Saturday, 22 September 2012

They think it's all over - It is now!!!

Did they all finish? Of course they did... It was Dutch Superstar Jenni de Groot that took the tape followed closely by Cathal Bracken clocking 3.15 for the last 20 miles. Just 7 seconds divided them after 345 miles of running. Jenni's partner Anneke who cycled the whole of the route was there to cross the line with her.

ULTRA-runner Extraordinaire, Vicky Luffrum, picked up the pace and all of our emotions as she crossed the line in floods of tears... Hers and Ours!

We'll have an event round up tomorrow but we just wanted to let you know that everyone finished the stage today.

For all of you who have been watching in we thank you for your interest and glad that you've been part of our M2M Ultra Event. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Last Day of M2M

For this of you with insomnia this morning, 'Well Hello' from our sleeperbus in Carrus just 20 miles from Malin Head. We've already set Vicky off on her way just before 3am... (no I am not punching her in the picture, it's there to show the time). And we are marked out on the route all the way to Golean, only 10km from the finish.

Just over an hour ago Vicky had covered 3.8 miles so she looks set to get to Mizen Head sometime just after 9am, so Lorraine and Pete... if you are watching please get to the finish in good time to see Vicky's triumphant arrival.

The rest of the guys will be heading off at 7am and on a no-stop-strategy to the finish and hopefully will be there around 10am.

We'll be taking lots of pictures at the finish and will try and post these later as we have to travel to Rosslare during the day to catch the ferry back to God's Country. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Vicky reaches the party bus:-)

Hip hip hooray for Vicky:-) She has finished the final long day with buckets of time to spare thanks to her pure guts and determination getting up at 02:30 this morning... what an absolute star:-) She finished in 14hrs and 32 mins.

Rory walked a few miles with her through Bantry and then she had a really lovely surprise as Pete, her brother, appeared and walked the final few miles with her to the finish. He will be cheering her on all the way to Mizen Head tomorrow morning so I have a feeling it is going to be a very emotional finish for all.... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Just Vicky to come in, Cathal and Jenni are here!

Just 6hrs 15mins for Jenni and Cathal today as the last 35 miler of the event was quite firmly put to bed. Following the Jenni running back to Cathal in a very Cathy Heathcliff type way... is was plain sailing for the dynamic duo as they breezed thru Bantry and on to the finish at Darrus.

For those of you following Vicky, she is just less than three miles from the finish now and has been joined on the route by her brother Pete out on the road into the finish. It will be a great way for her to finish the day off and a real spur on for her to get to the end of a very long day. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Anneke, Jenni and Cathal are nearly home

Well we had a slight delay getting to our runners for the final CP as we had to track down somewhere to stay for the night. We are plugged in at the wonderful Sheeps Head pub where they have been wonderfully helpful (thanks a million Pat)... so we will be going for a well earned beer there later on...

The delay meant the first 3 were only a couple of miles from the finish so didn't want to stop... Rory is currently walking through Bantry with Vicky where I will pick him up the other side. She has 7 miles to go to our stop tonight, so an eta of around 18:30. Much more sociable than the late one last night...

More soon... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

See the Sea!

Well it's taken over 9.5 days but we have finally caught our first sight of the sea! It's quite a feeling I can tell you and it brings back memories of my GWR run last year...

We have just given our runners their 3rd CP of the day. Anneke arrived first where Rory showed her the Kealkill Stone Circle (see pic!)...

Next were Jenni and Cathal who came through together followed by Vicky just 5 minutes later. So Vicky got a whole 10 miles further than yesterday before the others reached her... with only 12.4 miles to go the end is now very clearly in sight for all of them:-)

The final CP of the day is in 6 miles time and then we are all looking forward to putting our feet up after a rather long day (I can hear Rocky snoring in the back!)... showers are sorted, now we just need to find some electricity...;-)

By the way, please support Mimi Anderson who will be going for the Guinness World Record on this route, starting tomorrow morning... hopefully our route marking will help;-) From all of us at ULTRArace, GOOD LUCK:-)) home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

News from Day 10

Where to start?!

