Overall I'm happy with the results...read on for more details of course.
It was an early start as instead of staying up in Roundwood I choose to drive from Kilkenny, thankfully most of the journey was via motorway so it was pretty quick. Arrived in plenty of time and was greeted by Don the Vartry Race director just before I got my race number sorted.
As time rolled on the lads arrived and so we all lined up at the start and we were off in the dark.
During the first loop me and the lads took it pretty handy as there was no real point in trying to run up all the hills, especially when we had to do the same loop 4x more times. The plan was to finish somewhere around 10hours and to pretty much take it handy for the day and effectively use it as a training run. Except for Ray who planned on finishing first and even after some problems still managed to cross the line in 1st place, impressive stuff.
On the second loop with the lads I managed to lose them at the start/finish area as I thought they had gone on ahead of me after I stopped for a min or two but I was 2-3miles into the next loop by the time I realised they were behind me.
I figured I'd meet up with them again at the start/stop area at the end of loop 3 (30miles) as my plan at that stage was to change my socks, re-grease everything again and take on some food and drink before heading off again. So I did this and still no sign of them so I ran on maybe 2miles before meeting them coming towards me. It turns out they stopped for some photos at an armored personnel carrier at Specialops Paintball which we had been passing during each loop of the course.
On the last 10mile loop I took it handy enough at times and I was starting to feel abit tired but as I approached the final few hundred meters I figured I might as well finish running and I finished in 10hours 10min.
Overall I'm happy with the result and it was a good test run ahead of the Thames Path 100 next month as I've learned I was carrying stuff which I simply didn't want to eat and other stuff that I can just substitute others items for at the Aid stations.
This in turn means my backpack would be lighter which is very much a good thing as I found my shoulders hurting abit towards the end.
As for the Vartry 50mile event itself, Don (Race Director) and everyone else involved did a excellent job organizing the event. The location was great and although the course was tough, it was an enjoyable course none the less. I can certainly see myself coming back next year.
I can only imagine how tough the 100mile race at Vartry was considering that by the second lap anyone doing the 100mile race was already running in the dark and then had to continue to run in the dark for a further 10hours or so. Mentally that has to be hard going as most other 100mile races often finish in the dark after starting very early in the morning.
So many of the people running the 100mile still looked fresh at the 80 or 90mile mark and many just looked like they were out for their normal weekly runs. Really impressive to see.
I will say that doing the 50mile race has reassured me somewhat in relation to my physical ability to finish the Thames Path 100 after my doubts a few weeks back, however I will admit that mentally it has perhaps made me doubt if I can stick it out when the times really do get tough when it starts hitting 20+ hours into a 100mile race.
Only time will tell in relation to that I guess,
Weekly Total: 54 miles
Miles This Year: 630 miles