Blogs and Videos made by previous runners are listed below so you can learn from the previous runners and plan your race effectively.
Tim Welch and his series of 8 video blogs whilst running in 2016
Cris Yeo facebook Race report
Monarch's Way Ultra
A magical journey with deers and hares jumping across the fields, porcupines all curl on the ground, mandrain ducks swimming lazily in the canals...Sheeps were aplenty and calling out, horses galloping pass and (allow me to exaggerate) cows bulldozing their way (nearly) into me. All these while crossing their fields.
Fell short though was my incapacitated navigational skills in a sleep deprived and physically draining environment. I made the decision to call it quits when the loading on my mind went beyond the redline. I fell into another trance just like in Goldsteig. Saw my movements pacing up & down in the tracking page (after the race) and immediately recognized the similarity. I HATED IT!!! The difference is that I have no buffer this time round. Heard the assuring voice of my wife on the phone at that point in time was the best comfort I could garnered and I broke down, hard.
Thanks Alan for the wonderful company throughout the race. Great partnership on the "check and progress" methodology. And of course, our constant patronizing of cafes, pubs and burger vans. I will always remember your "2 seconds" rest intervals.
Lindley, Maxine and Brian took care of us extremely well. Fed us with a cafe-like menu coupled with ala carte craving requests. Lindley and Maxine even bought me a new shirt when mine was torn!!! Fantastic advices given and they made me a better person. We were all monitored 24/7 and I knew I was always in good hands during the race. This was proven when the button was pressed and Lindley & Maxine arrived in less than 5 mins.
Touching nearly 700km was all I could manage this time of the Monarch's Way. Beautiful terrain and people all round. Many Thanks to those who came along to give their support for the race and many turned up along the race route when the going got real tough.
Many Thanks to All Well-Wishers who poured in their morale boosting texts and comments!!!
#neverstopexploring #thenorthfacesg #tailwindnutritionasia #farexplore#funtrainingkakis
Alan Cormack facebook race report
ust wanted to say thank you for all your messages of support and congratulations over the last week.
It was an amazing adventure, I feel very lucky to have been able to have done the Monarch's Way.
A massive thanks to Lindley Chambers, Maxine Lock and Brian Finlaylooked after us so well, kept us fed, safe and fit.
Also thanks to Bruce Ballagher who met us with cold drinks & watermelon just when we needed it.
Chris Yeo was an amazing companion, and we had an absolute blast, hopefully we can do so again.
Also had the privilege to have run with Lee-stuart Evans who achieved an amazing distance on his own.
Its a long way and a very tough challenge but here are the race directors tips and advice for the event based on what he and the race crews observed on the previous running's of the event.
Shoes, Socks and Feet - No right or wrong answer but there are a few things to consider. The difficulty is the many and varied terrain encountered.
From wet dew on the grass in the mornings to muddy farm tracks and country roads to hilly open land and coastal path.
There will be no right or wrong shoe/sock but here are some suggestions.
Waterproof shoes for the wet dew covered grass should be a consideration.
Once you stop running much or your feet are becoming trashed would a boot be better for walking? A good sturdy boot may protect feet a bit better from stones and water.
Change socks often and do whatever you do to protect your feet from blisters from the start not just after they start to go wrong.
Waterpoof socks can help but can also be sweaty and double layers of socks can stop moisture escaping from your feet too. Find out what works for you.
Most importantly you need to recognise issues early and fix them as feet will take you out of the race very quickly if not managed well.
Sleep - Sleep is important and there is a balance between how much you need and can get and how fast you need to go on the route to ensure you get that. We are all different and can survive on varying amounts of sleep but over the last two years sleep has been the real enemy. If you get enough and have time to sleep you move faster on the sections and recover better. As you slow down you take longer to run the section and have less time for sleep and eventually you get too little. Then you can't think properly and navigation goes and you lose more time and it becomes a spiral over a few days that is impossible to recover from.
Navigation - Do not understimate it, it something a friend of mine (Dan Connors) calls "Rural Technical" which means its constant Nav with fields and gates and forests and hills and always navigating and concentrating. This takes more out of you than navigating in open country such as the Lakes or Moors. There is no picking a bearing and following it for an hour or aiming towards a hill then relaxing. Its always there and you will go wrong many times and when tired or its dark its even harder (see point above).
Food - By the end you will eat anything that moves, with butter on it! Bring what you know you like and we will invent new combinations to keep the calories going in. Combinations this year included pancakes with butter then peanut butter then marmite then more butter then another pancake. seriously you cant eat enough on an event like this. You will also probbably buy anything you see on route at kebab vans and chip shops and still be hungry!
Don't Dally - Its easy to think you have loads of time especially at the start in the early legs, you are moving well and not tired. Always be wary of taking too much time in pubs or shops as in the second half of the course as you start to need more sleep and take longer to do each leg you may wish you had those extra minutes back again.
Here's where I will try to answer those questions that keep repeating themselves or need clarification.
1. Could I just book into a hotel along the route and shower and eat and sleep?
A. Yes you could, but you probably won't for the following reasons.
You cant stray more than 500m from the route unless you get lost or you have a legitimate reason to leave the route.
Also there will be very few hotels or B&B's in the right places at the right times for you to rest properly, logistically you would have to plan your stops and times before the race!
You wont have any drop bags there to get clean kit to change into so will have to put back on all the stinky stuff.
You also have cut offs to work to and if you wish to pay £45+ for a room for a few hours sleep then be my guest!
The tents we provide will feel like 5* hotels by the end.
2. Can anyone run with me?
A. There are no official pacers allowed in this event as we want it to be a tough solo challenge for people. We however understand how much of an epic experience this will be and what a lift seeing people you know is.
We are happy for a friend or family to jog along with you for a bit here and there but not for them to do large sections or distances with you. They also can't carry any kit for you or supply kit such as shoes etc without our permission.