100 miles. I felt that as long as I kept my head together, then I’d do it.
But around 17 hours in I could feel it slipping away. I was just about making four miles per hour at that point. Some hours were better than others, as I rode the moments of doubt, just about managing to stop myself tipping over the edge of the cliff. I could see other people gone. Just like me last time, they had their jackets on and were making their way around at a painful shuffle. Others were lapping like machines, incessantly strong, passing me again and again. How were they doing it? It seemed impossible to be that focussed, that physically capable after so many hours.
I had moments of uplift too. Out of nowhere I adopted a mantra: “I feel no pain. I feel only joy.” It sounds cheesy now, perhaps, but in the heat of the moment, it was incredibly powerful. I’d look up at the city skyline and repeat it over and over, and the pain went. It really did. And for a few laps - sometimes even four or five laps - I’d feel almost euphoric. I was still only shuffling along, but I was running.
Read the rest of the story here »
Adharanand has written three great books on ultrarunning, contributed numerous articles to the Guardian and other publications, and hosts his own podcast called The Way of the Runner. You can find out more on his website...