Northants Shire & Spire Ultra (DNF) 2017

It was rude not to enter being so close to home and taking in parts of Northamptonshire I had never visited was also a bonus. The Shore & Spires 35 Mile Ultra takes in some glorious countryside, churches and Estates of Northamptonshire.

Northants Shire & Spire Ultra (DNF) 2017 | Liam Martin | Linked Fitness

Starting at Lamport Hall on a sunny and warm day 170 Runners all made there way to the start line in what was going to be a lovely run. I wanted to try my hardest and really push myself on the route and set off at a faster than expected pace Crossing the main road and moving on to trails it was pretty flat on the way to CP 1 with a mixture of trail and concrete.

Northants Shire & Spire Ultra (DNF) 2017 | Liam Martin | Linked Fitness

I hit CP 1 at 4.1 Miles in 34 mins which I couldn’t believe after a quick refill and a high five from my Kids who were waiting for me I moved on. I stayed at that pace for another 3 Miles before hitting a few climbs at this stage it really started to get hot. I hit CP 2 again still faster than I expected but my legs were feeling great!
After nearly going the wrong way after CP 2 thanks to someone who had done the route before pointing me in the right direction. We hit a few more climbs which I walked as I was trying to save a little energy for later and I was also pretty chuffed to find out I had hit the half marathon point in well under 2 hours.

I hit 16 Miles and unfortunately also hit a Footstile after falling into it through my own stupidity and clumsiness and managed to smack my knee pretty hard. I was still going strong at this point even after the fall I didn’t slow down to much but it wasn’t going to go to well after CP 3 which was at Silsworth Lodge Riding school. CP 3 came and went and after slowing to a 14 min mile trying to climb up a steep hill the knee pain was at its worse and really started to trouble me. Coming into Long Buckby at 20 miles I walked up to the Market Square where family were waiting in support, this was the first time that I had a look at my knee and there was swelling and bruising all ready showing.

I made a plan to get to CP 4 and see how it was there so I hobbled around 3 Miles to get there passing through beautiful countryside and all the runners that were passing me at this point were absolutely amazing and offering all the support they could which was definitely appreciated! The Climb into Great Brington really finished me off but I managed to muster a little strength to push myself into a slow downhill jog and to CP 4 where I decided to pull out in front of the magnificent grounds of Althorpe Park. I would have loved to have got around the last part of the course as the first was amazing and beautiful.

Having to admit defeat and DNF is a horrible thing to do  knowing that I tried my hardest to get around the course is definitely worth every ounce of effort I Put in on the day. I would of loved to have finished as strong as I was going as I would have easily been on for my sub 6 Hour target which would have been great but I will be back next year to try again.   To Go Beyond Ultras you put on a great event that was well organised and just brilliant, Marshalls were out in force and nothing was too much to ask with help and support at every CP on route. An event that I will be back at next year and gets a superb 10/10 see you next year!

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