Bethany Clague

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Bethany's 3-Day 100 Mile Running Challenge

 

Sat 2nd May to Mon 4th May 2009

My Report:

5am and my alarm told me to get up!  Saturday had arrived and I was feeling excited at the prospect of running about 40 miles, if not a little nervous.  After a quick bath to warm-up, breakfast of porridge and plenty of liquids, I left the house feeling positive.  The weather looked good - sunny and warm.  I switched on my forerunner, set my headphones to playing and after getting satellite signal I was ready to go.  I ran down Ridgeway Road towards Port Jack - I was going to do this.

Out along Groudle it was very quiet.  The rest of the world, including my support, Ernie, were still fast asleep at 6am.  I ran steadily at 9 minute miles and slowly got the mileage up.  I wanted to run on the perimeter roads so did a detour near Lonan Old Church before arriving in Laxey.  By now the first bus had gone past - a sign the world was waking.  After Dhoon Glen I phoned Ernie.  He told me he would meet me in about an hour.  I was not sure if I should run towards Port Cornaa, off to the right, but as I did not know the road I did not and stuck to the main road.  As it was I would have come out at the Glen Mona Pub anyway.  I phoned Kevin Ford on 3FM to update him of my whereabouts and he said he would broadcast it on air.  There was a lady ahead of me walking 3 large noisy dogs.  I avoided them by walking on the other side of the road.  Apart from that it was very quiet on the road as I approached the turning off to Ballaglass Glen.

Suddenly I came across a junction and I had no idea where to run and had no map with me.  (I did think I knew the island).  I was down from the main road with Ballaglass off to the road and no idea of where the road ahead went.  I knew I had walked down here before, as it is part of the Parish Walk, but running the opposite way in daylight was very confusing.  I phoned Ernie and he told me, after consulting a map, to keep going straight on.  Infact after 100 metres I knew where I was and knew I was on the road to Hibernia.  Ballajora Hill was steep and my legs complained as I ran slowly down it.  I was now averaging 10 minute miles. 

At Maughold I sat on a bench to eat and drink from my water.  I was wearing my trusty 'Camelbak', a hydration system which was holding Powerade, which i could drink through a straw attached to the bladder.  As soon as I sat down Ernie arrived in his car.  From now on today he would be my support, providing me with food and water.  I had covered 17 miles and was nearly half-way.  We decided to get a pasty in Ramsey for our lunch so I set off running through Port-E-Vullen whilst he had a look at Maughold. 

I arrived in Ramsey at lunchtime.  We found a baker's and I explained to the assistant what I was doing.  She told me she knewabout the Double Parish Walk.  We ate on a bench overlooking the harbour.  Then I headed north to Bride.  The roads were quiet country lanes by now.  Once in Bride I ran down the deceptively long road to Jurby.  Ernie met me at every mile or so in case I needed food or drink.  I was eating alot of bananas.  I also had fig roll biscuits and cakes with me.  Before The Lhen I was met by a photographer from the newspapers.  He took photos of me running for publicity.  I had run the equivalent of a marathon by now.

At Ballaugh Old Church I turned off to run through Orrisdale.  This is part of the end-to-end walking race, but is not all that familiar to me.  I began to tire.  I was reaching 35 miles in about 6 hours.  The weather was beautiful for running, but my legs felt heavy and the road seemed to always be going uphill, (I am sure it was not).  So it was with much relief that I ran into Kirk Michael, knowing the finish at the 'Mitre Hotel' was just yards away.  Sure enough Ernie was there to cheer me to the door.  I had run 38 miles, according to my Garmin Forerunner, in just under 7 hours.  I was delighted but stiff, sore and very tired.  We celebrated with a pint, although being sat down was even better!

I arrived home to discover a large blood blister on my left big toe.  I lanced it, drained it and put a sterile dressing on it.  I prayed it would heal before Sunday, and amazingly it did.  I went to Mass that evening as I was reading at St Anthony's.  After that it was food and bed.  I felt a bit sick due to low blood sugar, so had midnight cake snacks and more bananas.  I slept well and woke at 6am feeling positive about the 40 miler coming today.  After a bath with Raadox Muscle Soak, (wonderful bath foam), and plenty of porridge, i met Ernie to begin the drive back to Kirk Michael in order to run South and continue the run round the island.  I was a bit nervous as the course was full of hills.

The weather on Sunday was good.  It would get hot by the time I was in Castletown, but at least it was dry.  I left the door of the Mitre at 8.45am and ran south to Peel.  There was the round the island yacht race taking place and the yachts were sailing along the West Coast.  It was windy and they were moving faster than I was.  I was happy to be running at 10.5 to 11 minute miles.  I wanted to average 11 minute miles, and had averaged 10.5 minute miles yesterday.  However my quad muscles in my legs were stiff and sore and the first few miles were uncomfortable.  However I persevered and by 10 o'clock was in Peel.  I stopped for a pasty and water and watched the yachts in Peel Bay.  Then I rang for 15 minutes with the Peel Church Bellringers at Kirk German Cathedral.  I have been ringing Church Bells for nearly 20 years so was delighted to ring with the Peel band for Sunday morning service.  At 10.30am I said goodbye to my friends and started running towards Glen Maye.

