Sometime it just doesn’t work…

This morning was the Wickham Whistler, the inaugural event for events organisers “On the Whistle”. 6 hours timed event, multiple laps, run 2 laps for a 10k, 4 for a half, 8 for a full and 9+ for an Ultra.

I’d had it in my head that I’d do 8 laps and rack up another marathon this month. That was the goal but sadly it didn’t happen today. I’d gone out with the idea of doing 9 minute miles, but felt good so they may have been a bit quicker. I felt really good, right up until the turnaround point on my 3rd lap. My stomach went in to spasm and I started suffering much the same as I did on the QE marathon. Absolute agony, stomach flipping left right and centre.

This happened to me 3 weeks earlier at QE and I’d put it down to me being over zealous on gels/sweets and boy did I suffer after that occasion. On and off the toilet for the following few hours, dehydrated and generally feeling like death. This time I’d had that in the back of my mind when I started and had been sipping water, taken it easy on sweets and cake from the aid station and I’d taken just one gel at around 11 or 12 miles, by which point my stomach had already started to feel a bit odd.

So after 4 laps I reluctantly called it a day, finished my lap and rang the bell to signal I’d had enough. I’d done half marathon distance in roughly 2 hours and covered 14.1 miles in 2:05:54 according to the old Garmin. My thoughts behind retiring at this stage was that I’d really been enjoying myself, smiling and chatting/joking all the way round, it had been a really pleasant experience up until that point. I didn’t really want to continue another 4 laps not knowing if the next bit of wind may be something a lot more unpleasant and ruin an all round pleasurable experience!

On to the event itself. It was a lovely low key event that had attracted runners of all abilities, people there to do just one 5k lap through to people aiming to do stacks. The course was straight forward enough, 1.8 miles up the track and 1.8 back. This is through woods in the main and it was spectacular this morning. The sun shining through, bluebells everywhere, very picturesque. I had thought it might get a bit monotonous, not having done a multi lap before, but it wasn’t bad at all. Between nodding and greeting runners coming the other way, including high 5’s and taking in the scenery there wasn’t time to get bored.

The guys running the event, On the Whistle, were great, very friendly and personal. It is so so different to bigger events that lack this personal touch. I can’t recommend this experience enough, if you’ve only ever taken part in big road events you don’t know what you’re missing. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with. Oh and the medal, who can forget the medal, lovers of race bling this is for you! A stonking great big medal to go with the location, what better for a run along a disused train line than a train medal, awesome!

I’m looking forward to the next event, but really need to work out what’s going wrong with my stomach as I can’t go into GI distress each time!! It’s never happened under half marathon distance before, and only happened twice on marathon distance. I’ve not been 100% for a couple of months so hope that’s it.

Here are my run stats for the morning;

So in summary, a wonderful event at a fabulous location run by a fantastic crew. The atmosphere was superb and all the participants were very supportive and friendly. Good aid station with a nice variety of treats. Free parking, mustn’t forget that, free race pictures too via Facebook and an amazing bit of race bling! A top notch affair.

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7 Responses to Sometime it just doesn’t work…

  1. Helen says:

    Hope you get your stomach issues sorted. Went through similar myself but seems to have sorted itself out….. For now anyway. Will try this event next year thanks for the review

    • PJ says:

      Thanks H, fingers crossed it’ll work itself out, I’m still not 100% since being ill earlier in the year so that might be it.

      The On the Whistle peeps have another event coming up, in Havant this time, in a couple of months time. Looks good, just need to get sign off on it first!

  2. Samantha Cobb says:

    Sorry to hear you took a funny turn Paul.
    Was fab to see you today and you looked very strong.
    I sadly only managed 5k as my hamstring went and I have to many other events lined up to risk long injury.

    • PJ says:

      Thanks Sam, just one of those things, I still had a wonderful morning and loved seeing so many friendly faces out on the course.

      Don’t be sad about 5k, 5k is 5k after all and is not to be sniffed at. No point pushing it and risking further injury/discomfort especially if you’ve got more events lined up. That’s precisely why I retired when I did.

      Well done and I’ll look out for you on the next one.

  3. Victoria McCallum says:

    I used to suffer with crippling stomach cramps and linked it to the gels I was using.
    I’ve started using Tailwind in my hydration vest and it’s a revelation!
    Brighton Marathon was a breeze, no cramping, no ‘wall’, and my recovery over the next couple of days consisted of me wondering when DOMS would strike. It never did. It was my only fuel for my longest run prior to Brighton and all I needed during it.
    The customer service is pretty special, too.
    Might be worth ordering in some trial packs and seeing what results you get.

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