• Barry Gerhold

Viking 100 Mile Endurance Run

I’ve only gone and bloody done it...

100 miles complete.

I didn’t hold out too much hope of completing this to be honest which probably wasn’t the best mind set, but injury has prevented me from training properly since the beginning of September, so I was massively under trained going into this event.

My hopes were:

A) that my ankle would make it through at least marathon distance B) That I can surpass my distance PB of 50 miles C) Manage to somehow complete the 100mile distance D) Complete the 100 miles in under 24hrs to achieve the gold buckle

On a day of zero expectation I managed to achieve every single one of them goals.

My mum (Carole), Natalie and Ken joined me at mile 25 and I was very much looking forward to seeing them. I was greeted with a bacon sandwich which went down perfectly and many jealous runners eyed up that sandwich. The following lap I was greeted by the sight of Suzi, Brian and the kiddies who had decided to come and support me, this was a complete surprise to me and I struggled to hold the emotions in check, but I think I managed it?

The next lap I was greeted by another surprise, this time in the shape of Nicola, Shaun and the boys. Wow! I was feeling quite emotional now. Not helped by the fact that I was 37 miles into my event. Thank you all so much for your support. It means the world to me.

At mile 50 Natalie’s brother Ashley joined me to pace me for the next 24 miles. At that point I was already down to run/walk sections, it was becoming harder and harder to maintain running for lengthy periods. Ashley certainly helped take my mind off the pain that was starting to seep into my body and most definitely kept me focused. I managed to maintain long sections of running and we kept a strong speedy walk when running was not possible. Ashley’s company was instrumental in me keeping to my goals today.

Natalie. Wow, what a women. Not many partners would come and sit around waiting for their other half to run a ridiculously long running event. Natalie had no hesitation in helping me. Even though it would mean missing mother’s day with her daughters.

Natalie ensured that I was fed, hydrated and warm. There is not a hope in hell that I would have maintained a good pace without her. She barely slept and was cooped up in my car for hours. That is dedication and I am a very lucky man.

So yeah the running bit...

Once Ashley left me at mile 74 I managed another strong lap taking me to mile 80 and then I lost the ability to run anymore. I was able to keep a fairly good walking pace for that lap but then pain certainly set in. The last two and a bit laps (15 miles) I could only walk and was so hard. Every step was painful. My body had seriously had enough. Running through the night didn’t seem to affect me too much, but now my body was breaking down. My legs were damaged and the remainder would be a slog. Fortunately the end was in sight.

Natalie joined me for the last 5k. I wasn’t able to provide any conversation, but that wasn’t an issue as Natalie can talk the hind legs of a donkey. I focused on putting one leg in front of the other and Natalie attempted to take my mind off the pain. As I approached the finishing straight I could see my mum waiting for me. Grimacing could now be replaced with a smile as the pain was about to end. I walked through to the finish with these two amazing ladies and finished in a time of 23hrs 28mins, and I am absolutely chuffed to bits.

I should also thank Traviss and Rachel, for your help and support. I would not have even thought of attempting such a distance without your positive words and encouragement. Thank you to everyone at the aid stations and the number clippers. Out in the wet and cold for hours on end to ensure that this event was a success.

Thank you so much everyone for your help in me achieving what I did today xxx

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