Running - trail and road race (Causeway Challenge race) 3:39:17  26.75 mi (8:12 / mi) +1930ft 7:40 / mi
slept:5.0 shoes: Hoka Rincon (white/blue)
Causeway Challenge race (also known as More Than a Marathon) which starts in Ballycastle and runs along the coast to finish in Portrush. First few miles were mainly on road (aside from a short beach and a few short trail sections) before heading down onto the main Causeway coast trail that I run on frequently. It then came back out onto the road for a couple of miles at portballintrae then down the trail onto the beach with 1.5 miles up the beach to the finish.
Started off feeling great and stuck with a lead group of 6 or 7 for the first couple of miles. There were quite a few climbs on the initial roads and I decided to back off after a while as I knew what lay ahead. Settled into my own pace and ran pretty much on my own for the next 25 miles. The heat was causing me to sweat profusely so I was picking up bottles of water at each station. I had brought my Salomon backpack with two bottles of tailwind and 6 SIS gels to take throughout. Whenever we hit the hillier trail action my legs felt a little weak but I was able to keep running at a reasonable pace. I had picked off a couple of other runners before half way. For the rest of the trail section up until portballintrae the pattern of running well on the flats and downhills and feeling weak on the climbs continued. When the route went out onto the roads agin after portballintrae I didn’t feel so great. There was approx 6 miles to go at this point. I took another gel but it didn’t seem to make an awful lot of difference to my energy levels. Pleasingly though I was able to keep running at around 8mm pace. I was still passing a fair few runners at this point (and not getting passed by anyone) but it was hard to tell who was who as there was also a half marathon and 10k on the same route. After descending onto the beach I felt good again and was able to pick up the pace a bit and passed another few runners. Guessing that I finished 5th or 6th as the results haven’t been posted yet. In terms of fuelling, I drunk two bottles of tailwind and took 4 gels. Couldn’t stomach the other two I had with me. Need to order more spring energy gels as those SIS ones aren’t great. Spring energy are quite difficult to get hold of in UK.