Well whilst we have been out of reception there has plenty to report about J Firstly, Anneke the Birthday Girl is having an awesome day out in Ireland’s stunning, if a little mountainous, countryside. She gave us all a brandy flavoured chocolate bar before setting out this morning and she is riding a balloon decaled bike complete with gigantic Birthday Girl badge… all very fetching!
Next – Vicky… we have just passed her at the 19.5 mile point and she is MUCH chirpier than yesterday. Unfortunately there is a wet drizzle in the air now so the views aren’t quite as phenomenal as they could be, and the sea is blurred from sight, but that is not marring the spirits of any of our runners today.

Cathal – well he is having a slightly harder time of things today with his ACS feeling quite painful on the downhills (lucky there is a lot of uphill today!). He hasn’t been running with Jenni today as he has been forced to slow down his pace. Nonetheless he is still very positive and relishing the fact that he is now over halfway through the day…
And last but not least there is the lovely Jenni… she looks fresh as a daisy today and the only thing that is dampening her spirits is the fact that she isn’t running with Cathal… she feels really bad for running on ahead. So much so in fact that she has just started running backwards to find Cathal so she can finish the rest of the trip with him. What a truly lovely lady she is…

So in summary, everyone is G-R-E-A-T, now we just need to get hold of the nice young man who is letting us use his GAA Club for our stopover this evening!!! home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Misty Mountain Hop...

This is a song by Led Zeppelin for those amongst you that weren't aware like me (I know, I'm a philistine!)...

We have just passed Vicky at 13.4 miles on top 'o the world... she has already been offered a cup of tea en route(twice)! This surely has to be one of the most beautiful (and lumpy!) roads in Ireland... She is feeling much happier about getting an earl(ier) start in this morning as she said she felt destroyed when Cathal, Jenni and Anneke passed her around the 12 mile mark yesterday...

And she has the lure of a birthday meal to keep on going... so a quick Fanta Orange and packet of crisps and she was on her way... she has even treated herself to some haribo... one a mile... that's not gonna pile on the pounds Vicky;-)

Well done and more from Vicky in a couple of hours time... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Morning on Anneke's BIRTHDAY:-))

Well it's all balloons and banners this morning as it is a very special 60th Birthday today for Anneke... there is a lovely sunset on the horizon and everyone is very happy this morning.

HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY ANNEKE!! or... Gelukkige 60ste Verjaardag Anneke!!

Sadly Vicky isn't here to share breakfast with us this morning as she was up at 02:30 for a 03:30 start to make sure she doesn't miss the birthday festivities this evening... we will be heading out in a moment to give her her first checkpoint of the day... she managed 2.5 miles in the first hour as we passed her on our way back from route marking and seemed in good spirits...

So it's the last long day of the M2M (35 miles) before a 20.43 miler tomorrow and the FINISH! A VERY suitable day for a 60th birthday I'd say:-)

More when we see Vicky... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Vicky's here!!!

Well folks, she's made it... WOW, what a f'kin big effort that was too. We can quite easily say now that she's the toughest runner that we've ever had on one of our multi-day events. If you ever think of giving up on something in the future... think of Vicky on the M2M Ultra and just keep on going.

Her little face at the end today was a picture... Well done Vicky! That's nine done and it's a 3.30am start!!!! home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

6.6 miles to go for our Vicky...

Well our Vicky has just over six miles to complete one of the toughest days of her life... and my word has she stuck at it today. Her ankle looks really hurty and you guys at the Aspire Fitness Gym in Cardiff, I reckon Vicky's your toughest member... she's a real fighter and hopefully you are willing her on just as much as we are!

8pm should see her here in the heart of Macroom... we are going to cover the last couple of miles in with her as it will be getting dark by then and we want her here safe and sound so she can get out on the road to do it all again tomorrow... how nice of us eh?

Thing is, there's only 55 miles to do from here and we can keep her going round the clock now if we need to so she makes to the finish.

That's going to be SOME achievement and some celebration I can tell you... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Back to the bus...

Jenni and Cathal have made it home for the day... they have had a scenic day out on the roads and Jenni said it is her favourite day so far... Cathal probably didn't have quite such an enjoyable day as his shins are getting more painful now. That said, Jenni managed to keep up his spirits and they both arrived back at the bus about an hour ago...

Anneke has already started her birthday celebrations with a Polish beer which seemed to go down a treat:-)

We are off out now to give Vicky her third checkpoint of the day... hopefully beyond the marathon point...

