Friday, 7 September 2012

The Best Running of My Life

It turns out that day two of the Ring O' Fire was between 68 and 70miles, I managed to get a good massage, three bowls of pasta and a good nights sleep in another village hall. Runners were coming in all through the night some taking over 20 hours coming in at 2a.m. and having to start running again at 6a.m.!!

As I had a near three hour lead over the second place competitor and my knee was very painful I just wanted to get through the final 35miles, so I ran for most of the day with Richard Webster. Richard is a crazy nutter ultra runner, having done such races as a 250mile arctic race and the infamous Leadville 100 (look it up, it is crazy!), so this race was a walk in the park for Richard. He was a really nice guy and chatting with him helped me forget the pain in my knee and also stop me from getting lost.

Running on the final day with Richard
Not too far after the halfway mark the pain in my knee subsided and with less than 20 miles left to run I pushed on. The last two hours of this race was without a doubt the best running of my life, I have read stories of people who have done ultra endurance events and gone into a euphoric type state but never really believed it, until now!! The scenery was spectacular and I just felt like I could run forever, it was awesome! The last few miles were up and over Holyhead mountain, not a big mountain but the highest point on Anglesey. My dad had checked the route map and met me at the bottom of the hill and drove up the road next to me whilst I ran, I don't think he could believe how fast I was running. I skirted around the peak of the mountain (luckily the coastal path didn't take us over the summit) and made my way down to what was one of the best things I've ever seen, the finish. Spurred on by knowing I had less than half a mile to go I sprinted down to the finish to complete the epic adventure. 131miles, 13695feet of vertical ascent, the Ring O' Fire......

Now having rested for a few days I am having some serious withdrawal symptoms, you forget the pain and just remember the joy and sense of achievement of what has been achieved. It was one of the best weekends of my life, and I can now proudly call myself an Ultra-marathon runner.

Talking tactics with my Dad
 People have been asking me how I managed to get round this race the way I did. As I have mentioned before this race and I guess any ultra endurance event is tougher mentally than it is physically, so you need to have a strong motivational pull to get you through. My motivation and inspiration for this race is my dad, however tough it got for me during this race it would never be as tough or as painful as having your leg amputated. So whenever I started to struggle or the going got tough I just thought of that and on I went.....

Thanks Dad, this one was for you :-)


  1. Great to meet you and run with you well done and looking forward to seeing you at another race soon

  2. I am reading about your meeting with Adharanand Finn in the book "Running with the Kenyans". Everything is so inspiring, thank you so much!

  3. Hello Tom, congrats on completing that ultra!
    I came across this blog site via your review of the Powerbreathe device.
    Would you mind letting me how you first came across this device, and how it fitted into your training regime?
    I ask because I'm a fellow runner, completed one marathon in Hong Kong, but hoping to try an ultra 50km next year, but all the local ones are VERY hilly, and thus i need all the help I can get!!! :)

  4. This is a very informative article, I'm also a runner in track and fields, I just wanna say thanks to the writer and wish you all the best for your writing. Keep it up :)

    -derrick adkins olympian