Last week at Maverick Race our Chamonix 100KM virtual event took place. This required runners to complete the distance of 100KM over 8 days (Saturday 25th July - Saturday 1st August). Our Maverick Trail Division (MTD) took on the challenge in various different ways and have put a few words down about their weeks.
Chris Redtop started the week on the Maverick Exmoor route before returning home to the valleys of South Wales.
Written by MTD Athlete Chris Redtop
So Saturday 25th July came around and I set off on my first run on the Maverick Exmoor X-Series Half Marathon route with; team mate Jayski, Simon, and my sister Carly Warly. At the time it seemed like a great idea... but after 21KM and 1000m of elevation my quads were not in a good place.
Sunday came around and we knuckled down and ran out across the valley of rocks again taking in the stunning views of the Exmoor coastline knocking another 10KM off the total. Now the hard graft starts…
The new week saw a new challenge with trying to squeeze runs in around a busy work schedule. Living in the South of Wales I can hit the trails within minutes from the house which is great until you remember that they are far from flat. Meaning that each of my runs were tallying up the elevation and by Wednesday I had hit 2500m of vertical ascent, but had also clocked off 80.5KM of the total 100KM challenge, which was amazing!
Thursday morning I felt absolutely shattered and was worried I wouldn't finish but something clicked during the day and I returned from work and hit the trails. Knowing the Robbies (my local running club) were meeting later I thought I'd head out prior to the club run and then complete the final few KM’s with them, which to my amazement I did As I ran in on my 100th K< the sound of applause echoed down the trails and actually brought a tear to my eye! I had completed 100KM with 2 days to spare and I'm still smiling :)
Thank you Maverick for continuing to push me further than I genuinely thought possible!
Paul King’s 100KM
Paul completed the 100KM week just two weeks after his first-ever 100KM run!
Written by MTD Athlete Paul King
It all started on the afternoon of the 11th July and no sooner had I finished my first 100KM trail run. The team decided to announce something special over the social media channels…..
Maverick Chamonix Endeavour VR 100KM. I had just two weeks to decide whether I was going to give it a go or sadly decline. It was an easy choice to make and it took all of two minutes to decide my fate and I was logged on and registered to take part.
A second run of this distance, within a two-week time frame was a lot to ask and I knew I would not be suitably recovered to try and complete the distance in one go. So the option to push the mileage out over several days was my chosen way forward.
This would also give me a chance to learn and gain experience running medium / long distances back to back over several days.
The two weeks passed, and race day came. Did I have a plan? Sort of. My aim was initially to do four 25KM loops on the Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and the final Saturday. But with very limited leg movement over the previous two weeks. I only managed to cover 20KM on the first day.
So, Saturday afternoon was sat planning on how I was going to get through the distance and come out the other side in one piece. Sunday was therefore rearranged and I decided to try a double run day. 10KM in the morning and a further 15KM in the evening. The surprising thing is that the Sunday evening run was the most comfortable out of the three thus far.
I was planning a rest day Monday but after a busy day at work, I decided to go out and cover a few more KM’s. the main reason being to clear the head but it would also clock down on the remaining distance. This particular run pushed me past the halfway point and so my mind was then made up to complete the remaining distance as quickly as possible. With 15KM covered on the Tuesday and a final push of 30KM on the Wednesday evening, the Maverick Chamonix Endeavour Virtual 100KM was complete.
What did I take away from the event? The body is more capable than you think, never ever doubt yourself and your own ability, and when you enter the pain cave, there is always an exit, it just sometimes takes that little bit longer to reach.
Sarah ran the whole 100KM in one marvellous swoop! Accompanied with friend Krysia they had a grand day out indeed.
Written by MTD Athlete Sarah Yankee Panky
When I heard Maverick were hosting a virtual 100KM race, I instantly thought I’d like to do it in one go but that I would likely need a good friend for company and support. I reached out to my friend and fellow ultra runner Krysia, she had paced me through the night on my 100 mile race so I figured she would be game.
Luckily I was right and we made a plan to run from Winchester to Brighton along the SDW on the Saturday. We were both excited for a challenge and also as working mothers, we were excited for a full day away from our life responsibilities. We joked that we’d shout MUMMMMAYYYY at each other all day and complain about the water being too wet so that we would feel right at home.
On the morning of the run, I awoke at around 4am after very little sleep excited to get going. I had my normal pre-race bagel and coffee and packed a Starbucks cold brew drink to have on the drive to Winchester. This came back to bite me in the arse as you should never try anything new before a race. Even if it’s not a race race.
I had some pretty awful stomach issues from mile 5-20 but part of running lots of ultras has given me the knowledge that these things pass with a bit of patience. Krysia encouraged me along and we walked a couple sections whilst waiting for it to settle out and eventually it did.
At Old Winchester Hill we came upon a large herd of cows who would not budge from the path. K and I are both pretty wary of cows so we searched the field for an alternative route and hemmed and hawed for ages before finally spotting another braver group of runners who were easily jogging through the moo mayhem. We asked if we could tuck in behind them and they guided us through the field. The cows ended up being super tame so we giggled about it for several miles afterwards.
