SBU35: Running my first ultra marathon. 2 to go. Shit the bed

01 Sep 17  / Pete

So, I fancied running further than I ever had. In fact, since going to Chamonix last year, I dreamt of running an ultra marathon at the world-famous UTMB weekend. Possibly a little far fetched for someone who had never even ran an ultra, but that didn’t bother me! If you’re gonna dream, dream big and don’t hold back on making it ridiculous either!

I knew I wanted to be part of something amazing in the alps, that much was clear, now I needed to find out how I could get there. To race at UTMB, you need to qualify by completing ultras that total a certain number of points and they must be ones on the qualifying list of races.

Well, now I knew how to qualify, I just needed to find the races and book them, and that is exactly what I did. No messing. If I was going to apply for 2018, I would need to get 8 points in the bag through 2 ultras on the UTMB qualifying list and I needed to complete these by December 2017. This didn’t leave me with much time at all but I managed to find 2 that fitted the bill perfectly, and then thanks to my friend Alexandra Duesbury (@theultragirl – absolute legend of a runner and friend), I got a 3rd one booked (not a qualifying race), which turned out to be the race I would run 1st…SBU35 in the Lake District. That is the one this blog is all about and it has taken me 3 bloody paragraphs to get to it. Shit the bed…if I ran this slowly I wouldn’t make the cut off times!

SBU35 Keswick to St Bees 2017

SBU35 Keswick to St Bees 2017
I met Superman at the top of a hill!

SBU35 Ultra marathon – Breaking my duck

I have taken enough of your time with my beginning waffle, so this bit will be short and sweet…

In fact, in case you can’t be arsed reading any more, here is a quick video I made which I reckon is a fairly funny round up of what happened on the day:

My first ultra could be summed up with the following points:

  • It was beautiful (Ah, the Lake District).
  • Absolutely knackering. My quads felt like watermelons that had been dropped off a balcony and my hamstrings were like banjo strings.
  • Satisfying. Oh boy, was it sweet to cross that line? You’re damn f*cking right it was.
  • The hunger, or not. I was told that I would face difficulty with my stomach but that I would get pains from running whilst eating on the go. I got quite the opposite. Once I hit about 18 miles or so, I struggled to swallow anything at all except for water. Something I need to correct on the next ultra or I really could be in shit.
  • Every emotion was felt on this run. Every damn emotion you can imagine. Especially once I got over 26 miles and was going into new territory.
  • Some awesome people. As with any race, I met a few new faces and enjoyed a few beers afterwards with some unlucky suckers haha.
SBU35 Keswick to St Bees 2017
My quads! Holy shit balls that hurts. I was pissing about for the camera really 🙂
SBU35 Keswick to St Bees 2017
Photobombing on the end like a champ

All in all, SBU35 was a really good choice for my first ultra marathon. 36 miles were bagged, a cracking medal was taken home, and in 2 weeks, I have my first 50 mile race, the Centurion Chiltern Wonderland. Bring that shit on! I am going to give it everything I have got because I want those qualification points towards some UTMB races!!!

Oh, and then in November I have to do 2 laps around the Brecon Beacons for Beacons Ultra (46 miles). Jesus Christ…who books 3 ultra marathons before doing 1? Pete does! Why? Because I Iove a challenge!

Dear Santa…for Christmas, I am going to need new legs. Cheers big man.

SBU35 Keswick to St Bees 2017
I am getting there! Thank bollocks for that.
SBU35 Keswick to St Bees 2017
Pippa is always the medal winning champ!

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  • Jon Raymond

    Hi Pete. Great write up and you really have set yourself a challenge. I’m glad that you chose us as your first. Onwards and upwards! Jon. SBU RD.

    • Pete Nicholson

      Thanks so much for the event, reading this and wishing me good luck. I’ll give the next 2 ultras everything and see where they end up taking me 🙂

      • Jon Raymond

        Keep posting those videos. I loved the last one