Sally Davis, Physiotherapist at Farleigh Hospice tells us about her 45-mile Run.

I will be running the 45-mile St Peter’s Ultra to raise funds for Farleigh Hospice. I signed up to this run after completing four marathons and a 30-mile run. I thought, what comes after 30-miles? What can I do that’s harder than that? What’s something that not everybody would do; something a little bit outside the box?

In the past I’ve completed the Brighton Marathon, Chelmsford Marathon, half-marathons in Berlin and Geneva, and the East Hanningfield trail marathon on Jan 7th! I’ve done so many half-marathons that I’ve lost count! I started out running at Parkrun doing 5km and really got into it. I enjoyed just going out for a run and being outside. Once I’d completed 5km I did 10km, and I found that the further I ran the more exciting it became.

My training routine is quite brutal. I go running 4 times a week, waking up at 5am to 6:15am, with more time over the weekend for much longer runs. It’s important to get these longer runs in as I have a family and sometimes find it difficult to find the time.  What people don’t realise is that often the actual event isn’t the hardest part. Instead it’s all the work you have to put in beforehand - all the early starts and the weekends. You’re running for 3-4 hours every morning and then getting back to family life and chores. On top of all that I teach Pilates and I’m currently learning how to do Aerial Silks.

The 30-mile run was good fun and I completed it in under 6-hours. The 45 mile run will be much harder, not because of the distance, but because it is all on trails, across fields, and through mud and puddles. I’ve heard it’s one of the muddiest trail runs if it rains! I had a practice run at the end of last month where I got absolutely soaked and afterwards I took my socks off and I had so much mud over my feet they’d turned black!

At the St Peter’s Ultra you have to navigate yourself. You’re given written directions and you have to find your own way. The race starts at Chipping Ongar and ends in Bradwell on Sea. There’s always the fear of getting lost. When you’re running for 10-11 hours the thought that you might have gone wrong and have to run back is pretty daunting.

We have to have an essential kit with us. This is a running backpack with a certain amount of water, chocolates, energy gels, spare kit, headtorches, and phone chargers. I’m running with my running partner with whom I’ve already done lots of events with. I’m going to be the navigator, we’ve worked out having done the last marathon that I’ll navigate and he will ensure that we stay fuelled - basically feeding me chocolates!

The Ultra takes place on 25th February. I feel ready to go. I’ve been putting the miles in, running anything between 20 to 30 miles during the week with back to back long runs at the weekend.

My biggest tip for anyone wanting to do a race like this but has a family to care for, is to be committed to the early morning runs, as this allows you to have the rest of the time with your family, commit to a training plan and most of all enjoy it!

When you do a long race like this you need your family’s support to help you through it.

One of the best things about running long distances is the fact that I can eat Haribo and Freddo Frogs at regular intervals when my energy dips! 

I’m already planning my next events, the Loch Ness marathon later this year being one of them.

I’ve been at Farleigh since July 2017 as one of the Clinical Specialist Physiotherapists, and am raising money through this run for Farleigh.

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