Tuesday, 4 May 2010

24Hr Cotswold Way

Sorry for the late post. Currently in the spiritual home using a wi-fi pub :)

Well he did it! 104 miles in 23:48. A brilliant effort. Haven’t yet worked out how much ascent was involved. It’s academic really.

People talk about BGRs, Ramsay Rounds and PBRs, and I know that this isn't on the same scale, but it is still a fantastic achievement.

We set off from Chipping Campden at 21:00, but had arrived early. Rich was driving the support van, a veteran of amateur athletics over the decades he was wearing a flat cap which contrasted nicely with the Inov8 freebee super etand dart running coat that he'd been given for helping at some ultra event in Keswick. He and I sat in the foyer of a posh hotel him sipping a coffee and holding a conversation with the Polish waitress, me jumpy and exited and with a job to do. Mike’s wife, Kate, and their girls Thea and Scarlet came in after a private moment or two and then the timekeeper (forgot name sorry) turned up and we were set.

"Let's have it, Mike," I said meaning every word. They counted us down quietly, and with minimal fuss we were off, bouncing down the road, feeling fit.

It was my first so-called pacing experience and I was surprised how much there was to think about – running ahead to open gates, making sure he kept eating, getting the drinks quickly sorted at the 10 mile pit stops.

The support was always there on the section that I did. At the Stanton pit stop, as well as Rich in the support van, there was a Dave who’d turned up of his own accord. The same Dave picked us up later at the next road crossing in Stanway, and gave us a good toot of his car horn as we disappeared into the night.

"Who's Dave?"

"Lovely guy. He came up to me in the pub after the club run, shook my hand and said, 'I lost a good mate to CF. I want to give you some money."



It brings a tear to my eye to type it now. I ran ahead to open another gate. There was a job to do. What it took to bring this guy out in the middle of the night to lend his support?

The run went well. I had the compass bearing ready for the long section across fields where we'd gone arwy inthe past. Steady away.

At Cleeve we saw the torches of half a dozen Almosts with the good heart to be out at one in the morning. Unbelievable.

Next day, I was tired after my section and short sleep, but couldn’t believe that he was still going. 24 hours is a very long time to keep running.

Spoke to Mike from a Shambleside pavement.

The section after mine with Duncan went well but for one nav error. Mike stopped for a 12 min power nap at severn springs. Was an hour behind at the next checkpoint but Marek pulled him together well. Nick kept up the good work on the final section - he's a very experienced long-distance runner and must have been the perfect accomplice.

Apparently the last mile and a half came in at 7min mile pace. The adrenaline kicked in. There were loads of other Almosts at the finish.

Everyone happy. Will add some pics at a later date.

John many thanks for contacting Mike and sponsoring!


  1. Good effort Matt - sounds amazing!
    Enjoy the beer(s)!


  2. Auwsome ! He's done really well. You too.

    When he's recovered, or perhaps you could do it for him, send me his bank details. nightingalejohn@rocketmail.com

  3. Well done! both of you.
    If you could let me know how, I would like to send some sponsorship £.

  4. Thanks for the comments - he's well back on form again now...

    John and Steve - I'll mail you separately. Many thanks again