Ultra Run= Ultra Fun! (Camino Ultra London: Lea Valley 50km)

22 runners ran 51.5km in a race in Islington.

  • Sam Chapman
  • Sarah Moore
  • Anna Myat
  • Lorna Gott
  • Patrick Luong
  • John Shirley
  • Dave Mansfield
  • Steve Lee
  • Neil Macey
  • Simon Fitzmaurice
  • Dom Tooze
  • Niamh Ni Longain
  • Islington runner
  • Vicki Bakhshi
  • Sally
  • Redbridge runner
  • Linda
  • James Clare
  • Paul
  • John Adkins
  • Haringey runner
  • Leticia
Saturday, 19th of June 2021
Led by Simon Fitzmaurice

In November 2020, a crew of Goodgymmers from all different boroughs encouraged each other to sign up to the Camino Ultra London: Lea Valley 50km race, fuelled by the ambition of finding a race to train for over 2021, especially with the approaching 2nd lock down looming. Some of these runners were experienced ultra runners, most had not attempted such a long endurance event before, but were willing to give it their best shot!

Over the following months, a ultra training Whatsapp group started, with fellow Goodgymmers offering advice and asking questions about the event, and how to approach ultra running. This proved to be a really vibrant hub of activity during the lockdown restrictions, especially while there were limited opportunities for group running and traveling.

On Saturday 19th June 2021, over 15 Goodgym runners lined up on the start line at the Gosling Sports Club, Welwyn Garden City (between 8am-10am), and set off on their 50km adventure! The course then linked on to the Cole Green Way, a former railway line now made into a smooth cycle path and over to the notorious motorway underpass near Hatfield Road! After 3 days of heavy rain, the underpass was pretty heavily flooded, and required some wading to cross to the opposite side. David Bone (one of the event organisers) was standing in the middle in full length wellies to ensure everyone made it through the obstacle safely. Fortunately, our wet feet and legs did dry off eventually as we continued on course.

David Bennett (Goodgym Haringey) was a familiar face at our first key turning points near Hertford Castle, a really pretty diversion on to the Lea Valley Navigation. From here, we were able to lock onto the canal paths, and then run through Ware, Stanstead Abbotts and Broxbourne, while stopping at the first main aid station. Sarah and John were out supporting near Enfield Lock, and made sure we were on the right track. Waltham Cross, Tottenham, Clapton and Hackney Marshes started appearing on route, with more support offered by Liz (who also kept everyone in the loop for Goodgymmers approaching the finishing line). As the runners started to see more families and day trippers on the canal path, a sign stating "200m to go!" appears just before the bridge at Mabley Green, and the applause starts from the finishing crew.

And so begins an all-day party of 50km finishers and supporters in Hackney Wick, celebrating the achievements of the fellow Goodgym running friends. Food, drinks and laughs were had all round at the restaurants and bars at Here East, often interrupted by whoops and cheers of supporters bringing their runners over the finishing line. It really was the best day!

Thank You to DaznBone Ultra Coaches (aka David Bone and Darren Strachan) for hosting an exceptional event.

Also, Thank You to Gigi Giannella for providing these lovely photographs (more to come soon). He has a wonderful project called "Everyday Runner" on Instagram, and is always looking to create photographic interviews with all different running folks.

Thank You to David, Sarah, John, Liz, Linda and James for providing support on the volunteer stations and out on the course as well. Seeing Goodgym faces cheering you on makes such a difference, especially in the latter part of the event!

Camino Ultra London 50km: Epping Forest Prize Draw!

Camino Ultra London and DaznBone Ultra Coaches have kindly offered 4 free entries to Goodgymmers for their next 50km event in Epping Forest.

By signing up to this page, you will be entered into a random prize draw for one of these entries.

Area Activator Simon will email and announce the winners on Sunday 27th June at 8pm.

Don't be afraid to put your name in! This is not just for super experienced ultra running obsessives! Give it a go!

Event Details:

Camino Ultra London: Epping Forest 50km

09 Oct, 08:00 – 17:00 Camino Ultra, Epping Forest, United Kingdom

A little bit hillier and muddier than the Lea Valley 50km!

Report written by Simon Fitzmaurice

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