Not long after the cowspiracy we found ourselves at our first of three mobile aid stations, manned by K’s husband and two sons. I was still feeling a bit delicate here so I stuck to my fuelling strategy of a bit of cheese and marmite wrap, Roctane liquid, and Gu gels every 45 minutes or so. The boys had made us a fantastic banner and we took a few minutes to say hello and refuel and refill water bottles before heading out.
The rain began in earnest as we headed out of Queen Elizabeth park and continued heavily until we reached Chanctonbury ring. If you know the route at all, you’ll recognise that QE Park to Chanctonbury is about 60KM so it was quite a soggy day out. As the weather was warm enough, we didn’t suffer too much from being cold and I actually never put my jacket on.
We had our second and third aid stations at mile 41 and 50ish with friends Mercy and Martine, and they helped keep our spirits high despite the rain being a nuisance at points. We fuelled well and reminded each other to keep pumping in the sugars, swapping gel flavours and offering snacks when we stopped. I loved this bit of running such a distance with a friend, it felt very much like we were a team and it seemed when one of us was down the other was up, so spirits stayed high.
K suffered with the dreaded stomach sicks between Kithurst and basically the finish and I did my best to walk the line of keeping her spirits up and keeping us moving forward. From Washington on we were varying 4-6 minutes run with 2 minutes walk between, and even though K still looked a bit green she managed to soldier on. What a hero.
I wore my Adidas Terrex Agravic Two in One skirt which is probably one of my favourite pieces of running clothing EVER, 15 hours of being soaked to the bone and no chafe on my legs at all. With only three aid stations we both had really heavy packs so I loved that my Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta has enough space to carry emergency kit and all my fuel, and the locking water bottles are great.
Throughout the entire 14 hours and 56 minutes we never stopped chatting, and we laughed and smiled so much my cheeks hurt. I also had a sore throat the next day from talking so much, but that will surprise no one who knows me. Coming into Devil’s Dyke with the sun setting behind us we both got a tad bit emotional at what an achievement this run had been. Constant driving rain, slippery chalk, a not ideal training schedule- yet we managed it well and with so much joy in the taking part.
We felt a huge gratitude for our husbands waiting at the end who had driven hours to make our day easier, to Maverick for setting the task, and our own bodies for holding up so well for so many hilly kilometres. There was a real sisterhood in this challenge, and I finished empowered and with an even stronger bond with my friend Krysia. We could not have asked for a better day out and we will certainly cherish these ultra memories.
“I hate being effing human but I have learned from the experience...of being human”
Written by MTD Athlete PC
They say that things don’t always go to plan. I normally don’t like listening to what ‘they’ say but the Maverick Race Chamonix Endeavour 100KM VR definitely didn’t go to plan for me.
That plan was to go for glory and run the 100KM in one go. A distance I’ve run many times before and one I now feel ‘comfortable’ with. I’d mapped a route in Norfolk that I was excited to run. Set off from Castle Acre at 2am – follow the Peddars Way straight to the coast at Old Hunstanton - along the Norfolk Coast Path to Cromer! 100KM done and finished in time for an early afternoon dip in the sea and a crab sandwich. I had a perfect schedule set out for my brother to crew me, on his fractured ankle, and everything was going to work like clockwork. Except it didn’t!
I set off on time, felt great and was well prepared. The first 15KM were slightly faster than was sensible but I felt relaxed and pretty good. I was enjoying running out there in the dark, with the deer, muntjac, hare and a barn owl that flew in front of me for nearly half a mile, using me to flush out mice I thought? It was just me, the countryside, nature and some pig farms in the dark emitting noises that scared the daylights out of me!
The plan started to unravel with the arrival of a headache and stomach pains at about 20KM. By 25KM I was becoming pretty lethargic and knew I wasn’t anywhere near my normal self. I tried to block it out. At 30KM I knew I was going to have to abort and even the most incredible sunrise couldn’t get me right. Once I saw my brother at 39KM I pulled the plug. The look on his face, having got up early on a fractured ankle and driven 22 miles to meet me, only to see me abort! Priceless. I was disappointed but realised that I was going to gain nothing from trying to stick that one out and would do more damage than good. Progress of a sort because I haven’t always been that intelligent.
Another thing ‘they’ say is that bad things can turn out to be good. Having failed in my attempt to complete the 100KM in one go, I enjoyed a wonderful day on the beach with my brother and his family. I went on to complete the challenge over 5 days and 5 runs. Which meant I got the benefit of the brilliant progress updates from Maverick Race, as I virtually passed the check points in the Alps around Chamonix. Those updates were amazing and reminded me of the incredible places you get to see on Maverick Camp Endeavour Chamonix. Places like Aiguille du Midi, Col de Balme as you pass from France into Switzerland, the pink church of Eglise Rose, the beautiful Lac d’Emosson, Mont Buet and Brevent, high above Chamonix.
If I had completed my plan of running 100KM in one run, it would have been a poorer experience without these updates and reminders! The Camp Endeavour Chamonix route is clearly incredible and I can’t wait to complete it one day! There’s no doubt that I enjoyed the challenge much more as a result of having ‘failed’ with plan A.