More from there... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Where's our Tea Mrs McCarthy?

Well the locals are very interested in our M2M Ultra... or more so they are thinking who are those strange people in that White Van in our village... apparently there have been quite a few break-ins in these parts recently and we must look dodgy.

She still hasn't come out with a cup of tea or a full Irish Breakfast but Mrs McCathy's son Anthony who came out to ask us 'What the feck we were doing' might get us one yet... we've got a couple of hours here so here's hoping! home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Kanturk Complete and onto them there Mountains

Well it's a few hours into the day and we've already been thru Kanturk and we are off towards Banteer right now. Oh how the miles are passing and it's probably a good job too as the dreaded ACS is biting slightly on Cathal's right shin and Vicky is going to be battling thru a very long day out on the roads.

Oh Jenni, well she's just clipping along just like day one really and hopefully her sister Dieneke in Leeuwarden is very proud of her little sister. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Vicky is through CP1

Vicky remains upbeat this morning even though it has taken her a little longer to warm up today... she came through the 8 mile point at 09:30... she picked up her favourite sandwiches (Brie and Cranberry and Tuna - not all in the same sandwich I hasten to add!) and was immediately on her way.

Next is Kanturk and then she is in for a real treat in the beautiful mountains before Macroom where we stop this evening.... apparently uphill is actually more comfortable... that's just as well:-))

More when Anneke, Jenni and Cathal get here... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Top 'O the Morning

It's now 08:25 and we are about to set off to find Vicster out on the open road for her first checkpoint of the day... we have all just had a very nice scrambled egg on toast breakfast courtesy of Master Chef Ann.

Cathal, Jenni and Anneke are getting set for the penultimate 'long' day on the road (Saturday is a trot at just over 20 miles:-) They all look remarkably fresh and unscathed... not even any issues accomplishing the bus stairs! Tomorrow is a rather important birthday on the bus for Anneke so we will be celebrating in style after the last long day out:-))

So more when we reach Vicky... she has been up and over a hilly section this morning so it has probably been a particularly tough start to the day for her... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Which shoes?

It's been a right fashion parade this morning as Vicky prepares for today's attack on the 34.9 miles from Dromina (Drum-minor as the locals say) to Macroom. Shoes on - Shoes off - Shoes on Again...Eventually she's back in some New Balance shoes as the old right trotter is a getting a bit more swollen now.

She's looking forward to getting out on the road this morning as she's used to night running back in Cardiff...

It's a lot whole lot quieter here as there's only a few sheep to chat to out here in the first 9 miles.

She's off in a minute and more then... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Vicky gets a big welcome home:-)

Vicky has just got back to the bus to applause and cheers all round... she made it in 11:56:01... and is remarkably chirpy:-) She even made it back in time for tea...

WELL DONE VICKY:-))))) home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Six hours exactly...

Well it took Cathal and Jenni six hours exactly to run the 34.7 miles from Murroe to Dromina today. And they made it look far too easy as well. Their running and pacing is metronomic in it's timing and their running style is very, very economical. They really are model ULTRA-runners.

No doubt their running partnership is helping them more than ever now with each of them taking turns to hit the front and take on the elements, navigating and oncoming traffic!

Poor Vicky has just herself to manage and keep amused... then again she hasn't got to put up with the wind up front :-) (You know what I mean Cathal). Never mind though as she will be here soon and we have the cold water bucket waiting for her ankles... (how nice we are eh?) and a nice Spag Bol to refuel on.

More after supper... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Full Steam Ahead...

Cathal and Jenni will just about be at the finish right now (1526hrs) and we are in Charlesville right now on our way back from seeing Vicky at the last checkpoint of the day. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Abbey at Bruff and are all looking forward to some cosy showers at Dromina GAA.

There have been some very long tough roads out there today and Cathal for one said that he would be glad to finish and get his feet up.

We envisage Vicky getting to the finish at around 6pm and if we get any signal in Dromina (doubtful as we saw an Austin Allegro just now) we will give you the end of play stats.

More then... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

All's well on the way to Bruff...

Yes it's all well on the way to Bruff right now and shortly after reaching us here they will be heading onto the halfway point at Kilmallock. How time flies when you are enjoying yourself... Vicky's even taken off a few layers as it's warm marching weather and Cathal and Jenni are not too far behind her now as I write.

