This was my second time at the Chester 50 and was looking forward to it, last year I ran it with my son Scott , this year I would be on my own but with the help of my wingman Kevin Waugh to carry my extra kit and meet me at each check point, it is a great feeling knowing that someone will be at each check point to give you words of encouragement, with Kev it was usually get your finger out your losing places which did actually help.
So due to flooding the first part along the river Dee was cut short, so from 50 miles down to 44 mile should be a doddle right, wrong, first 4 mile along the canal instead to what should have been check point 2, no need to stop water bottles still full so on to check point 3 more canal paths nice and dry, then in to the fields up to Dunham on the hill, wow mud standing water everywhere looking for a way round it but not a chance, had to just wade through it, feet sinking up to your calfs it was trying to pull the trainers off your feet and draining the energy from your legs.
Arrived at check point 3 Dunham village hall quick drink topped up bottles and off towards Frodsham and Helsby hill in good spirits a few miles on road now nice and easy but was soon back on the trails with the mud and gloop, wish I’d brought my poles now. In to the woods at Frodsham and I don’t remember it been this hilly I was tired now the mud had taken it’s toll I was having to walk a lot more than I wanted to I was mid way and feeling a bit low, got to check point 4 it was good to see Kev a few words of encouragement like you’ve dropped about 20 or more places, great I need to push on, so off I went feeling like I need to make more of an effort here, round through the woods climbing down some boulders I slipped and fell down bouncing off a couple of rocks on the way down, I sat there waiting for the pain, nothing, up and off pushing harder now and feeling positive.
In to Delamere forest to check point 5 and the smiling face of Kev to cheer me up, he tells me Sharon has rang and said I need to get a shift on if I want to finish in the top 100, I think I was about 110th at this point, back in to the mud through the forest out the other side and back in to the fields of mud, managed to steel a couple of places going up hill some people were walking them, check point 6 and the last one only 7 miles to go and and most of it on canal paths, Kev’s there and informs me I’m 98th, that’s gold, I’m excited now but only 2 people need to go past me and it’s gone, I’m off with renewed purpose a couple of miles of fields then canal tow path and firm ground.
Only 5 miles to go I catch and pass 2 people head down pushing on I see 4 more in the distance I need to catch them and pass then I want that gold medal, then the path turns to sludge, then a dry section so I run as fast as I can, back to the mud and all I can do is walk still catching people and passing then I went past another 7 people who were just walking, I crossed the finish line in 86th position for a gold medal I was chuffed to bits, a big thank you to everyone for there words of encouragement, and to Kevin Waugh for looking after me, and to Sharon who is my rock. 9:30:00