Winter Wychavon Ultra 

Winter Wychavon Ultra

27 January 2024

Finish time: 11:17:01

It’s taken me a while to put this report together but here are some reflections.

On Saturday 27th January  I successfully completed Winter Wychavon Ultra, my 12th ultramarathon (of the 15 ultrarunning events I’d attempted since January 2017). I ran it with a friend who was doing her first ultra so it was a special day for her and equally special for me as I have always run ultramarathons on my own. I was and still am very proud of how she did. It was wonderful to switch off from work and enjoy being out on the trails as we headed from Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire to Broadway in the Cotswolds, covering 41 miles. We didn’t have the pressure of cutoffs on this particular event though the advertised ‘cutoff’ was 12 hours. The trails were quite muddy as there had been several days of torrential rain in the area prior to the event. This added to the fun on the trails even if it slowed us down. There were about 30 (maybe more?!) stiles to go over, which while fun became more difficult towards the end. The route was pretty flat with the exception of one very long and steep hill (Bredon hill)  with a high gradient. The views were awesome so I have no complaints!

Here is what I’m taking away from the event:

  1. It’s great to run with someone for whom the experience of the distance is completely new – you are sharing their joy and the different emotions as you run together;
  2. Carry the food you need with you in case the checkpoints don’t have what you wish to eat on the day (The checkpoints were well-stocked but I was happy to have the food of my choice at times I wanted them rather than be governed by where the checkpoints were going to be);
  3. Incorporate power hiking on steep hills into your training programme when training for hilly trail races – it will come in handy on race day;
  4. A lesson I learnt from my running buddy during the event: Take your running vest /bag off and wear it on your chest if you need anything out of it. It’s a useful tip for not losing unnecessary time while you keep putting one foot in front of the other. (I usually take my running vest off altogether and stop and look for the item I need before I put the vest back on);
  5. You can achieve anything if you’ve set your mind to it and trained towards.