It's must be Irish National Tractor Day here in Bruff, one even just reverse parked into a parking space in the high street, complete with plough... most impressive.

More from Kilmallock if I can control myself! home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Searching for the Finish Line

Well it's day 8 of M2M Ultra and with just three runs and a mere 90 miles to cover at the end of today, the athletes can start 'Searching for the Finish Line'. Today is the last day of the flatlands and tomorrow they will get their first view of the ocean... something to really look forward to and from previous runs thru Ireland, it's a real lump in the throat moment.

Vicky has just reached us here at the 10.1 mile checkpoint and looks very good and coping with the very fast traffic on the R513 towards Herbertstown very well as the locals are related to F1 Driver, Eddie Irvine. She's even map reading - knew we'd get her doing that!!!

Might even take my coat off in a moment as it's almost warm here today... Oh the Dutch amongst us are looking forward to Kilmallock and it's huge cathedral/church... hope they like it as we've bigged it up rather a lot.

More when they get here. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Summer Sun - Yes it's sunny!!!

Vicky was up at 5am this morning ready for a 6:04 start. When she left it was pitch black and chucking it down with rain. That's determination for you:-) 

She has an ankle support on this morning so hopefully that will help. This is the first of three higher mileage days before the finish (3 x 35 miles) before a 20 mile 'stroll' on Saturday to the finish. 

We drove past her at 8:45 and she was 7.5 miles in and very chirpy indeed. She grabbed some munchies, muttered something about hoping she won't have to take any time off running after M2M(!), and was on her way...:-)
And now it's bright sunshine - that's ULTRArunning in Ireland for you. And more from the 10.1 mile point. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Goodnight from us on the bus...

Well another day in the bank for our intrepid trio of M2Mers and it's great that they all made the day out. Jenni never missed a beat during her run and moment of the day for us watching Cathal try to blag a new Blackberry from a rather scruffy vodafone shop in Neenagh. Vodafone never give you anything FREE Cathal...

Moment of the day for Vicky was getting to the end in style and looking very comfortable about it too.

Let's hope we have more of the same tomorrow... Night night from us and see you at 6am in the morning. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Vicky polishes off Day 7 in style:-)

Wooohooooo!! Vicky has just finished Day 7 and is the merriest she has been since the start of the race! The end is now in sight and her mojo has kicked in today which we are all very pleased to see:-)

So we can all sit back and relax and enjoy the evening as it's lovely and sunny here in Murroe and it's Beef Casserole and Mash for supper... let's hope there's not too many carrots in it eh... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Less than four to go for Vicky...

Well 'The Welsh Bombshell' is battling thru and has less than four miles to go as I type. We've been back out to make sure she is ok and her spirits were high when we saw her and she is already talking about how she is going to tackle tomorrow's eighth day to our Dromina stopover.

Some ankle strapping and another massive pep talk during foot clinic will put her firmly back on the road to Mizen.

Everyone here is mightily impressed... We hope you are too... more when she gets here! home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Life doesn't get much better than this...:-)

It's a glorious day here in Murroe... we are parked up at the finish in the sunshine next to Glenside Pitch and Putt... we have showers booked in this evening, a tasty Ann Special casserole for tea and all of our runners are still going...

Jenni finished 25 seconds ahead of Cathal making them level pegging as they have made a pact to get to the finish together from here...

Vicky is doing well and on the home stretch now... we last saw her at 17.6 miles some 2 hours ago and she is enjoying the scenery and pacing the day out. We are all VERY chuffed she really has turned a corner today...

More when Vicky arrives... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

CP2... just before the climb

Well Cathal and Jenni have just come through CP2 (17.6 miles) which is situated just before the fairly big climb of the day... we really are in the heart of the most stunning Irish countryside here with mountains all around us... sadly that means one thing, there is a climb to the next CP! It isn't toooo bad but there will definitely be some well earned walking on the next stretch.

Queen Vic is doing really well and we are awaiting her arrival... more when she arrives... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

CP1 - It's a Beautiful Day

Anneke reached us about 10 minutes before Vicky this morning and is loving the sunshine! Vicky was the first runner through the 8.5 mile mark just outside Nenagh and, although having set off at a jog at just after 7:30 this morning, is currently walking. She is determined to get to the finish though and the bright sunshine is definitely lifting everyone's mood... once she is through Nenagh she will have plenty of breathtaking scenery to take her mind off the running...

