100k Ultramarathon for Help for Heroes – done!

I made it!

This weekend I completed the 100km (62miles) Race to the Stones Ultramarathon. The route is along the Ridgeway National Trail, the oldest path in Britain (dating back some 5,000 years). The course started near Lewknor, passing Watlington, Wallingford, Benson, Wantage and Swindon before finishing at Avebury and the stone circle (hence race to the stones). Avebury is the largest stone circle in the World and a World Heritage Site significant for prehistoric monuments.

I ran to raise funds for Help for Heroes.  Thank you to everyone that has supported me, it is very appreciated. There is still time to support my run and maximise funds for this important charity : https://lnkd.in/e6qRJR9D.

Along the route there are pitstops every circa 10-15km where you can have rest, fill up on food and drink (essential for ultramarathons), have a chat with the volunteers and other runners – a great time had by all! For me, a key part of ultrarunning is the community spirit and anyone can give it a go, no matter how far you aim to go.

I made it, but it was brutal!

I started off well for the first 10km, then there was a thunderstorm and torrential downpour – fair to say I got soaked through. Just after this I twisted my ankle on a wet root, which left me able to hobble (annoying). So that was me for the next 90km… then we had 2 further thunderstorms thoughout the day, so never dried out, and running in wet clothes is not fun! The Ridgeway is an unforgiving surface – it is hardpack and stoney – for once road running for a bit felt ‘better’.

One of the highlights was one of the latter Pitstops being renamed ‘Pigstop’ as there was a small heard of piglets on the prowl, adding much entertainment for all as it rained down.

Help for Heroes believes that those who put their lives on the line for us, deserve a second chance at life. They provide lifetime support for the Armed Forces Community and their families. Today, seven people will be medically discharged from the Armed Forces and their lives will change forever. In an instant, these highly-trained individuals will lose the camaraderie, purpose and career which has been their life. Help for Heroes provide recovery and support for the Armed Forces community whose lives are affected by their service, no matter when they served. Their aim is to empower Veterans and Service Personnel to look beyond illness and injury. Every penny they raise, facility they run and activity they offer is to help Veterans and Service Personnel reach their potential, regain their purpose and have a positive impact on society.

My employer, Esri UK, has been awarded Gold Status in the UK Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), recognising its commitment to supporting its reservist employees and veterans throughout the GIS company’s business. This is a wonderful achievement and recognition of our support.