Chiltern Wonderland 50miler

It was definitely a chillier than hoped for morning but as I walked from the car park at the station to get my train to Goring at 7am I still knew it was going to be a good day. 

 CW50 was another of the races I had chosen to build the body up ready for the Arc in January. Hills, trails, varying terrain – all sounded good. 

The race itself starts on the riverside in Goring, heads south on the Thames before turning away from the river and heading eventually north into the Chiltern Hills. This first section is narrow river paths so not a time to be a front pack runner starting at the back!

Riverside start

The route then takes you north, through stunning Stonor Park, and onto the Turville windmill – yep that one from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 😊. The path takes you straight past it, however there is a beast of a hill to get there!

From there hang left, head to the highest point near Christmas Common and Watlington Hill. This then means a good long descent is due heading down to join the Ridgeway and begin the stretch through Swyncombe and eventually Grims Ditch. 

Finally it’s a weave through some pretty runnable rolling trails until you find yourself on the edge of Goring again and finally stumble across the ‘Finish this way’ sign. 

The route is stunning. The hills are great, the downs just as good. There’s also plenty of forest/woodland running which is one of my favourite terrains – must have strong ankles then ! haha 😆 

Aid Stations

Usual Centurion style. Simple but very effective. Water, squash, coke and tailwind to drink – and a variety of sweet and savoury snacks including fresh fruit and sweets.   They put on 5 stops. The first around 10 miles in and the rest 7 or 8 miles apart. Just about right 👍

As usual volunteers were ace. Enthusiastic, supportive, quick to help you through the aid station. Centurion volunteers are the best!

Approach

This was a B race for me. I wanted to do well but it was still training for the big one. I focussed on nutrition, really hitting it well in the first half, struggling a bit as time went on and I need to get more wet food in my plan to fix this. 

I wanted to perform well but not batter myself either. I have London marathon 15 days after and I want a good time!  So a little reserved in the second half – holding back a touch on a few hills and coasting a few flats. 

Challenges

 Not many – beside the race itself !

About halfway (I think) I got a tweak in my right achilles. Carried on a little and thought it’s a blister brewing so stopped. Nothing obvious but it wouldn’t go. So I stopped, shoes, sock off. Plaster over my taped heel to add some more cushion and off I went again. That fixed it and no issues after. 

Result

Though I was not putting everything into the race I still smashed my 50 mile Pb by about 2 hours to 8:15.01. That blew me away. I thought 10 hours but 8 😮!!

And a top ten finish at a Centurion Event!  I’ll take that every day of the week. 

What’s next?

London is around the corner, my first attempt at the iconic race.  I would like a good time but I’m just really excite to have made it through the ballot! Then it’s the long run into the Arc in January.  That’s going to be here before we know it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: