David's ONER blog

Name: David Miller
DOB: 24/10/1985
Occupation: Gas Engineer
Motivational Quotes: Walk the line, break the walls.
Targets for 2016: Finish the Oner

April 2017

"During the race I feel like I unlocked a door in my mind that lead to a room I'd never entered before and in that room existed a near perfect version of myself, devoid of ego, free of judgement, removed from life's minutia, steadfast in purpose, distracted by nothing, heart wide open with a complete inability to overreact to any obstacle that stood in my way. I wish I could be that person more often" Gary Robbins during the Barkley Marathons

The Oner. 82 miles, 10,000ft of climb and all within a 24 hour time limit along the unforgiving Jurassic Coast. 50% DNF. For those of you who know me or have read my blogs you will know completing this race has been a dream of mine for 2 years now. An obsession if you like? Enough of the buildup, its race day and I have a story to tell...

The foghorn sounded and 65 runners all stampede around me running down Stonebarrow Hill near Charmouth for the start of The Oner 2017. Golden Cap was towering ahead of us and it marks the highest point on the south coast! It's very easy to get carried away at the start of this race after seeing a few poor souls run up Golden Cap. My head was down and I was sticking to my game plan. First and foremost my plan was to enjoy the race and turn my nervousness into excitement. I was to follow my nutritional plan that I'd been perfecting over the past year, and finally I was running on the coastal path that I had learned to love. The course was not my enemy!

The first section of the course is actually one of the hardest because of a few steep climbs. I had fresh legs because of the taper period leading up to the event so getting to CP1 (West Bay) proved no problem. Anyone wishing to take on the Oner I would advise not to push too hard during this section as you will pay for this later on in the race...

In one of my previous blog entries I talked about my battle dealing with the heat during Race To The Stones 100km. That was put into good practice today as the heat was clearly proving a problem for some of the other runners. I made sure I was well hydrated and I kept my electrolyte levels topped up. 

Up and over the hills I arrived down into CP1 (West Bay) with my good friend and training buddy Ben. We moved quickly through the busy tourist invaded town of ‘Broadchurch’ (or as us locals call it West Bay) and up over the steep climb onto the top of East Cliff. 

I remember feeling particularly good over this next section to CP2 (Abbotsbury). My plan seemed to be working well. In most of the other Oner race reports the pebble section at West Bexington just before Abbotsbury seems to get a mention and this race report is no exception. It really is as hard as people say and it saps an awful lot of energy, so another tip for future Oner superstars is to walk these pebbles rather than attempt to run over them badly!

It was great to see some familiar faces at CP2 (Abbotsbury). Here I decided to plug in and listen to some good tunes to get pumped! Looking back it was a good decision to listen to music for the first time during an ultra race. The next 6 miles to CP3 (Langton Herring) seemed to fly by. I recall one moment where I was running through a yellow field and Bob Marley's 'Three little birds' came on my iPod. I started singing along (as you do) totally forgetting I was running what was to be the hardest challenge of my life. Amazing!

During this section of path I overtook Ben and wished him well. I've had some amazing and memorable times training with friends but before the event we all made a pact to run our own race. I feel this is an extremely important point and yes it's selfish but ultimately this is your race and it's about you and no one else. Running in a group is fine but where do you draw the line and leave someone behind if they are struggling and feeling low? Do you sacrifice your own race and hold back or do you keep going with one goal in mind? The latter for me as this is what it takes to finish the Oner! Brutal!

There's really not much to say about Checkpoints 4-6. Running the perimeter of Portland was euphoric. The sun was setting and creating the perfect backdrop. I still had my headphones plugged in and was feeling zoned out admiring the coastal path and the conditions we had been blessed with today. Again it was nice to see some friends supporting during this section of the race! 

Halfway at CP6 (Portland) I was greeted by my wife Vicky and just her presence was enough to lift me further. I walked into the event HQ and a member of the Brutal Events staff commented if I was feeling OK because I was still smiling after 38 miles. 

I stopped for around 25 minutes changing into my night clothes and topping up all nutritional supplies in my race vest. I agreed to run the night section with Rory who I just happened to meet the week before at the Manchester Marathon. I knew the night section would be difficult to navigate for those who didn't know the course so I made it a mission of mine to help Rory as I knew the course like the back of my hand. He is a whirlwind of knowledge with everything endurance so I knew I'd be in good company as we take on the second and much harder half of the course. I know I mentioned before about running your own race but as long as you have made good time in the first half I'd recommend pairing up with someone during the night as it can get pretty lonely out there and it's only a good thing from a safety point of view.

Leaving CP6 and ready to face the second half of the Oner myself and Rory were in good spirits. There are 7 miles of concrete paths from Portland to Bowleaze cove in Weymouth and here you can bank some good time. We were moving quickly and were again greeted by lots of local familiar faces along the way to show some support in which I'll forever be grateful. Cheers for the midnight mochas Sandsfoot Cafe!  Before the event I was told by a few Oner veterans that the Oner does indeed begin at Bowleaze cove. Only after taking part in this event do you start to understand this. I remember feeling extremely confident once arriving at Bowleaze cove thinking this wasn't as hard as I first thought...

This event has a 50% DNF rate for a reason. The course has the ability to suck you in and spit you right back out! This tends to happen throughout the night. Having too much confidence will only have one outcome.

Head torches switched on we made our way across the fields to CP7 (Osmington). There we saw Martyn and James (who make the best checkpoint crew) and the Oner legend that is Jon Regler. I've known Jon for a while and have done a handful of training runs with him. You can't help but feel an aura of energy around the guy. He handed me a cup of 'Jon’s special cocktail' and no questions asked I drank this mysterious concoction, so let's hope I don't get tested for doping!

I feel the next part of the race towards CP8 (Lulworth) we were chasing the clock and were starting to feel the pressure! We aimed to be at the next checkpoint for 2am and we missed this by 30 minutes. We seemed to lose time even though we were moving pretty quickly which still puzzles me? This next section includes the unforgettable roller coaster section over the White Nothe cliffs and this is where the difficultly of the course gets severe. You have to tackle this section with tired legs and feeling fatigued due to no sleep! Once we were done climbing those hills I recall us running down the concrete steps into CP9 (Lulworth) both in a panic for how much time we had until cut off. The crew at the checkpoint said we had 90 minutes and were still doing OK for time, but secretly I was aware of how much harder the course was going to get (being a local). We couldn't afford to lose much more time.

We didn't stop for long, maybe 2 minutes? The big climb out of Lulworth and over the army ranges was in motion. It was here the negativity was starting to creep in as we were starting to doubt ourselves. It's amazing how confident you can feel during one moment and how low you can feel the next. Having a partner can have its benefits as you will hit low moments at different times. I tried to stay positive and kept assuring Rory we'd be fine and to keep moving. 

Stopping to pause and look back over at the Lulworth ranges was nothing short of spectacular. We turned off our head torches for a moment and witnessed a full moon beaming it's light to create an almost golden ripple in the ocean and a silhouette of the hills behind us in which we could see some head torches all moving along the top. It's one of those moments we won't forget! We embraced this and continued on towards CP9 (Kimmeridge).

This is where things started to go wrong and according to Rory I was descending too quickly and hammering my quads but deep down I was worried about our time and constantly chasing the clock. 

Once at the bottom of the big descent leading down into Kimmeridge Bay, my legs had decided to seize up and turn into lead. I put this down to the very large and steep descents we had just done but I can never be sure? I could see the checkpoint van all lit up in the distance and I told Rory to go on ahead and I'd meet him there. This is where I knew my race was over. The course had me by the neck and it took me about 15 minutes to shuffle what should have been about 5 minutes into CP9 (Kimmeridge). How on earth was I going to make CP10 (St Aldhelms Head) in time? 

I walked into the checkpoint and threw myself down onto the inviting deckchair. I covered my eyes and was about to burst into tears as I wanted to retire!

"I can't force you, but damn you'll be kicking yourself if you don't try and get to that next checkpoint". 

I looked up and that voice was coming from a man called Simon Jacob (Triple Brutal Triathlon finisher). He was working at this checkpoint and clearly had more belief in me than I did!

It was an hour before this current checkpoint was due to close so we still had around three hours to get to the next one which is easier said than done when you still have some of the biggest and hardest climbs ahead.

After getting much encouragement from Simon, I somehow managed to get myself out of the deckchair and follow Rory over to the bottom of the steps leading up to the Clavell Tower. He was with two other runners who were moving pretty quickly. It's no exaggeration when I say I was crawling up these steps! Rory and the two other runners were becoming a distant memory so I looked up and shouted for him to go on without me as I didn't want to ruin his race. I got about halfway up these steps and surrendered bursting into tears. The dream was over and there was no way I was going to make the next checkpoint in time. I sat in complete silence for around 5 minutes watching the sunrise over Kimmeridge Bay. 

Failure, Fraud, Let down, you name it that was what I was thinking! The checkpoint van was still in view and very tempting to walk back to. It was a 2 minute walk and the sensible thing to do was to walk back and retire. My head was at the finish but my legs were not! Something was telling me that if I could get to the next checkpoint and retire there rather than here then people would give me a little more credibility. So I picked myself up from those steps and decided to walk in shame to CP10 (St Aldhelms Head) knowing full well this was going to be the end of my race.

CP9 (Kimmeridge) to CP10 (St Aldhelms Head) is arguably the most difficult section of the course with some very steep climbs to ascend. I recall using my running poles like pick axes driving them into the ground just to get to the top of the mighty Houns Tout Cliff. Once on top I was greeted by spectacular views of the Jurassic coast and then a very steep descent down some steps into Chapmans Pool. At the bottom of these steps I hopped over a gate into a field and suddenly my phone alarm clock started ringing! It was 7am and I carried on walking thinking the alarm will switch itself off. I threw my bag on the floor, found my phone amongst all my kit, and turned off the alarm because all the livestock were starting to look at me very suspiciously! Was leaving my alarm switched on a sign? Before the alarm sounded I was half asleep, head down in shame, and feeling sorry for myself because I wasn't going to finish the Oner! The only thing I was thinking about was how I was going to apologies to everyone after all the support and donations I had received before and during this event. My legs felt a little better than they did at Kimmeridge so it then sprung to mind that if I could make the next checkpoint cutoff just in the nick of time I could get to CP11 (Swanage) and retire there instead? 

I shuffled down and crawled back up the 'staircase of death' and into CP10 (St Aldhelms Head). I dibbed my wristband and the checkpoint worker said I was 10 minutes ahead of cutoff and he'd happily let me carry onto CP11 (Swanage) providing I wasn't carrying an injury. If I was going to make the Swanage cutoff I would need some sort of miracle and a fresh pair of legs with only 10 minutes to spare!

Majell Backhausen once told me that the consistency in my training was my biggest weapon. This engine that I had been building for the past 8 months through careful and purposeful training had come into full force and the comeback was very much on!

I was literally dancing across the dancing ledge all the way to Swanage moving over some technical terrain and steamrolling everything in my way! I can't explain how this happened and how I suddenly had this burst of energy but some of my movement and speed this late on in the race felt unbelievable (Fifth fastest on this section).

The sun was facing me and it was getting ridiculously hot but this didn't seem to distract me? I was a man on a mission and deep down I knew my close friends and family would be worried about seeing me on the tracker alone! I was aware there was a possibly I was last out of the non retired runners as a few had passed me after Kimmeridge but I was still in this race holding on tight, and keeping the dream alive!  Running down into Pevrill point in Swanage I spotted a silhouette of a figure at the bottom of the hill. As I got closer I saw it was Martyn! I ran into CP11 and remember shouting in a panic "I'm not gonna make it, I'm not gonna make it." 

James Page looked at me and said  "What the hell are you on about Dave? You have 2 and a quarter hours to finish this race! 7 miles to go! You don't have time to stand around talking lad, GO!"

Martyn quickly filled my water bottles and James gave me a cup of his now infamous CP11 salted peanuts! I only had one thing on my mind and that was the finish line. Again i was fifth fastest during this next section (as well as the previous section) so this amplifies how significant this comeback was for me!

Along the Swanage seafront I felt a surge of energy driving me to the finish line. I was untouchable!

"During the race I feel like I unlocked a door in my mind that lead to a room I'd never entered before and in that room existed a near perfect version of myself, devoid of ego, free of judgement, removed from life's minutia, steadfast in purpose, distracted by nothing, heart wide open with a complete inability to overreact to any obstacle that stood in my way. I wish I could be that person more often"

I wanted to use this quote from Gary Robbins because this perfectly summed up how I felt during this moment.

The last big climb out of Swanage felt easier than it should of done. A bunch of college students kept me company and made a funny comment asking if I was possessed? At the top of the climb I stopped for a moment to drench my cap with cold water and say my goodbyes to the students. "You crazy bastard" they shouted as I ran on down towards Old Harry's Rocks. The finish line on Studland beach came into view and I was starting to believe that I was going to finish the Oner. I've never felt such urgency and was looking down at my watch every 30 seconds making sure it was still mathematically possible to finish this race!

Onto the last beach I once again drenched my cap under a beach tap and started to chase some of the other Oner competitors over the final three miles. I believe I overtook and gained around five or six positions on the beach section alone which I was immensely proud of. I would have had no regrets about finishing last but it was nice to see I had more in the tank. Just finishing this race is winning in my book!  Martyn surprised me about 1 mile from the finish and I thought this was a nice touch as he has been a great friend of mine these last two years giving me endless advice. Fair play mate!

The finish line isn't a big Hollywood finish like you would expect to see at the London Marathon or Ironman events. You simply cross a wooden bridge to the Shell Bay carpark and get greeted by a round of applause from the other runners and supporters whilst collecting your medal. Deep down you know how great of a challenge you have achieved and you gain a mutual respect from other Oner finishers past and present.

I was greeted by my wife Vicky and my son Louie. I hope one day Louie and my other son Freddie can read this blog and follow in my footsteps to beat my time of 23:33:15 haha!

I often get asked why I do this and why I put myself under so much pressure. The answer is that I'm always looking to push myself and discover my limits! I'm always searching for that ultimate high and finishing the Oner gave me just that! It's a high I'll be riding forever.

Brutal Events The Oner 2017
39 Finishers
26 DNF 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Claire from Brutal Events for letting me blog leading up to the Oner. Blogging is something I've never done before and I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my journey with you all.

Simon Jacob we have exchanged emails since the Oner and I'll say this again - I wouldn't have finished this without you!

A shoutout to Alyce from Oompf Energy in Dorset for supplying my Goji go go energy balls and Very Berry bars.

Cheers to Majell Backhausen for changing the way I train and making me 'go to bed with the Oner'.

Thanks to my training buddies Ben, Rab, Ricky, Jon, and Martyn for some epic and unforgettable runs! Congratulations to Ben and Rab for also finishing this year!

Rory Spicer it was a pleasure to run through the night with you! Pairing up certainly made the challenge easier and there's moments on that trail I'll never forget! 

To my amazing wife Vicky, thank you for encouraging me throughout my training and giving me a kick up the backside when I needed it the most!

Thank you to all those who have kindly donated to Friends of PICU.

And finally a massive thank you to everyone who came and showed support on the day and sent me messages before, during, and after the event.

I couldn't have done this without you all!

DM x

Jan 2017

We've all been there. That run where we are out of breath, have no energy, and we're getting no faster. We've hit that middle ground and we're practicing what we already know. The winter has come and leaving the front door for that key evening training session is getting even harder. Our goals are becoming nothing more than a pipe dream...

I'm sure some of you can relate to this.

