Date: Saturday 16th / Sunday 17th September 2018
Have you ever been on one of those runs when you get back home and say “I felt like I could have run all day”? Well, on Saturday 16th September 115 people decided it was a good idea to try and do such a thing.
The Hobo Pace website has The Robin Hood 100 down as ‘a relatively flat 100 miles of runnable scenic trails, making it a ‘fast’ course’ – which is mostly true. The weather was perfect, 18 degrees during the day, 11 degrees at night, but a 4.45am alarm puts paid to any thoughts of ‘perfect conditions’.
A cut off time of 30 hours meant that a good walking pace would see me round in time but I had my eye on sub 24 hours – mostly because that’s my younger brother’s 100 mile pb!
It was one of the least impressive starts to a race I’ve ever seen, with everyone desperately trying to start at the back. From South Wheatley we headed of down the Chesterfield canal, a nice easy pace, plenty of chat, trying not to think about the miles ahead. The path was a little agricultural in places, and I knew it was going to be slightly more tricky on the return journey in the dark, with 20-odd hours of running in my legs. And so it proved to be. The winner of the race fell several times in the last 10 miles and had to be helped to his feet by his support runner.
Two laps of Clumber Park, plus a couple of visits to the Major Oak and Cresswell Crags made up the bulk of the miles, but the hours just flew by and I have very few memories of the two 30 mile loops. I do remember eating quite a few gels and a fair amount of rice pudding, but I carried far to much on me and should have relied on my support crew and the aid stations more.
I don’t think I’d ever be happy with the amount of training in the bag before such a huge distance but I wanted to prove that anyone can run a hundred miles, so I was happy on only one run over 40 miles and one over 30 in the 8 months prior to the race. The rest of my training was made up of a mixture of 10-15 mile runs at easy pace, with plenty of elevation, 5-mile road league, the awesome Trunce series, plenty of summer fell races, and Mick Wall’s excellent Thursday evenings Strength and Speed sessions.
So, next time you find yourself thinking you could run all day, maybe give it a try.
The race was won by Andy ‘Daisey’ Day in a time of 17:27:42, 1st female, and 4th overall, was Rebecca Ash in a time off 20:52:37.