My First Ultra: I Took on the Challenge of Covering 100 miles in Three Days

My First Ultra: I Took on the Challenge of Covering 100 miles in Three Days

From trying a sprint triathlon, to running a 100-mile ultra marathon in three years, and she hadn’t even run a marathon! Sarah Stables tells the Running Bug about her first Ultra.

My First Ultra“I love taking on new challenges and pushing myself. Last year I cycled from Glasgow to the Nottingham City Hospital for charity so when I was asked if I wanted to take part in the South Downs Way Ultra Marathon I jumped at the chance. The thing is I hadn’t even run a marathon! But I thought, why not throw myself in at the deep end and I took on the challenge of covering 100 miles in three days.

“I first started running when I took part in a sprint tri, around three years ago. I loved it! I’m no speedy runner, I run at 10-minute mile pace, but I love the atmosphere at races, and crossing that finish knowing that I can do it!

“To train for this event I used a marathon training programme and then The Running Bug ultra marathon advice

I was motivated to keep going because I was raising money for my friend Steve Chalk’s charity. Steve has xxxx and ran the race too, even though he’s still undergoing treatment, and all the money went to the charity Factor 50.

“Race day came quickly. On the day I was a little nervous, and felt sick, I downed some porridge and was ready to go. Once we got going it was great. We were a team of 10, of all different abilities and fitness levels, and we spurred each other on.

“Seeing the support team at checkpoints gave us such a lift, they had horns and flags, cheers and big smiles! They were armed with energy drinks, bananas, peanut butter sandwiches and jelly babies. I was a bit worried about eating on the run as I do suffer from stitch, but fortunately, I didn’t have a problem.

“It was tough. Every time we went around a corner there was another hill! I knew it was a hilly run but hadn’t anticipated the hills being so steep. I also injured my left leg: first a muscle in my thigh, then my ankle and then there were the blisters – lots of them!

“But crossing the finish line made it all worth it. I was completely overwhelmed and cried all the way down the last hill - partly through pain and also from knowing it was coming to an end! But I would definitely do it again!”


More from The Running Bug
My First Race for Life
My First Marathon
HSouth Down's Way 100: A Pacer's Story
How Running Inspired me to Lose Weight
The challenge of starting running and taking on her first Race For Life. I could only run for 30 seconds, now I've completed my first marathon! Cathy Ulliott paced a club mate for the last 60 miles of the South Down Way Ultra.
When Lucja Leonard hit nearly 16 stone, she knew she had to do something to turn her lifestyle around.


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Well done Sarah !! Is this proof that mind over matter works ? That individuals can overcome adversity (within their control) ? Does kit make a difference ? You didn`t do a marathon, yet, ultra marathon training usually says do a marathon first. How many wise words can you ignore ?