CBF staff tackle Ultra marathon

A dedicated team of three CBF staff tackled one of the UK’s toughest races – the London2Brighton Challenge.

Unlike in 2017, when six CBF personnel and friends signed up to walk the London2Brighton Challenge 100km Ultra, only three were brave enough to tackle it in 2018. Simon Berry, Jamie Anderson and Laura Prime decided to embark on the Challenge again, however they opted to walk the route for fun – no charity involved.

The London2Brighton Challenge is what its name suggests – the full route is a 100km marathon between London and Brighton. This time 1,987 people entered, choosing to walk, jog or run the full 100km Ultra, or a shorter part of the route, either 50km or 25km.

With weather warnings of rain and thunderstorms in place on the day, the three trekkers decided that speed was key, even though the temperature was due to reach heights of 27˚C. The bar was set high, with them averaging 6km per hour, however sadly this was unsustainable, and by the time they reached Tully’s Farm – 56km in, just after the half-way point – the blisters and sore feet had really kicked in. The group stayed rather longer than expected at the half-way point, simply because no walkers could leave without a night-time guide, and the next available guide wasn’t setting off until 10.30pm. 

The second half of the walk was markedly slower, and the team had the woods and darkness to get through. “The woods were evil and a complete mud-bath to navigate through,” recalls Laura Prime, Marketing Administrator at CBF. “Fortunately there was only a few spots of rain throughout, and a couple of thunder clouds making noises. Although the temperature dropped it was still warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts throughout the night.”

As daylight dawned and the finish line was in sight, there appeared to be a split in the group, with Laura getting a ‘second-wind’ and power-walking home. She even managed to run the last 2km down The Brighton Racecourse, to beat not only her 2017 finish time but the finish time for all CBF personnel and friends who entered last year in an impressive 22hrs 49min and 41secs. Laura was the 83rd female to cross the line out of 1,200 who entered the 100km walk. Simon and Jamie were only slightly behind Laura, also achieving great times – but in the end were very definite that they wouldn’t be entering the 2019 London2Brighton 100km Ultra Challenge!

Laura, however, being not only very challenge-orientated but a glutton for punishment, has since gone on to complete the Stort30 Ultra at the end of October, and intends to take part in a number of marathons and ultras in 2019 – we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing her well for these crazy tests of endurance!

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