St Edmunds Trail Ultra – 50k

Well done to Lucy Mccallum who took part in the St Edmunds Trail Ultra on Sunday. A fantastic achievement.

Lucy's write up of the event:-

I entered the Ickworth 50km as a nice end of year race, I wasn’t disappointed.
I left home at 6.20 arriving half an hour before the race briefing, leaving me plenty of time to have something else to eat, collect my number, chip and sort my bag. The race briefing and start was in front of Ickworth Hall, which although not as grand in size as Holkham was equally as beautiful with its central domed building.
Kevin who is the race director gave his normal informative briefing with no need for a loud hailer. If you’ve done a positive steps race before you will know what I mean. There were 3 distance races taking place a 50km and marathon which were starting together and a half starting slightly later in the morning.
The weather was overcast, cool and not too windy perfect running conditions. Off we went at 8.30am to firstly complete 2 laps of a 13 mile loop then a smaller loop to get to 50km. Part of the route took place within the estate grounds and the other crossed the main road through the village and into the surrounding countryside along footpaths, field margins and quiet country roads.
I started running not looking at my watch just going by what felt comfortable and easy to maintain. By mile 2 another runner fell into pace beside me and we soon started chatting. Steve was from Wales but had lived in Norwich in the past. A keen ultra runner who’s races normally involved going up and down mountains or being on his feet for 24 hours.  This was Steve's 2nd attempt at the positive steps grand slam tankard. We fell into conversation about the races we had each taken part in and the miles seemed to fly by.
With the race being twice round one loop we met lots of fellow runners which was great to give and receive shouts of encouragement. By mile 22 Steve was struggling with a blister and questioning if he had done enough training. Encouraging him along he soon got through the block showing that a lot of ultra running is done being mentally strong.
My watch had stopped working earlier in the race so after starting the 3rd lap I lost track of the distance which was actually a really nice way to run, only checking with Steve occasionally how far we had gone. We had got to a pace where we were walking up all the inclines this was great for drinking and eating. The marshals on the aid stations were very encouraging and always keen to get what you needed. I fueled on flapjack and Haribo (thanks Kerrie). I also grabbed shortbread from the aid stations and topped up my drink.
As the finish line got closer we both were keen to finish so we could each make it home before the England match started. It was great to see the finish line in front of the house knowing that I didn’t have to run past it anymore and head out on another lap. We were clapped and cheered over the line and given our lovely stained glass looking medal. The rain had started to come down on the way back to the car park I was very glad it had held off all day.
Steve and I congratulated each other and went on our way. I hope to see him again at the next grand slam race in January on our journeys to completing the grand slam challenge, him for the first time and myself the second.
All in all a lovely days racing. Next year I’m hoping to do the half marathon distance and would definitely encourage anyone who is thinking about it, to enter any of the distances on offer. A race in a perfect setting with great support from marshals and other competitors.
Finish time 6 hours 33 mins and 18secs.