I ran my first ultramarathon before I really even knew what it was.
And of course I didn’t finish.
Back in 2009 I foolishly signed up for a 69K trail ultra and made it less than half way before I was cooked. I didn’t think of running much after that for a couple of years, and didn’t think of doing anything like an ultra either.
Come 2015, though, and I was back running. Morning runs became a routine and I ran my first half marathon in training a couple of weeks before I ran my first official half marathon race. With that out of the way, I signed up for a 12 Hour timed ultra on the other side of the country, made my way there, ran my heart out for about seven or eight hours, and finished absolutely knackered.
But I also knew I’d found my sport.
In 2016 I ran a 6 Hour race and it went well, then another 6 Hour race and I even won! Yeah, it was a small field but I ran further and faster than I had in the previous race and I felt like I was hitting my stride. More timed ultras followed, and then my first 100K in Amiens, France. I ran across the Somme for ten hours that day and it felt great to cross that finish line. A couple of months later when I returned to that same trail ultra that I had failed at in 2009, I was comfortable from the start and brought home my first trail ultra finish.
In 2017 I built a year around the Ultratour du Leman in Switzerland and while not everything went perfectly in the lead up to the race, I managed to bring home my first 100 mile finish. Along the way I named a second place in a competitive 12 Hour race at Saint Fons, and even got around to running – and finishing – my first road marathon, too.
By the time 2018 rolled around I felt like I was getting the hang of the ultra game. A couple of early season timed races were followed by a period full of not running: a wedding to the Ultrawife, a summer spent relaxing in Spain and the Basque Country, and then back into things for the end of the season. Another road marathon and another finish, this one 20 minutes faster than the year before, and another finish on that end-of-season trail ultramarathon, too.
Heading into 2019 I’ve got my eyes set on the 100 mile Berlin Wall Race – it’s held a month before my 40th birthday and it’s a present for the big-four-oh to myself – and some other smaller races, too.
When I’m not running I’m a husband to the Ultrawife, a father to the Ultraboy, and VP Inbound Marketing at Cosmo Tech, one of France’s most exciting software companies.