My training was derailing and each session had me dragging a ball and chain. It was time to wipe the slate clean, get back to basics, and rediscover my passion for running. One foot in front of the other, it doesn't come much simpler than that right?

What a negative way to start this blog entry some of you are thinking? Yes I could have started on a brighter note but let's get real here. Life has its hurdles and circumstances change. Does it take a moment of clarity to trigger a change? Yes I believe it does!

I'm having the time of my life right now. Training is enjoyable and every run has its own purpose. It wasn't always this way as mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago. That middle ground and plateau us runners all know and hate had taken effect and running was becoming a chore rather than a pleasure. Get to the point Dave! What triggered that change?

Well it was a dark Sunday evening and I was out pounding those pavements on a long run I should have been doing that morning (I decided to stay in bed instead). I had no energy, no desire, and as I was running past each house I could see families all sat around their TV's. I was questioning myself on why I was the only person out in Weymouth that evening and that I should be at home with my family like everyone else. I couldn't wait to get home so I cut the run short which is something I never do. All downbeat I told my wife Vicky that I'm pulling out of the Oner and I couldn't hack the training. The Oner had beaten me and I wasn't even on the start line!

Enter Majell Backhausen from the land down under. If ever you need a reason to run or need a change in direction then this is the guy to talk too! I've seen him described as the Runyard Kipling of trail running and it's hard to disagree.

He helped me get back on track and structure my training properly. First and foremost quality over quantity, and then the recovery is key! Ask yourself the last time you did a proper recovery run just above walking pace? You should seriously try one of these the day after a hard session and see the difference it makes!

Now my training is properly structured I can run 40-50 miles a week no problem. This is good preparation for the Oner and right now I'm working hard on getting the fueling and nutritional side of things sorted. Obviously this is different for everyone and a personal thing but I feel I'm 90% there with that!

Mentally I'm ok but as everyday passes leading up to the event I get that butterfly effect in my stomach anxiously waiting to start this monster of a race. Let me remind you that only 50% of the field finish this 82 mile race every year. Then you have the small issue of 10,000ft + of elevation and all to be completed within a 24 hour time limit.

Whatever happens during the race I know I've done everything possible and given it everything in training to try and get to that finish line at Shellbay Carpark in Studland. I'll give it 100% and that's a promise. I've talked the talk and now it's time to walk the walk (or crawl in this case). 24 hours of eating and drinking with some running/walking/crawling thrown in for good measure right?

I have a different game plan to when I started these blog entries back in June last year, and that game plan is very simple...

Enjoy the ride


July 2016

The alarm wakes me at 2am. I quickly get changed, grab my gear, and make my way up to Avebury which was the finish location of Race To The Stones.

Race To The Stones? 100km along the Ridgeway national trail (the oldest path in Britain). The race starts from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire and finishes at the Avebury Stone Circle. You can split the race up into 2 days and run 50km per day or run 100km in one go which I felt needed to be done in preparation for my Oner attempt next April.

I arrived around 4.30am and it was pitch black with lots of headtorches beaming around. I jumped onto the shuttle and there's nothing like a dodgy driver to settle everyone's pre race nerves. He made several wrong turns and narrowly missed a head-on collision with a tractor! We were fortunate enough to arrive at the starting location.

I arranged to meet my friend Van and agreed to start the race with him. After registration and multiple self kit checks we walked over to the start line. The guy on the megaphone said this was the country's biggest Ultra and I could see why with hundreds of other runners surrounding us.

The foghorn sounded at 8am and the race began. Pretty much like any other ultra the bottleneck effect was in motion and the race was set at a snail pace. It was like this up until the first CP at 10km.

Did I mention that it was HOT? No? Well the day was a scorcher. Drenching my cap at every CP water station felt heavenly and a very good tip if you should ever find yourself in this situation. I could tell this heat was going to cause all sorts of problems for myself and the other runners over the course of the day and the next 90km.

