The White Rose Ultra 2015.
This is the first time organisers Team OA have organised a 100 mile event, which consists of 3 loops of their 30 mile course with a 10 mile additional loop tagged onto the beginning. There were aid stations every 5 miles and all in all for the reasonably priced entry fee of £55 (2015) it was a very well organised event. Painted floor arrows and lamppost signage were plentiful and aid stations (whilst unmanned during the small hours) we’re stocked with light snacks and plenty of water. Pretty much everyone got lost occasionally and I can count about three sections where me and my on the day running buddy Scotty went wrong, though most realise quickly enough and I don’t think anyone messed up too badly. Most of the time you’re looking down and miss the high up sign post, or vice versa, but it’s easy to miss even great signage when your tired.
The head quarter premises was totally naff, and there was very little ‘real’ food it’s just fact really that 90% of runners won’t get round on biscuits and cute little harribo people sweets (+cakes/ crisps etc) so definitely bring your own food (or have your parents drive miles to watch you scoff food uncontrollably and then bugger off with a quick thanks !).
The course is very approx. 30% tarmac 50% easy trail (i.e. 4×4 track) and 20% nasty horrible trail – though don’t hold me to this it’s very approx. You could get away with road shoes but you’d be a little slippy in places, depending on the weather).
[Taken from bits of Wiki] The White Rose is the symbol of the Yorkshire flag, designed in the 1960’s. The origins of which are thought to go back to Edmund of Langley in the fourteenth century, the first Duke of York and the founder of the House of York. The actual symbolism behind the rose has religious connotations as it represents the Virgin Mary, who is often called the Mystical Rose of Heaven.
I think the White Rose makes a great looking flag and I have included a photo below of a tree carving which also shows the Rose in the Spa town of Harrogate where the Tour de France Stage 1 finishes.
***CELEBRATION SECTION*** :)
I’m very please to say that I finished this race (after two previous DNF’s at 100 mile distance), though it’s not my favourite distance and finishing a 100 mile event is definitely more relief than celebration !! I had visions of cracking open a few beers, celebrating success with my Dad who lived local to the race and smiling ridiculously for hours afterwards, but in reality i finished deep into the night and simply sat at the finish line with my head in my hands saying something like “it hurts”, “ouch, my legs don’t work, help meeeeeeee”. And then falling asleep.
- Finding Scotty (British Army) who was a great pleasure to run with who kept me laughing all the way until the point where 100’s just aren’t funny any more
- Missing a turn point and back tracking to discover the right way brought us out pretty much in the same place
- My Dad meeting me with a large pot of Egg Mayonnaise – on any other day i’d just look at hime bemused but oh my, protein, real food, YAY! That kept me going during the final 30 mile loop.
- Passing a family sitting in a chicken coup in their garden. (There is a poor quality photo if it below for comedy value) it was around 10:30 am so presume they are waiting for their egg for breakfast ! love it.
- Sunrise. I’ve completed a lot of night events, loads of people run nowadays, but there is something still really unique and thinning about running in the dark when you know everyone else is tucked up in bed. And it’s especially good when treated to a fabulous Yorkshire sunrise.
- Not so much of a highlight, however my head torch failing and then the back up blinking (battery warning) with 10 miles to go was genuinely frightening. The idea of DNF’ing so close to the end due to a head torch was so worrying, but in the end just became part of the adventure. I also discovered that the IPhone6 light is really good !
I wanted to post some pictures (as always), many taken with my IPhone and definitely not my best work! But I hope you like them and they provide some help to any one thinking of running this race in the future. I now have an additional 4 UTMB points for completing the White Rose Ultra 100 and so can re enter the 2016 UTMB – fingers cross I get in and revenge my 2015 UTMB DNF!