2016 British Spartathlon Team Update
Update courtesy of James Ellis.
And we have ourselves a winner!
Not of Spartathlon of course… it’s been 21 years since James Zarei was first to kiss the foot of Leonidas (although Dan Lawson came mighty close last year with a second place finish).
But Ian Thomas absolutely smashed the Leeds-Liverpool Canal Race at the end of August with a time just over 24 hours.
Ian’s one of the nicest guys on an ultra circuit that is already chock full of the good folk, and displays all the best of our sport: encouragement of others and never-ending grit, while he always (almost) runs with a smile on his face.
He says he’s disappointed he didn’t duck under the less-than-a-day mark, but another thing you should know about Ian is he’s taken great confidence from a storming run at Spartathlon last year, so if you want to follow in his podium footsteps, smash it…
Two weeks to go: Last minute-prep for runners and crew
Blimey, are there only two weeks to go? Right now, you should all be tapering well… there’s little point in putting big miles in now, you’ll only end up tiring yourself out before the race.
Here are some things you should be doing:
- Downloading the rules and making sure you and your crew are aware of them. Getting to the end of 153 miles in less than 36 hours and then finding you have been disqualified on a technicality is not a good idea.
- Downloading the Road Book checkpoint documents and make sure you and your crew have an idea where they are. You can also use them to plan your dropbag strategy (what do you mean, you don’t have one).
- Make a list of all the things you want to take to Greece with you: sports nutrition, kit etc. Also make sure you have a smaller bag for the overnight in Sparta – you won’t be allowed to take a big case on the bus, those stay in Athens till you come back from the race.
- Medical certificates. If you’ve not already done so, get these emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
What some of the rest of the team have been up to (aka ‘as far back as we can be arsed to check on Facebook’)
Tremayne Dill Cowdry and Rusty Rusk have been running and organising the We Run They Run I Run race.
Stu Wilkie has been keeping an eye on the temperatures. There was some hope with the race being a few days later that temps might drop this year, but Athens seems to holding steady in the early 30s. And whatever the temperature, those Greek roads have been baking all summer, so look forward to lots of residual heating pinging back at you! Hats, sunblock, good hydration strategy are all essential to a good Spartathlon finish.
Darren Strachan and James Ellis have been testing nutrition strategies, each running 50 milers over 2.5 mile loops with Sparta-like tables of various drinks, potions, biscuits and crisps. Dazzler set his up in Finsbury Park and came back on one loop to find his cool box had been taken to the tip by a council official. The pair also did a 43-mile night run through London as their last big run.
Super Paul Rowlinson has also been testing his feeding strategy with a 40-miler fuelled purely on Tailwind, one of our fab sponsors.
Paul Beechey did the T-Series T-100 with no niggles and is looking good to go.
Lots and lots of lovely pics of all the British Spartathlon Team have been posted in their gear on the site.
The hotels have been announced
Team hotels have changed for this year … Out goes the Oasis in Glyfada (Athens) where the team have been based for the last couple of races and in comes the (perhaps aptly named) Hotel London, just across the street. Nice hotel, similar set up and a rooftop bar for us to exchange stories post-race.
In Sparta… well, we actually aren’t staying in Sparta this year but in the Hotel Belle Helene in Gythio about 40 km away. In the past, those picked up by the Death Bus have often been shipped back to their hotels – so if you want to see everyone at the finish, the only way to guarantee it is to not drop out!
Live GPS Tracking (Courtesy of Race Drone)
Those UK Spartathletes who have elected to carry the GPS Tracker can be tracked here during the race. Feel free to share the link with friends and fellow runners.