Jenni and Cathal reached us after Vicky (start time 9am) and are chonking along at a good pace again this morning... we have just had time to squeeze in a quick shop before moving on to CP2...

More soon... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.


Bloody Hell - Borrisokane is a dark old place and the stars were out in force on a cold autumn night in Oireland. The bus woke very early this morning to allow for an early breakfast for Vicky... however everyone else got up and we've already tucked into a full fry up and it's still not 7am!

The first hour or so will be the tester for Vicky as she'll see if she can battle thru the ankle pain. Let's hope eh and more when we are on the road. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Vicky has made it...

Phew... after a long stretch into the finish in Borrisokane, Vicky's made it. And it's a massive hats off from all of us on the event tonight as it took real guts and determination to overcome the pain of an every increasing sprained ankle.

She's sitting with her feet up with a nice cup of hot tea taking some well earned rest before a warm shower and a lie down.

We are not thinking about tomorrow at this point, just that today is complete.

WELL DONE VICKY! home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Day 6 - Finish

It's been a day of ups and downs with torrential rain followed by bright sunshine, and slow sections with hurty ankles followed by faster sections with painkillers...!

Anneke, Jenni and Cathal are now safely on board the bus... Ann is feeling very smug as she has managed to get us an overnight stop at the Borrisokane GAA Club which is brilliant! Last year we had to make do with a garage forecourt and no toilet access so we are in seventh heaven tonight, expecially after the laundry last night...!

Also, Ann has found a local butcher so we are having burgers, sausages and baked potatoes for dinner which is all very exciting:-) And there is even a massive pitch for Rocky to run around in this evening.

So we have everything in hand.... now it's just Vicky we are waiting for to make the evening perfect... Rory has just donned his running gear and is running out to meet her to do the last couple of miles with her so hopefully that will cheer her up...

More when they arrive... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

CP2 - 15.8 miles in the POURING RAIN

Well it really is chucking it down now as our runners come through CP2 and are over halfway through the day... Vicky is just under 30 minutes behind Jenni and Cathal so is doing well to keep up the pace. What doesn't help is the torrential rain and the long and not very winding road they are running on today. I remember it from my run last year... thankfully I was joined by Richard Donovan who kept me sane but this was definitely the worst day in terms of terrain as you are on very long straight roads for most of the day and you don't feel like you are getting anywhere...

Anneke is doing a grand job cycling up and down to her geeing her on to each checkpoint, so a BIG thanks to Anneke she's a legend:-)

More from the final checkpoint... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Vicky gets a grip!

Vicky just had a fleeting stop shortly after Cloghan to have a quick ITB rub from Rory... after which she ran off from the van saying, 'I just need to get a grip don't I?' to which she received a polite yes from Rory. She ran off at a good pace so let's hope this marks a turnaround for her today...

Unfortunately it has just started chucking it down so this day will no doubt be one to remember for Vicky... she told us a couple of days ago she liked the feeling of battling the elements when it's raining so hopefully the weather won't dampen her spirits. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

The Dynamic Duo come through CP1

Jenni and Cathal came through CP1 10 minutes after Vicky and are enjoying another sunny day on the M2M. They are looking forward to cheering Vicky on when they catch her up, which will be any minute now as they are just trotting down the hill into Cloghan 200 yards behind Vicky...

Cathal has pushed marginally ahead of Jenni but both are looking strong...

Vicky has pushed herself into a good jogging pace now... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

CP1 - Vicky is through 7 Miles

Well we passed Vicky en route to CP1 and Rory walked with her for 100 yards or so to try and spur her on... as it turned out she remains a very motivated lady indeed and is absolutely determined. She walked all the way to CP1 at 7 miles and is frustrated that she is struggling to run, but the Mizen Head finish is firmly imprinted in her psyche and she is doing a grand job walking it out today. Today is all about mind over matter and coping with the change in pace...

She is just coming through Cloghan about 9 miles into the day so she has chonked out nearly a third of today's mileage already.

COME ON VICKY..... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Tranquility...Day 6 is here...

