August #upandrun ultra ~ First 50k of North Downs Way
This month’s #upandrun ultra for Understand Pain was Farnham to Betchworth, amounting to 50.9k with an additional loop through a cornfield. For the vast majority of the route I barely saw another person, one of the beauties of a solo run.
These are independent runs when you choose a route, pack your supplies in a backpack and head off alone. In theory there is no support along the way as you decide when to stop and take a break and carry your own food and water.
The prior solo along the Thames Path from Hampton Court to the Thames Barrier offered a number of stopping points: cafes and shops. This time there was a sparsity that added an interesting element. Whilst the elevation was just under 1000m, so pretty steep in places, it is not an overly challenging route. However, it is very scenic along water courses, across fields, along trails and through wooded areas.
I happened upon two pubs. The first was notable, accommodating my seemingly strange request for a banana together with a pint of coke, a pint of water, a pack of salt and vinegar crisps and a double espresso. Steve and Laura at Ye Old Ship Inn just outside Guildford were most helpful. The second was just overpriced using ‘sugar tax’ as an excuse.
The North Downs Way in pictures
#upandrun routes so far…
May ~ Isle of Wight Challenge
June ~ London to Brighton
June ~ Hampton Court to the Thames Barrier
July ~ Race To The Stones
August ~ North Downs Way: Farnham to Betchworth
September and onwards ~ TBC
The first #12in12 will take me round to May 2020. However, my plan is to keep going until the Ring O’ Fire in August 2020. And then…..who knows! There’s always another level with ultras, and I am just at the start.
The next run should see me sporting a new outfit having teamed up with a cool running brand. They are also responsible for the funky kit worn by a well known and recognisable ultrarunner in the US. More on this later.
And the reason
To raise the awareness of the global problem of pain — the No1 global health burden. But that’s not it. #upandrun is also about helping people understand their pain and learning ways that they can improve their lives with practical skills and tools. This is via the UP workshops that are running each month in New Malden, Surrey; next one on Wednesday 18th September (tickets available soon). But that’s not it either….
This must build and grow. The workshops must expand and become available far and wide. To do this we must scale the projects and build. This is the work going on behind the scenes at the moment.
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