Yesterday I had had problems around 8 miles and today was a repeat.  My legs felt heavy and I felt energy less.  All I could do was walk and tell myself I would feel better soon.  I was drinking and eating plenty.  Ernie would meet me later due to church commitments, including bellringing as he is Tower Captain of St George's in Douglas, so again it was a case of ignoring the pain and taking it easy for a while.  Sure enough i picked up and was flying by the time I reached Dalby.  I love these moments of pure ecstasy where i feel on cloud 9, the island looks beautiful, the lambs look lovely in the fields and the sea is blue.  At these times I sing for joy and the miles fly past.  At Dalby Ravina Talbot gave me 10 for the charity and offered me water and toilet facilities.  Thanks - it was a wonderful gesture.

Then the slog began.  Today was hilly and the start was out of Dalby to the Round Table.  Again the low mood took over as I struggled to walk up the steep hills.  I was relieved to reach the Round Table in good sunny weather and with the knowledge that the Sloc would give me beautiful views of the wonderful island soon.  Ernie phoned and said he was on his way - he met me at the bottom of the Sloc.  I ran / walked to the top of the Sloc and the view was magnificent.  (Aren't I lucky to live and run on such a beautiful piece of rock!) However the steep descent, followed by the even steeper descent of Ballakillowey, was very painful on my poor tired and sore quad muscles.

Manx Radio were doing a stirling job, as always, of publicising my run.  I was interviewed, live, at 8am and again through the morning.  I do love talking on the radio - I talk too much I admit!  It began to rain as I approached Port Erin, just as Ernie met me in his car.  We took shelter in the 'Falcon's Nest Bar' and when the rain had stopped we ate sandwiches.  The presenter on Manx Radio wanted me to do some live interviews with the presenter on that afternoon, who had talked to me on the Double Parish Walk.  I agreed.  I left Port Erin by walking to Cregneash via the very small single track road.  Then I turned to begin walking North from Cregneash.  By now my legs were very painful when it came to walking down steep hills. 

The sun shone as I ran along Gansey, eating and drinking as much as possible.  I arrived in Castletown feeling very warm.  I knew my parents were landing at the airport at 3.30pm, but thought I would not get to meet them as I was going too slow.  However rnie spotted their plane taxi-ing in and told me he would stop them before I got there.  Infact, just as they walked out of arrivals, I met them outside.  I could not have timed it any better!  It was lovely seeing them and I hugged them.

On and on I ran.  There was an emergency at the airport just after my parents left and numerous police, ambulance and fire cars raced past into Ballasalla.  Fortunately none were needed.  I joined the Old Castletown Road feeling very tired and sore.  The last interview I gave live on Manx Radio was when I had reached the 'Meary Veg' turn-off.  I was positive but underneath I had had enough!  I struggled on over the last few miles- walking the uphills and gingerly jogging down the slopes.  By the time I reached Manx Radio from Marine Drive I had run nearly 40 miles.  I walked along the Prom for the last mile whilst Ernie kept a close eye on me.  He then parked his car outside my flat and walked to me.  We walked the last few steps together, back to my home.  I had run 41 miles in 7 hours 49 minutes.  I was delighted.

I slept well, despite having sore knees.  I prayed that the treadmill would be easily moved on the next day and would work.  Thankfully it did.  After bacon butties for everyone, Nigel arrived in the Salvation Army van and Ernie, my friend David, Nigel and I carried the 2 parts of the treadmill into the van.  It worked fine as I ran the last 21 miles on it outside Chester Street Shoprite, Douglas.  I had permission from the store and DOLGE.  It rained incessantly but where I was running it was covered.  David logged the times for each kilometre in case the treadmill cut out.  I ran 5 miles and had a 5 minute break and repeated this.  I was running comfortably at 9km/hr.  My family came to see me running, which was lovely for me.  They are wonderful at supporting me in my running. Eventually the miles disappeared as the Kemmyrk committee members and Ernie collected money for Kemmyrk in buckets outside the store.  Then it was over.....I had run the 21 miles and it was time to stop.  The champagne was opened and I celebrated running back-to-back almost 40-milers followed by 21 miles.  I raised a total of 300.

I am very proud of this run.  It showed me what JOGLE will be like next year in May 2010.  Being able to run long and slow is what I need to do and I love it.  I am determined to finish JOGLE and this was just one step of the way there.

 

 

 

This site was last updated 16-Oct-2009

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