Today is the make or break for our Vicky as now that Craig has gone, she's out there on her own to battle not only the elements but more so her own thoughts. Combined with a hurty ankle, it's now time for her to dig in and make sure she stays focused to get to the finish in Mizen Head.

We are going to do everything we can to make this happen for her and she really needs all of your support right now...

Hopefully a big breakfast for her will help fuel the way. The blisters that were bugging her at the start of the event are a long gone problem now and the daily toe taping has stopped this from progressing any further. We've really seen her grow as a person over the past 5 days...

Cathal and Jenni are just 18 minutes into the day and Cathal will no doubt be running the constant 10 metres ahead of Jenni where he's been all week. He says that now he's into unknown territory he hopes Jenni will carry him thru.

It was great to see Craig return this morning to wave off the runners at the start. He looked very fresh from his overnight stay in a top hotel in Athlone. Lucky Bugger... funny thing is though, he said he'd swap it all to be out on the road running the M2M again today.

ULTRArunning is a funny old game eh? More after CP1... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Day 5 - Finish

Well all three runners are now home safe at the end of Day 5. They had to encounter some heavy rain through the last section but there are showers tonight so everyone is in high spirits other than obviously the fact that Craig has finished his M2M journey today.

Jenni, Cathal and Anneke were first back in 4:46... Half an hour later Vicky finished in 6:12...

Vicky's right shin is swelling up a bit and feeling sore but nothing that will stop her she is a very determined lady:-) She now has her legs soaking in a cold bucket of water... I thought I could hear Rocky panting on the bus but it was Vicky feeling the cold as she dipped her feet!!

We then have homemade cake and tea from Ann, hot showers and even a washing machine tonight... the excitement:-)

Ballinahown, our stop this evening, is the home town of Mark Rohan - double gold paralympic champion. There are signs and flags EVERYWHERE it's awesome!

All in all, very inspiring stuff... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

And then there were three...

At CP2 Vicky had just been caught by Cathal and Jenni just before reaching Athlone. Patches of bright sunshine following dark periods of clouds and light rain providing good weather to keep them all clipping along at a good pace.

Vicky had set her sights on completing the day ahead of the others but on reflection with us at the checkpoint agreed to just run her own race, at her own pace. With her new improved map reading skills (they couldn't get much worse!!!) she is gaining in confidence with every day. It's great to watch and by the end of the event will finally realise just how good a runner she actually is...

Craig has been with us supporting the other runners and it looks like he will be off tomorrow now, possibly following a few jars across the road from the finish in Flynn's Bar... I've just been past and quite a few locals are pretty merry already.

Anyway, more when the runners get here and I hope you are having a lovely Sunday... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Argggghhh... It's all over for Craig :-(((

What a blow!!! Today has proved just one run too much for our Craig and finally his ankles just said NO! We reached him after just three miles of the day and he said quite simply that 'That was it'...

It's a real shame and it was tears all round as it feels like one of the family has gone... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Easy like a Sunday Morning...

Well if you are off on a long Sunday run this morning... think about our runners bashing in another 28.1 miles today as they will go on to make the 161 mile mark in Ballinahown. It's raining here in Longford of course and we've had a very leisurely start to the day complete with fry-up courtesy of Ann.

Spirits are high as Craig is out of the 'Shin Doldrums' and is in a far more positive mood than yesterday. Vicky's breakfast of Bacon, Egg and Pills (see photo) was the source of great amusement this morning... We reckon she is going to rattle her way to Mizen. If you can work out what all the pills are in the photo, there's a prize of a rather wet King Charles Spaniel to the winner...

As I write Cathal is still in his pre-faff stage and super organised Jenni (neatest bed on the bus) is checking out her route with partner Anneke.

Everyone is looking forward to an easy day out on the road and the shorter distance will make it feel a lot easier for all we hope.

More from CP 1... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Craig's reached the finish...

Well it's great news for all as Craig has joined everyone in finishing the day out. He had a bit of a moment just after Longford and was refused a lift to the finish when he was a couple of miles out...

How cruel we are... but hey it worked on this occasion and he actually looked very pleased and relieved to finish the day out. We'll be working on him now to get him to the start line tomorrow morning.

