South Coast Challenger
New for this year, the South Coast Challenge saw around 1800 participants who walked, jogged or ran the South Coast from Eastbourne to Arundel on a tough 100km ‘Ultra Challenge’, set to raise nearly £1.5 million for charity.
David decided to take part in the challenge for family reasons close to his heart. He explained: “Macmillan Cancer Support were fantastic during the last days of my father-in-law, in supporting him and the close family during that difficult time. Having done many charity challenges, it felt only right that I pushed myself in order to maximise a return for them to give them something back albeit only financial support.”
With an initial target of £500, David has succeeded in raising an impressive total of £1260.00 for MacMillan Cancer to date. He now aims to raise a total amount of £1500.00, with sponsorship donations still flooding in!
David tells Focus SB: “ I believe there were around 80 participants supporting MacMillan, but yet to hear the official figure. There were approximately 1500 starters doing the full 100K in one day; the full 100K over two days, the first half (54K) and the first quarter (23K). Of those taking part in the full 100K one day 653 finished (962 over two days). Really tough, but I should have been at least 1.5 hours quicker but me and another guy helped two young girls through the night who were really struggling. Had to monster the last 6k in 45 minutes to beat 24hrs, pretty much running that bit including a hill, but managed it by 19 seconds!”
He describes the hardest parts of the challenge: “There were a few challenges on the way. Like most marathon runners you hit a wall in parts, where you lose fluency in your stride and walk. I think I had three main difficult areas as follows:
1. At 18K going down some prepared steps, I turned my right ankle on a tree route, the next rest stop was 5K away, but I managed to walk tentatively on it till the rest stop, and then with pain relief and an ankle massage managed to walk it off, but at first it didn’t feel very positive.
2. Around about the 45K mark we were effectively walking across the side of a hill on a camber, this put a lot of strain on my left ankle, which was already sore but only then made worse. I walked through the discomfort and once back on reasonable flat ground, the discomfort wore off. This did repeat itself a couple of more time, but I was prepared for it by then.
3. The heat during the day walk and first 54K, someone said it was in the region of 28 degrees, so very hot for that type of challenge.”
David continues: “Strangely enough the easiest part of the challenge was probably the night section. It was obviously cooler and we had good pace overall, and as it was a clear night and we were in a dark sky area, the night sky was fantastic to look at. Also, and again strangely enough, the last 6K which I did in under 45 minutes to complete the 24 hours. I had to basically jog this including a hill to finish in under 24 hours, not sure where I found the energy from but the last hill which I know very well, and isn’t easy, just seemed to disappear as if not there.
“One other difficult moment and for quite some time was a slight loss of motivation, as we were carrying two members of our night group, and the pace had slowed to probably a third if not less of what it should/could have been, stopping many times for them to rest. The chance to complete in less than 24 hours looked over. This went on for two complete sections and over about 10 miles until the two members eventually dropped out, hence the need to monster the last 6k to complete. To be honest there were many funny parts that I remember, and the banter between me and a guy called John, who I walked the whole of the second half of the challenge with was good all the way, we kept each other going. There were a couple of others but I am not sure we could print those!”
David concludes: “I ranked 247 overall and 32nd in my age group, my official time 23 hours 59 minutes and 41 seconds. It was tough, but strangely not the toughest thing I've done. Legs are pretty much back to normal, right foot slightly swollen, but all’s well.”
Focus SB sponsored David for £150 to undertake the South Coast Challenge, and congratulate him on successfully completing the event, raising funds for such a worthy cause. The company wishes him luck on his next charity challenge comprising back to back marathon walks in Iceland, July 2017!
(Pictured above) David Mayall’s podium photo at the finish of the South Coast Challenge.