Now that we're a few months into 2019, I thought that it was a good time to take a brief look back at the year in running that was 2018. Thinking back now there was so much going on throughout the year. After getting a new marathon PB in London, I decided to step up my ultra running, seeing me finishing on the podium at the Jurassic Quarter, Stour Valley Marathon and Race to the King, a week after doing my own DIY ultra marathon on the Sandlings Walk. I was at running and music festival; Love Trails Festival, I took on my first 100 mile race at the Lakeland 100 and then ran the SVP 100k two weeks after before wrapping up the year with marathons in Berlin, Dublin and then the Hurtwood 50km. It ended with some very unexpected news when I was awarded the RunUltra Instagrammer of the Year
I was recently taken aback but really excited to be included in the shortlist for the RunUltra Instagrammer of the year award, I'm blown away just to be featured alongside some huge names in this list. I love sharing my ultra running adventures on Instagram and I'm always motivated by seeing everyone else's photos and stories. I'd love it and would be very grateful if you could spread the word and maybe send a vote my way! (You don't need an Instagram account and by voting you do get entered into a draw to win a brilliant Suunto 9 watch). The voting link is - https://www.runultra.co.uk/Information/Awards-Shortlist If you like the photos and are on Instagram, feel free to give me a follow too - https://www.instagram.com/tomwake/
Pitch black mornings and evenings, crisp clear skies filled with a lingering mist, golden leaves floating down from their branches. Autumn is well and truly upon us and, other than the slightly unseasonably mild temperatures, you can tell that we're heading towards Winter. Running becomes more of a struggle; harder to get out of the door at 5:00am, uninspiring routes lit by street lamps, legs unforgiving after recent marathons, fewer upcoming races. It's time to get motivated for 2019 and the year ahead. The Summer of 2018 was all about the ultra marathons for me and as I start planning upcoming races I wanted to take a look back at a few highlights and a year of pushing myself to go further and faster than ever before. Over the past few years I've found that my "running year" has followed a similar structure; Christmas - April - train for and target a
Last weekend I had opportunity to go along and be support crew for Pip as she took on her first ultra marathon and first 100km run. Keeping water bottles topped up, cheering on runners and running back along sections of the course to keep Pip company, it was a brilliant experience and I captured the race in a series of photos. It was a brilliant experience to get out on The Ridgeway and experience an event from the other side after much of my time is spent running and competing in races. I'll definitely be doing more crewing and if anyone needs a support crew, you know where I am
Last weekend saw the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, more commonly known as the UTMB, roll into Chamonix as the world's best ulta-trail runners took to the Alpine trails, battling it out for the top spots. The week-long event hosts five different races with the PTL, CCC, TDS, OCC and UTMB all being staged on different days. The number of elite runners taking on the various events is huge, it's like a who's-who of ultra running with familiar names including; Jim Walmsley, Kilian Jornet, Caroline Chaverot, Sally McRae, Holly Rush, Tim Tollefson, Damian Hall, Rory Bosio and Emelie Forsberg to name but a few. Alongside these athletes are thousands of runners all taking on these challenging events for their own reasons, having already put in the hard work to event qualify to take part. I wasn't in Chamonix this year, but it's well and truly safe to say that I was addicted to the
100km, my second long distance ultra marathon in three weeks, the furthest I'd ever run. This certainly hadn't been the plan at the beginning of 2017, but I enjoy a challenge and at least it would make for an interesting race, I had no idea what would happen - would my body cope for a second time? There was only one way to find out
At the end of June 2017 I took part in my first long-distance ultra marathon - Race to the King. The event is a double marathon, covering just over 53 miles across the South Downs Way, starting in Arundel and finishing at Winchester Cathedral. It was a brilliant event and an amazing experience. I finished 3rd overall in a time of 8 hours 52 minutes. I wrote the following article for issue 202 of Running Magazine about the whole experience.
In early 2017 I was lucky enough to win a competition by Threshold Sports in Running Magazine. The prize was a place in their Race to the King ultra marathon, a double marathon from Arundel in Sussex to Winchester Cathedral and coaching from ultra marathon runner and coach, Kerry Sutton. This was to be my first long-distance ultra marathon and real challenge for me in terms of building up to running further than I've ever run before, handling nutrition on the day and other aspects such as kit. I wrote an article for Running Magazine about my training and build up to the event. See the article below and in Issue 201 of Running Magazine.
For the first time in four years I found myself going into 2016 without a Spring marathon booked, so I decided toÂ set my sights on another challenge - an ultra marathon. I've fancied having a go at an ultra for a while now, since completing a few marathons, and originally had my eyes set on the Stort 30 back in October. Unfortunately this didn't happen for a few reasons, so instead I decided to slowly increase my trainingÂ in the same way that I would for a Spring marathon and started looking for an event that I could sign up for. I'd heard of the EnduranceLife Coast Trail SeriesÂ events, as there is a CTS Suffolk event that takes place slightly further North along the coast from where I live. I knowÂ people whoÂ have taken part in the half marathon and ultra races and they've only ever had good things to say about the events,