Report from Ben Cousen:
I took part in the North Downs Way 50 mile race on 18th May. Starting in Farnham, it finishes in Knockholt Pound near Sevenoaks following the North Downs Way the whole time and includes 5600 feet of climbing. This is basically the first half of a 100 mile race the organisers put on as a separate event. This was my first 50 mile race and the notion of continuing on to the sea or wherever the 100 goes seems unthinkable.
I started off feeling good and found once again that living in Otley but racing down south can pay off since none of the hills, which were much talked about, were really comparable to the chevin (except perhaps Box Hill and Reigate Hill). The accumulative effect however was a different story and I had some sore leg muscle issues in the second half. I do have memories of thinking it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and other thoughts of the ‘never again’ variety but these dissipated remarkably quickly after the finish and overall it was a fantastic experience. I highly recommend these events which are flawlessly organised by Centurion Running. They do a crazy “Piece of String” fun run which is worth checking out.
The race was won by Rob Payne in 6.47.56 and Beth Pascall in 7.19.19. I came 71st in 9.35.55. The race was completed by 236 runners.