October 2014 - Ben Mason & Ben Hatherley

For the first time ever GRC have made a joint award for the Member of the Month for October, we have given the award to Ben Hatherley and Ben Mason for their conquest of the Bullock Smithy event in the Peak district. No training can prepare you for this 56+ mile challenge as they run in the Peak District through the night to get back before the hammer strikes the anvil for the second time. Clipping in excess of an hour from their 2013 time they finished still smiling.

  • Age: Senior
  • Occupation Accountant
  • Years Running: 9
  • