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Bethan Male - South Downs 100K

Bethan Male - South Downs 100K

How did you prepare for the UK100K?

I’m lucky enough to have the South Downs on my doorstep so through lockdown I was able to run the terrain (and part of the course) I would be racing on the day. On top of that, I did a lot of hills reps session which seemed to help as for once my quads weren’t completely smashed post-race. I also cycle a lot which I love doing but also works as great cross training meaning I don’t have to run as much mileage as some. I have done a lot of Zwift racing over the last year which I have loved and is also great training. I also do a lot of my long runs with my partner who was also racing the 100k.

What did you fuel with during training? 

I’m trying to get better at fuelling my training properly. Shorter sessions I will just eat breakfast (or whatever meal depending on the time) beforehand. Longer runs I have been using mostly Spring and Hüma energy gels and Lucho Dillitos or Veloforte chews. I’ll often use some form of flapjack if I am riding or running home from work, either OTE or TORQ.

South Downs 100K Bethan Male

What did you fuel with on race day?

On race day I used a mix of Spring and Hüma energy gels, the OTE Rice Bars and Lucho Dillitos bocadillos as well as a couple of American style pancakes. I prefer drinking water which I topped up at the aid stations along with a couple or cans of coke.

How do you find using this kind of fuel?

A mix of nutrition seems to work well for me. I was hoping to manage to eat a bit more “real” food but actually I think the effort over the 100k was a bit too high being a very runnable course, so I was happy to have the gels on me!

Do you have any pre-race traditions?

The day before the race I will usually go for a short run with some strides to make sure the legs know what to do having tapered (or tried to). I will also race with “race” plaits - 2 x French Braids.

I think this stems from triathlon and being the best hairstyle to fit under swim hat and helmet and not get on the way of the run, but it has become a tradition.

How did you prepare pre-race?

I will get everything ready the day before and then try and get an early night even if I can’t sleep well with race nerves/excitement.

How did you find the event?
I really enjoyed the UK100K. It’s my first race in a long time due to the pandemic so it was great to be part of such a well organised event. It was their first year this year - I recommend it.

Bethan Male

How did the race go for you?

I’d say the race went pretty well. I felt good up the around the 50km mark where I started to feel the lack of long long runs in training but then I managed not to slow down too much...

It’s the first ultra that I’ve managed to get enough nutrition in not to have a semi bonk so that’s definitely a bonus! I also managed to cross the line first female and nearly catch my partner up so it can’t have gone too badly.

What would you change next time?

I think I would definitely have benefited from some longer runs in training along with a couple of back-to-back loooonnng runs. I also sprained my ankle around 3 months out from the race which isn’t ideal as it took me a while to come back from that.

How did you find the course?

I really enjoyed having a race in my backyard (although I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t the temptation to head South towards the sea and back home when I got to that point). I love the South Downs for running, cycling and dog walking, it would be impossible I think to have a bad course in that location. I am looking forward to racing in some less familiar territory though.

South Downs 100K Route

Do you have any post-race traditions?
I’m not sure I have any post-race traditions as such. Home to the dog and then an easy week, lots of chilled bike rides and dog walks! 

What nutrition did you recover with?

They were giving away free hot chocolate at the finish, so an oat milk hot chocolate hit the spot quite nicely before we got home to chicken and chips!

What are your plans next?

I will be racing the Salomon UK golden trail series starting with the Serpent Trail 50k. I may also return to the Lakeland 50 this year. I will also do some cycling time trials and maybe even my first IRL bike race and an off-road triathlon...

About the Author
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