Oh, Cathal, Jenni and Vicky? Well they are all fine and ready for Ann's Spaghetti Bolognaise feast...

Times, well they are Cathal and Jenni in 5.47 - Vicky 7.07 (with very good map reading I hasten to add, with Anneke helping the leaders on her bike thru Longford) and Craig in 8.36 for the 31.6 miles. Best part it is that we've finished for the day and we can all relax in comfort on the bus till the morning. home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Craig's hanging in there:-)))

Come on Craig... Craig reached us just a few minutes after Jenni and Cathal. His ACS is hurting but he is gritting his teeth and carrying on...

On to Drumlish now for the final checkpoint of the day. We passed Vicky en route and passed her a couple of painkillers out the window which put a smile on her face;-)

More soon... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Jenni and Cathal are next through CP2

Anneke was next to reach us on her bike... she gave us two words for the day but I have forgotten them already!

Brown bread with cheese... brachenbruchen
Good day... morgendaag

or something like that:-)

Next were Cathal and Jenni who are on top form although Cathal is not loving his Saucony Omni Grids as they are giving him a blister on the arch of his foot. They stopped for a sandwich and a drink then went on their merry way. Now we are just waiting for Craig... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Vicky's looking strong

Pathfinder Vicky has just come through CP2 at 16 miles.. She looks great and is feeling pretty good too. Her shins are a little sore but nothing too major.

Once again we have perfect running conditions which is some sort of a miracle!

We passed Craig on our way here and unfortunately his shins seem to be giving him considerably more discomfort...

COME ON CRAIG... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

Dig in Craig - The Shins are Killing...

Craig said he was ok till he looked down and saw his shins a couple of miles back... On inspection at the first CP, they are looking pretty angry right now and are pretty pink and showing signs of swelling.

Worse than that for him, he has now lost his running partner as like the top bloke he is, he's told Vicky to carry on running ahead as he doesn't want her race to suffer even though she offered to stay with him to help him out.

That's M2M camaraderie for you, as these two have already been thru a lot together already...

The more worrying fact now is that Vicky is off running on a completely straight road with a road map in her hand - on her own... Yikes! She would freely admit to having a terrible sense of direction and has been lost a couple of times on the bus... so who knows what will happen or where she will get to in the next hour or two!!!

We'll keep you posted after the next two are thru CP2 on Craig's ankles... OMG it's all happening this morning... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Weekender - Day 4

We're going to have to send out for more tape by the end of the race as Vicky is now taping nearly every toe to prevent any further blister damage. The taping yesterday it worked just perfectly for her and hopefully that will be the last of her blister worries. For those of you looking in from the Aspire Gym, in Cardiff - she's doing just great and by the end of the week we might just get her out of those shocking orthotics!

Moving onto the ankles... well that's another story as Craig has mildy cooking shins that look a slightly mild salmon pink. Luckily he has lots of spirit and good humour so hopefully it will only be a short lived problem for him... Vicky's are not pink and she says she's not in pain today. Both are now running in their Brooks trainers so let's hope this stops any further issues.

It didn't stop either of them running away from the start and when we passed them on the way to Ballinamore they were quite happily clipping along at a steady 9-10 minute mile pace.

Cathal and Jenni (We think She's the Darkhorse of the Race) will be starting an hour later to keep them all nicely together later on in the day...

Gotta go as the first two are here at CP1... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Day 3 - Results

Well first in today were Jenni and Cathal in 6:12:58. They had a great day out on the road and are enjoying a hot shower and a lie down before dinner at 6pm.

Next was Vicky in 7:18:24 who went for a stage win over Craig who came in just a couple of minutes later in 7:21:08.

Both Vicky and Craig are now sat with their legs in a bucket of cold water to ease the ACS...

Ann has really pulled out the stops for dinner tonight - the dining room at Corlough GAA Club looks like a 5 Star restaurant complete with napkins!

Let's hope Vicky can stomach the curry on the menu as she has had a stomach ache this afternoon... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Over the Border and Back on Line...

My word the communication network is a bit of a bugger in these parts as no-one knows which phone mast is pointing in which direction... even if it's the right way... there's still no signal it seems.

ANYWAY - we are back online courtesy of Martins Coaches in Corragillon...

