Last night the news came through with the dates for the next Saint Fons ultramarathon: 17/18 April 2017.

You’ll recall that I ran the Saint Fons 6 Hour race this year and I was happy with the performance I turned in there. I had gone into the race planning on pacing myself better than the debacle in the Ploeren 12 hour race the December before, and hoping to hit 60km in the six hours I was running. As it happened, I not only paced myself far better, I hit my target and finished in 5th overall – not bad for what was really my second ultramarathon and a great warmup for the next six hour race I ran – and won – a few weeks later.

This year I will be heading back to Saint Fons but I’m going to take on the challenge of the 12 hour race instead. The reasons why I’m entering the longer race come down to the following:

  • I haven’t run a good 12 hour race yet. My only attempt was a disappointment in Ploeren and I know I can do better than that now. I know how to control my pace early on, I know I can run for more than 10 hours at a time after the 100km de la Somme, and I would like to change my 12 hour PB from a fairly embarrassing 66km to something out beyond 100km.
  • It’s good preparation for the 24 hour race I will run in May. The Saint Fons race last year prepared me well for the next two six hour races and I am going to rely on it doing the same in 2017. By getting a good session of time on my feet under race conditions in the month before the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra I think I’ll be better prepared for what the 24 hour race will throw at me.
  • It’s good practice for running while tired and through the night. The 24 hour race at the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra is going to involve a late start (11pm) and then running through the night while tired and missing sleep. While the 12 hour race at Saint Fons is only half the length, it will give me an idea of what running through the time I am normally sleeping is like.

I really enjoyed the Saint Fons race last year and I am looking forward to returning for the longer distance this April.

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