Goggins 4 x 4 x 48 and Dawn Till Dusk Ultras.
Two races and two very different types of tiredness.
Report – Tim Hutchinson
I’ve never really been an ultra runner but I had Escape from Meriden on my “to do list” for a while, so last year I teamed up with fellow club member Matt Sims to run for 24 hours in November.
Unfortunately this was cancelled two weeks before the big day.
This might have fortuitous as only had a couple of long (long) runs in the bag, one being 50km in the back yard and the other just short of 60km with Matt.
With “all” that training done it was a bit frustrating to not have anything booked to use it on, that was until my phone went ping with a message from Matt saying “do you want to do the Gogginns 4x4x48?”.
The 4x4x48 challenge involves running for four miles every four hours for 48 hours. It can be done from anywhere in the world but takes place on a specific date.
It started on March 5th 2021 at 8pm and runs for 48 hours.
The challenge was announced in January to give people time to train and fundraise but if you’re not keen on running, you can adapt the challenge to suit yourself.
“2nd Annual 4x4x48 Challenge March 5-7 starting at 8pm PST. Go to my page on Instagram and Facebook for more details including giveaways! Stay hard!
— David Goggins (@davidgoggins) January 20, 2021
WHO STARTED THE CHALLENGE?”
Obviously my answer was “yeah, go on then!”
We did one training session of the daylight runs that served as a route recce as well.
Luckily as it worked out Matt and I live almost exactly a mile from the end of the tramway bridge but in opposite directions, so that was the meeting point sorted. Then it was just two laps of the parkrun route(ish), remember parkrun? followed by a run home, the idea was to be as close to 4 miles per run as possible.
As well as a physical challenge it’s largely a mental challenge, the idea of a four mile run is fairly benign but when you get back, having refuelled and then got changed (at least in the early runs I got changed) and then wait for just over three hours to go out again was going to be interesting.
Not getting more than 2.5 hours sleep at a time for a whole weekend isn’t something at my age that I can do too often!
I very quickly got into the routine though, the daytime runs were fairly straightforward and were pretty much a series of truncated chatty runs with the conversation picked up three hours later! In fact so we’re the 8pm and midnight runs.
The 4am run was going to be the hardest mentally for me, as although I love running in the dark with my head torch, I’m not a fan of stepping out of the house into absolute pitch blackness during the robbing hour, too many late movies as a kid!
The nighttime runs were good though because other than the two teenagers that were up in a tree by the lock on the rec we saw hardly a sole.
Bizzarely Sunday afternoon came around surprisingly quickly and we worked out that we needed to do only 12 runs and not 13 (actually our wives worked that out for us!) So the final run was upon us. We had decided that we should finish together and not part ways and go home, so we had an extra lap to do, although not quite a full lap.
Having got into the routine of laps this caused a bit of confusion as to where we would finish, this made for an interesting Strava map!
Thanks to Fin H and Ryan Bakewell for joining us (socially distanced) on the last run!
Would I do it again and would I recommend it, definitely!
The biggest boost was doing it as a pair, a, for the company and b, for the commitment of having to meet at a certain time!
Like waiting for buses where they all come at once, it seems the same applies to ultras!
A month or so before DG4x4x48 Matt said do you fancy doing the Ultra Dawn Till Dusk as a team? Me being me I said “yeah, why not!” “When is it?”
It’s the following week!
The week went by fairly quickly, as they do and I think on the the Thursday or Friday we talked about a route, which might sound a bit late in the day, however as the event description says below
“You and your team must then see how many kilometers you can clock up between dawn and dusk. For the purposes of making this inclusive to all those around the world, the start and finish times are set at 06:00 (6am) and 18:00 (6pm), wherever you are taking on the challenge. You have 12 hours to go as far as you can. Your total distance will be the sum of the distance covered by all three of your team members”
So we could have just carried running around parkrun! Matt suggested let’s head towards Shipston and see what happens from there. That sounded good to me.
Unlike the previous week where the weather was perfect Saturday was breezy to say the least! We met at the (now) usual spot and headed towards Shipston mostly along the Shakespeare Way Long Distance Path.
We got to Shipston just as a little coffee shop was opening and we managed to get a coffee ( something that featured quite often) and a sausage roll.
We then changed onto the Centenary Way, which took us out through some lovely little villages Whatcote, The Tysoes (not sure which order they came in) until we got to the Edgehill escarpment, we went along the length from Spring Hill to Edgehill with fantastic views across the countryside.
Off the end of Edgehill we dropped onto the Battlefields trail which led us around the back of CAD Kineton into Kineton itself for another coffee. This was about the only place that we actually stopped moving, all of the other stops coffee stops we kept walking up and down to keep clocking up the miles.
From Kineton we dropped down into Moreton Morrell and the college where I work, sadly I had no key otherwise we’d have had more coffee!
Next stop across the fields was Wellesbourne and the garden shed for, you guessed it, more coffee! Then it was along the River Dene to Charlecote, somewhere I’ve not been since I was about 15 years old!
We then wound are way through the footpaths to Alveston where luckily Victoria’s door was open and so we managed to get a cheer and some much needed water.
After a short weave around town Matt and I parted ways with about 15 minutes to go and headed home.
With a few up and down streets I got home with 90 seconds left and so went up the road and back again.
As my first actual organised but virtual ultra distance race it was a fantastic day out, as we had no particular route to follow there was no stress about getting lost or of course. We just had 12 hours to enjoy the fresh air and countryside! It was a great training run and eye opener for Meriden too!
We completed 256.28k, finishing 23rd out of 102 teams, less than 5k off a top 20 finish.
Thanks Matt for a great day out!
So what’s next?