Back to the running and it's been a day of two halves upto CP 3 with Vicky and Craig still together up front with Cathal and Jenni running behind. Unfortunately for our front group as well as sharing their time, they are also sharing some minor Anterior Compartment Syndrome (ACS) and have both now been under the knife to cut their trainers and socks to relieve some of the pain and soreness this condition brings on.

The M2M is renowned for this it seems and shoes with Gel in the heels seem only to make matters worse... we'll be working on the guys later to try and relieve some of the pain.

Funnily enough both pairs have clipped along at the same pace and we are expecting them soon into the finish at Corlough GAA Club for their overnight stopover and slap-up dinner from Anne.

More later... home of The M2M Ultra - Ireland's Toughest Footrace.

Day 3... It's sunny again:-)

We have a split start this morning with Vicky and Craig starting at 8:00 and Cathal and Jenni at 9:00. There is a short transit ride to the start today as we stayed near Omagh last night...

There was more taping after breakfast. Craig has a blister under a blister on the side of his foot which seems ok, and Vicky now has every toe taped. Cathal is pretty stiff and the stairs seem to be a bit more of a struggle this morning... Jenni and Anneke are a-ok:-)

Rory has taken the first pair to the start so there is just some final sandwich making to be done by Ann then the rest of us are off at 8:45...

More soon... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

Location:Blackfort Rd,Omagh,United Kingdom

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Day 2 - Finish

Well we are now in streaming sunshine in the beautiful rolling countryside near Dromore at the finish of Day 2.

Anneke was first here on her bike, then Cathal crossed the line in 6:22:09, shortly followed by Jenni in 6:22:34. Vicky finished in 6:28:41 and Craig in 7:02:37.

Fantastic performance by all and it's all very close this year anything could happen...

Now we are coachbound for a well earned knees up...

More later... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

Craig is looking good

Craig has stepped back on the pace a little and is looking altogether more comfortable. Only 11 miles to go and the sun is shining:-)) - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

CP 3 - Drumlish

Our runners are finally beginning to spread out a bit now with Cathal out in front, shortly followed by the ladies with a larger gap now to Craig who hasn't reached us yet at the penultimate checkpoint of the day. There have been a few climbs since our last stop so it's a tough section...

More when Craig gets here... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

CP2 - 17 miles

Another quick stop at CP2 and we are off to the 23 mile stop for the third CP of the day.

Craig's quads are getting a little tight so Rory helped him to stretch them out. He also switched out of his Asics into his Brooks which I'm sure you can imagine was a popular decision all round! It's dry but very windy which is making the hills pretty tough. Still, if it was easy everyone would be doing it:-)

More from CP3... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

Off Piste

Our runners have taken their first wrong turning in Strabane. Nothing major but they have unfortunately missed crossing over the now very picturesque Victoria Bridge.

Still, no harm done and they are all back on track... Sean is now slightly behind the rest of the pack going at his own pace but still smiling!! - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

CP1 - All looking strong

Anneke flew through first at our first checkpoint en route to a bike shop here in Strabane for a bike pump.

Next were Vicky, Jenni, Cathal an Craig, all in very good spirits. Checkpoints have been requested at every 8 mile point today to make each stretch more manageable. It seems to be working well as they only spent a couple of minutes with us, time for a chocolate pancake, before heading off.

So far so good:-) More soon... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

Day 2 - Breakfast and FEET!

Everyone seems to have enjoyed a good night's rest on the bus and are all raring to go after another hearty breakfast amidst countless viewings of Cathal's hilarious home video of him being chased by a goat yesterday (we are contemplating whether to upload it or not as there are a few expletives)?!

Vicky and Craig have received some footcare/taping from Rory this morning. Vicky's compeed have been removed leaving some sore spots on her toes to avoid any repeat of poor Tim's feet on our JOGLE earlier this year.

Craig has a hotspot on the ball of his left foot which has also been tinc'd and taped. Now a quick run through the route before the off...

More from CP1... - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Day 1 - Results

The Famous Five are all back at the bus now and all of them are looking great:-) Times are as follows:

Anneke sailed in first on her bike followed by...
Jenni, Vicky and Cathal: 07:22:33
Craig: 07:40:54

They are making the most of the showers now before settling down to homemade soup and spaghetti bolognese...

Well done all:-)) - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK