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Saturday 21 January 2017 – Angkor 40Km Ultra


Report from Ryk Downes :

So one year to the day I died whilst out running in Pool (thankfully I was revived through CPR and a defibrillator). I headed out in the pitch black at 5am from The Terrace of Elephants, Angkor Thom Temple in Cambodia on the start of a 40 mile ultra marathon. As we headed out of the temple grounds and towards the jungle I was at the back of a lead pack of about a dozen that had missed a turn. I had to turn back and join at the back of the race. After another half mile I could see everyone going round some ruins, when I noticed a arrow pointing into the jungle, I stopped for a moment and shone my head touch at the trees and saw some tape through the trees and I decided to follow it, it led through the trees for about 50 metres to a road. There was a policeman there who pointed the way. I carried on running and suddenly realised that for the next half a mile run I was actually leading an Ultramarathon! Eventually I was over taken, but by the 10k mark I was still in fourth place as daylight broke. Most of the terrain underfoot was sand, often deep dry sand that was very hard to run on. As I got to 18miles I was in 12th place. Then there was an awesome climb, over 500 feet of climb to a monastery. By now the temperature was 33C. I made it to the top and overtook two runners co,in back down to move back up to 10th, except I wasn’t, I saw below me several people cutting out the hill. It wasn’t clear what you had to do and there were no marshals. The next checkpoint was half a mile and when I got there knackered, there were loads of runners setting off or had just set off. None of them had overtaken me. With the heat I started to get Jogger’s nipple so switched to speed walking. We visited loads of temples on the way and were routed to go all the way around them, but again with no marshals, many just ran past them. Strava and my photos prove I did the whole course. I kept stopping and took over 150 photos . Not sure where I did finish, but I stopped in the finish lane and pulled out a Union Jack flag and ran in with it. From time to time, there we interesting river crossings. One waist deep murky water with black things wiggling about, another a branch to hold as you edged across on a second branch. Real Life temple run rickety bridges.

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  1. #1 by Tom Lynch on January 24, 2017 - 10:27 am

    Well done Ryk…judging by some of the facebook photos it looks like something out of Indiana Jones!

  2. #2 by Matt on January 24, 2017 - 1:30 pm

    Sound a laught that you will remember for a long time.Relaxed levels of adherance to the route!

  3. #3 by Hannah on January 25, 2017 - 9:02 pm

    The photos looked fab but you’re seriously nuts doing this. How bloody annoying some people didn’t actually cover the full distance.

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