90km to go and we were finally picking up some pace running through some eerie woodland called Grim's Ditch. I wasn't going to be fooled by this scenery as this woodland was starting to live up to its name. Runners were tripping over roots left, right, and centre and falling into ditches (including myself). Grim it was! I've never seen so many people fall over in my life. Myself and Van joked there should be a stat at the end of the race showing how many people retired at Grim's Ditch and you should be awarded a special Strava badge for making it out alive!

Arriving safely at CP2 (around 20km) and I could see some of the other runners were starting to struggle. These CP's were well stocked with a large variety of food and drink on offer. They even had massage tents and medics available to treat your blisters and to assist you with any injuries. If I'm being totally honest and this may sound a little controversial but I'm not a fan of being spoilt at CP's. Throughout the race I found people were WAY too reliant on the staff and the food and drink on offer. I can understand the need for water and a few snacks but this isn't a picnic. You are running an Ultra Marathon and should be prepared. I recall one runner demanding a marmite sandwich later on in the day and ending up very disappointed. I carry all my own food and treat everything at a CP as a luxury. Me and Van didn't hang around.

An important point I've learnt by running various Ultras during the first half of this year is that you're going to experience moments during a race where you'll have to fight your own personal battle. This became evident at around 25km because Van was clearly running stronger than me. We were running beside the River Thames in the blistering heat and his experience and fitness were starting to show! I couldn't keep up. I told him to go on without me and it wasn't long before he vanished. I felt happier on my own from now as I didn't want to ruin his race let alone my own!

Running through Streatley just before CP3 was a welcome sight. Clearly a wealthy village and the locals were very supportive. We ran over the bridge and crossed the River Thames. It was shaded from now, so this carried me nicely on to CP3. Another brief stop soaking my cap and filling up my water bottles. I grabbed a packet of skittles (hardly any reds) and hiked up the first major hill. I could tell the course was getting a little more serious from now with the rolling hills visible in the distance. We were all exposed in the sun and over the next 10km you could hear a pin drop. Silence on the Ridgeway national trail! Conversation had dried up and by this point the other runners were starting to dig deep (including myself). Two thoughts had sprung to mind:
A- I have underestimated this race
B- I am having a midlife crisis

You have way too much time to think during these events and it's all about tricking the mind into thinking everything is OK (when clearly it's not).

By now a fair few runners were overtaking me, but to be fair they were probably doing the 2 day race rather than the 100km in one day (or so I keep telling myself).

I somehow made it to CP4 knowing I was nearly half way. From what I remember this was the hardest and hottest section of the race. Experience from my previous races tell me I get mentally stronger as the race goes on and today proved no different! I needed perking up so I briefly checked my phone and luckily had a 4G signal. Lots of good luck messages gave me some sort of super power to motor onto CP5 which was the halfway point (50km).

I stopped for around 25 minutes and had some hot pasta and an average coffee. I felt good and was keen to get the second half of this race done. For some this halfway point marked the end of their day, and they would finish the remaining 50km the following day. For the rest of us this is where the fun and games started! This was the business end of the race that separated the men from the boys (Well maybe not but it sounds good). The plan from the start was to race the sun and finish while it was light. Van kindly lent me a head torch before the race in which we both agreed wouldn't be needed! Oh how we were wrong! More on that later.

This sounds depressing but the next 30km were lonely and a blur. There's really not much to say other than the gaps between runners were much bigger. Runners were moving quicker because it was cooling down and I personally wasn't in any mood for conversation as I was too focused on the task in hand. My fuelling strategy was working and the miles were flying by.

I recall one moment when another runner claimed to see Abraham Lincoln on the Ridgeway. I obviously found this hilarious but at the same time hallucinations are a bad sign. Alarm bells should be ringing! I would love to know if this guy finished?

Luckily for me I met another runner called Pete just before CP8 (80km). We were both mentally ok but his legs were starting give in. I agreed to run the remainder of the race with him as it was starting to get dark.

What makes these events so unique is the people you meet and listening to their inspiring stories. I've been lucky enough throughout my running journey to have met some amazing people. The Ultra running community really is something special.

