Round the Rock – an Ultra Challenge

As I mentioned in my first blog post, I’ve only really been running long distances (anything over  a 5km) since Christmas time but I’m up for any challenge that isn’t going to permanently break me….

On Tuesday a friend (Charlotte) and I took on the challenge of running an Ultra marathon (46miles/79km) spread out over three days. The Ultra we ran was around the Island of Jersey and was called Round the Rock.

Why an ultra?

After reading Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography- A Life without Limits– at Christmas I’ve been really interested in the Ultra running scene. chrissieAs a long distance running newbie anyone who could run a full marathon seemed inspirational to me but anyone who would chose to run further than that seemed like a crazy person.  I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to push their bodies to such an extreme! Although Chrissie is an Iron Man triathlete, the way she wrote in her biography about the mental and physical strength needed to be an athletic success really hit home with me and she encouraged me to start living a ‘life without limits’ (at least physically). From then on I didn’t want my body and physical strength holding me back at all and I gradually began to increase my fitness.

After reading Chrissie’s book, I read a book called Born to Run. This book seems to be a staple in all distance runners lives as it tackles the mental side of running. Running is one of the most natural things that we can do; human beings have run since they developed the ability to walk and probably ran on four legs when we were developing from apes (Darwinian Theory). It’s modern society that has made us lose the ability to run as we have become too reliant on technological advances i.e. transport systems. This book made me realise that my body is my most important feature, it enables me to do anything I chose and should be my main mode of transport (when possible- I’m not about to run from Loughborough to London carrying four years’ worth of Uni life).  After reading Born to Run, I read Scott Jurek’s book Eat & Run– about Ultra running and a vegan diet- and it made me more adamant that a vegan diet was the optimum diet for my body to cope with the expectations that I wanted to set it.

Over the past few months, a friend (Charlotte) and I have been going for long runs together and talking about and researching different distance running events across the world. Although we’re both running a marathon on July 4th, we’re heading off travelling towards the end of July (separately) and wanted to get in one last, memorable, running session together before we parted ways for a bit over a year, so we looked into a few Ultra challenges….

Why Jersey and Round the Rock?

We wanted to set a challenge that was going to be achievable with our current fitness levels, fun to do and also memorable, so we looked into running around an Island. I’ve been to Jersey quite a few times and know the Island very well so I looked into walking and running events around the Island and found the Round the Rock Ultra online.

I have a really good friend who lives in Jersey (who I’ve stayed with lots) and messaged him whether or not he thought the route would be achievable and if it would be OK for us to stay with him for a few days- he said of course to both! So that was the start of our journey…

(The next blog post will cover the Round the Rock challenge itself)

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