On Tuesday morning Charlotte and I set off for a 7am flight from Gatwick to Jersey….
We grabbed a quick breakfast from Pret a Manger (Porridge, banana and coffee- the essentials) and made our way to the departure gate and got on the plane. After a quick 40 minute flight we were in Jersey and George (the friend we were staying with) picked us up and drove us back to his so we could begin our challenge.
We were slightly unprepared for our Ultra adventure- we had an idea that we’d literally just follow the coast the whole way around so we didn’t bring a map- luckily George’s mum had one for us to use and both George and his mum helped us plan our route a little better. For Day 1 we planned to run the whole of the North coast (from St. Catharine’s breakwater to Plemont) which was about 33km and was the most hilly part of the Island.
Day 1: The beginning of Purple Haze
We checked out the weather report before we headed off and saw that it was supposed to rain so put on our rain jackets, filled our bags full of food, grabbed the map, and then headed out of the door.
The North side of the Island was VERY hilly! Luckily the weather held up until lunch and we kept dry for the morning but it was really humid. We tried to run as much as possible but even in the drissly weather the views were phenomenal and we kept stopping to take photos. By 1pm we had run 20km
, gotten slightly lost two or three times, and spoke to a few local people along the route who were out walking their dogs. We’d been mostly running along the cliffs tops and nature trails so didn’t pass any places where we could buy more food or fill up our water bottles until we stopped for lunch in a cafe at Bonne Nuit.
By the time we reached the cafe we were starving hungry, completely out of water, damp from the humidity and starting to get tired but we were still surprisingly in really high spirits. We ordered chips and vegetable spring rolls to get some carbs in, a black coffee and green tea for our instant energy and finished off a full jug of water to try to re-hydrate ourselves. We also looked at the map to check the distance that we’d run so far and panicked slightly that we were not going to make it all the way round. The way the map looked was that we’d barely covered a third of the North coast when in reality we’d covered a quarter of the whole Island already!
After an hour and a half of re-fueling and panicking slightly, we re-filled our water bottles and took on the final 13km of or planned route. The rest of Day 1’s route was just as hilly as the first 20km and the weather had started to worsen but Charlotte and I seemed to get more optimistic that we’d complete our ultra challenge. I thought I knew that part of the Island quite well so when we reached the Priory Inn (after about 6km) I thought we were almost finished for the day…. little did I know that we still had another 7km to run…
Charlotte has been picked to run as part of team Europe’s Asics Beat the Sun team where she’ll be racing as part of a relay team of six ( 3 ultra runners and 3 amateurs) to race around Mount Blanc before the sun seats on June 21st. As part of this we wanted to get some good footage of her running on our ultra challenge so we stopped and we tried film us both a little along the days run.
We reached Greve de Lecq after running 30km throughout the day and texted George’s mum (Susan) to see if she could pick us up at a Church which was 3km for 7pm. By now it was raining quite heavily and we were getting quite tired and achey but we powered through the final 3km and made it to the church. Neither of us are religious but the church seemed like the perfect way to end the days run…
Back at George’s house, Charlotte and I had a quick shower, stretched, foam rolled and drank a few pints of water. We didn’t realise how dehydrated we had been until we noticed that we’d only peed twice throughout the whole day (TMI?).
George’s mum is an amazing cook so we loaded up on food over dinner (vegan for me, veggie for Charlotte), had a chat with the family and visited Georges’s grandparents (who are adorable) and live quite close. By 10pm we were ready for bed. Although we’d ran over 30km (33.7km) throughout the day (the furthest both Charlotte and I had ever run) we went to bed feeling pretty fresh….