The next 10km leading up to CP9 had us running in the dark. This was a new venture for me and must say I really enjoyed it! Great news as there will be plenty of night running during the Oner next year. I expected CP9 to be full of happy runners as there was only 10km to go. In reality it was like a morgue. All the seats were taken by lifeless souls and all you could hear were groans coming from the medic tents! I took a couple of ibuprofen and necked a coke ready to tackle the last 10km over Barbury castle. The unthinkable happened during this last 10km, my garmin had died! Luckily I had a battery pack and my run data was saved! "If it's not on strava it never happened" is the general rule of thumb.

Myself and Pete found ourselves running across the top of a hill and suddenly the finish location came into view. It was all lit up and had the lure of a McDonald's after a night out drinking (best comparison I can think of). But first we had to have a quick detour and have a photo taken next to the famous Avebury stones (This is called race to the stones after all).

I somehow managed to sprint to the finish and crossed the line just as the clock struck midnight. I was applauded by lots of other runners and families waiting for their loved ones. I received my well earned medal and come in at 396/956. I was very pleased with this result! I didn't manage to complete my initial goal of finishing in the light but as the race went on this was becoming increasingly unrealistic.

The reason I did this event was to prepare for the Oner. I learned some valuable lessons and as I write this blog here are the 4 key points that stick in my mind (this may not apply to everyone).
A- Fitness will only take you so far.
B- Nutrition is fundamental.
C- Be mentally strong.
D- Luck can play a part.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. I have no more big events planned this year. I'll be training hard on the hills and gradually increasing my weekly mileage. I feel this will give me a good platform to work off when I finally get to face the Oner...

Finally I've decided to raise some money for PICU (Paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton Hosptial). Ultimately they are the reason I am attempting the Oner as I explained in my previous blog entry. So please help this amazing charity and sponsor me. It may give me that final push. http://www.justgiving.com/David-Miller45?utm_id=20

June 2016

"If you’re going to quit, just quit at Ferrybridge" said a fellow Jurassic Coast Challenge participant as we were running around Portland on Day 2. I was talking to him about my plans on taking on the much feared Oner in 2017.

"Its much easier to quit at Ferrybridge, so you can get home quicker and not wait around, I've tried and failed the Oner twice now!" Still to this day, this sticks in my mind. I'm not surprised this guy failed! Guys like this are never going to complete the Oner with this sort of attitude.

So let me explain what the Oner involves - 82 miles over the world famous Jurassic coastline with over ten thousand foot of ascent and a strict 24 hour time limit. 50% do not finish!

I'm new to this Ultra game, and it all started 3 years ago when my boy became seriously ill and was taken into the children's intensive care unit in Southampton hospital. He's doing OK now. I was 16 stone and did zero exercise! PICU, the children's intensive care charity were putting a team together for the 10 mile great south run and I convinced myself to step forward, rise to the challenge,and raise some money so I could give something back to this wonderful charity!

Fast forward 3 years and I find myself running these crazy ultras along the unforgiving Jurassic Coastline! I've recently completed the Jurassic Coast Challenge (3 marathons in 3 days on the Oner course), the half Oner, and last week completed the Endurancelife Jurassic Quarter in the pissing rain! So this leaves me one event to complete on the Jurassic Coast....

If I'm honest I'm in good hands, I know some very talented runners and a good handful of them have completed the Oner, so I'm never short of advice or support if I need it! Cheers Jon, Martyn, James, Van, Josie and Sam.

I've decided to blog about my training leading up to next years attempt, and Claire has kindly agreed to let me become a Brutal Blogger! I intend to share how my training is going, talk about my game plan, and also give you an insight into the highs and lows of going through this process! As of now I'm currently recovering from the Jurassic Quarter and mapping out a summer training schedule involving some serious elevation! Hills are key right??

I intend to keep these blogs real and at the same time not bore you to death (did I tell you about the time I was chased by a cow up those dreaded steps at St Aldhelm's Head?) We'll save that for another time!

That's a little about myself, very brief I know! My next blog entry will be mid summer and I will describe in more detail how my training is going! Over and out!