12-hour car park ultra marathon

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I'd been training since December for ultras in May, June, July and August. Sadly because of Covid-19 restrictions, all events were cancelled or postponed to further dates.

So in lockdown I just did a few 6 mile runs through the week. I was looking out of my kitchen window, saw the car park and thought "I will jog around that" so I went out and started running round.

It hit me that I could do an ultra here, it would be tough but let's do it. So I mapped out a 300m loop at first then extended it to 380 meters and trained on it 4 times up to 8 miles, that was 36 laps. I thought oh my this is gonna be tough mentally, so I set up a Just Giving page running community.

My family and friends were very supportive so the night before we set up loads of signed balloons in the back garden, set the course up, but I was so nervous. I only got four hrs sleep and was up just before 6am.

I set tables up for food, drink, first aid, running stuff in my bag, etc, and put two watches on: one Garmin and also my faithful watch which just takes time and distance LOL. Ten mins to go, full butterflies, I thought you are a nutter Mackers but let's do this!

On the start line 3-2-1 and I'm off. I set off at a slow pace taking in the very twisty turny course with a little 10 metre hill each lap. It was very hot early on and got myself into sort of a pace which was bit hit and miss, cut corners, etc, but got to 3 hrs with 13.4 miles covered.

I looked at Facebook and was overwhelmed with the support. Trawden AC - an amazing running community, Andy, family and my ultra partner in crime Mandy Norris. I had water and a Scotch egg then plodded on very quietly, in fact in silence!

I got to half way and at 6 hrs 15 I was over 26.3 miles in, very pleased feeling really good, great spirit in the circumstances. No support runners with me but the support on social media was unbelievable. The Trawden AC comments were amazing, and also all of the running community. This gave me so much hope and confidence.

I had flat coke, pork pie, jelly babies and off I went plodding away. There were a few neighbours in gardens clapping me and cheering. I though wow they must notice a nutter running round and round LOL.

I got to 33 miles over 8 hrs, then 36 in 9hrs 15. By then I was feeling it in my legs so had a 5 minute break, looked on social media, the support was unbelievable and we had already hit the £200 target for Covid-19 NHS charity. I was so emotional, nearly in tears with all the support and donations. It was like you were all there with me, so on I go plodding away.

I reached the 40-mile point in 10 hrs 17 so had a quick burst of speed after looking at the social media fundraising page again LOL.

I plodded on in no time at all down to the last 50 mins having covered 42.8 miles. I was so excited, you’re nearly there Macker push on! So that’s what I did.

By the time I was down to the last 5 minutes, 8 people in gardens were clapping and cheering. I was at 45 miles and couldn't believe it. Going into the last lap 191, I sped up! I was happy coming round the last corner, downhill into the finish. What an emotional and amazing feeling!

Ultra Tortoise finished the car park 12-hour ultra marathon: 191 laps, 45.5 miles in 12 hours 6 minutes 49 seconds. I was so pleased! Thanks for all of your support throughout the day and your donations Team TAC, all the local running community, family and friends.

You all kept me going throughout the day with your kind messages and I couldn't have finished without you all.

Let’s keep our sprits up during these sad times.

Thank you again!

Ultra Tortoise

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