Endurance round-up: Ed warms up in epic style, while Sally and Charlie tri hard

On the heels of club secretary Hannah Broom’s outstanding recent three marathons in a month, BAC members have been testing themselves to the limit. Leading the way was Ed Jones, who last Saturday took part in the Norfolk 100k Ultra Marathon.

The 62-mile race, which started at 7am and ­has a 16-hour time limit, is not for the faint of heart and forms part of a Grand Slam of three events that also includes the Peddars Way Ultra (77km) and the more modest Kings Forest 50km – still substantially more than a marathon.

The Norfolk race began in Castle Acre and moves to Sheringham along the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path, taking in – in Jones’s words – “just about every sort of underfoot conditions from tarmac through to sand dunes”.

Ed Jones, right, at Norfolk 100k. Photo by Tim Smith
Ed Jones, right, at the Norfolk 100k. Photo by Tim Smith

Jones, who was using the race as a training outing before he takes on the 145-mile Kennet & Avon Canal Race on 30 July, finished 17th of 47 finishers, with many having dropped out due to the searing heat. He helped along a Redway Runners athlete “who was going through a bad patch” eight miles from the finish. “So,” Jones continued, “I hiked the final eight miles with her, including four miles of shingle beach.” He finished in a time of 13hrs 21min 23sec.

Charlie Arnold and Sally Jones endured more epic undertakings, showing there’s more to the club than just running, jumping and throwing as they lined up alongside almost 5,000 competitors at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon.

After an overcast morning, the sun came out as they plunged into the lake for a 750m swim, followed by a 19.8km cycle on a harsh, very hilly course, finishing up with a 5.4km run which involved further climbing for tired legs.

Sally, taking part in her first triathlon, had been persuaded to take part after competing in a few duathlon (running and cycling) events.

She said: “After a few months of training, involving more cycling, running after cycling and braving the waters at Box End in Bedford, I turned up at Blenheim with the family in tow, a car full of kit and a small sense of anxiety about the impending swim in the lake!”

“Despite a rather amateur attempt at front crawl that ended up a mix of crawl and breast stroke, I completed the 750m swim in 21m 26sec. After negotiating the 400m uphill run to transition whilst trying to wriggle out of the wetsuit, the 20km bike leg was done in 51:53, and then back out for a two lap run of 5.4km in 32:29. A few challenging hills in both kept things interesting. Overall I finished in 1.55.08 which was well under my hopefully anticipated time of two hours.” Sally finished as 995th female overall, and 160th in the age 40-44 age category.

Charlie Arnold at Blenheim Palace triathlon. No credit needed
Charlie suits up at Blenheim Palace.

Charlie completed the swim in 18:10, the cycling stint in 48:33 and his run of 25:57 gave him an overall time of 1:44.07 as he crossed the line at 18th male in the age 60-64 category. He said: “The finish line was a welcome sight with the reward of a well earned medal and, from one of the sponsors Erdinger, a pint of (non-alcoholic) beer.”

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