Classic Quarter 44-Mile Ultra Marathon – a race report from Chris Pascoe

When a friend of mine suggested that I run an Ultra Marathon, I instantly thought no way! But the more I thought about it the more it piqued my interest. And being in my home county of Cornwall, and 44 miles (my current age) it seemed that maybe it was meant to be. So I signed up and left it on the back burner to focus on other running challenges.  


After a strong Manchester Marathon I had six weeks to plan for the Ultra. This was beginning to seem like a very bad decision, but I trained and hoped that with the marathon training in the bank I would be okay.  


The race was on Saturday and started at The Lizard Point, the southernmost point of the UK, and finished at Lands End, the westernmost point. The start time was 06:30 with a briefing at 06:20. Conditions that morning were perfect with a lovely pink sky, no winds, and around 12 degrees. 



With everyone waiting excitedly for the start the horn went off, as did the runners. The first section was gentle with some small inclines and declines. With the first large decline being at Kynance Cove taking you right down to the sea level, and then back up around 225 feet. The first quarter ended by following the coastal path past beautiful fishing villages like Mullion Harbour, and beaches like Poldhu and Church Cove. 



From here we continued along the coastal path, passing Dollar Cove, Fisherman’s Cove, Loe Bar, and Porthleven. I was looking forward to running this section, as the cliffs are high, rugged, and have the Cornish Tin mine ruins dotted along the coast. This section was fairly technical with narrow paths and rock to navigate, and a fair amount of incline/decline. The second quarter finished at Perranuthnoe with spectacular views across Mounts Bay and St Michaels Mount. My parents were here with supplies, encouragement, and anything else that I needed. 



The next quarter started fairly flat with some welcome road running, taking me through Marizion towards Penzance. The next stop was Long Rock where Patrick (my husband) and Katherine (my sister) waited for me.  


I’d been warned that the last 20 miles were tough. It started in Mousehole, with a steep climb taking me out of the village. I felt quite emotional at this point, as I could look across Mounts Bay and see how much distance I’d covered. This was around 28 miles, and the furthest distance I’ve ever run. The next stage was the most technically challenging part, with a lot of walking, climbing, and clambering over rocks. The paths were incredibly narrow with dense vegetation. Running was impossible and it was just a case of moving forward, up and down. 





The third check in was at Lamorna Cove, meaning I had just (through gritted teeth) 11 miles left. The course was challenging, taking me across Dragon Egg Beach; a beach covered with large boulders that you have to scramble across, and climb a very steep set of stairs at the back of the Minack Theatre. Things started to get less technical here with wider, smoother tracks, and the ability to run again. Around 4 miles from the finish, Lands End is visible in the distance, but as with many things in life it’s just out of reach, and then of course the track drops into a valley and Lands End is gone. Then after the climb, it reveals itself again, and then of course another decline, and once again it disappears. The final mile into the Lands End resort was fairly flat. I passed the Llama petting area and then the final push, where you’ve guessed it, up a hill! I could see my family, hundreds of spectators, and other finishers at the finish line, cheering and ringing cow bells. I made it! 




My official time was 9 hours, 7 minutes, 22 seconds. I placed 37th out of 288 solo runners. Total steps for the run 87257 with the equivalent to 603 flights of stairs climbed. I would like to thank everyone for their support, words of encouragement and kind messages – it really does make these things less painful! 

What an amazing race report!  We LOVE to receive your race reports and photos.  Your running has really come on since you’ve joined us at Thanet Roadrunners Chris and we love the energy you bring to the club.


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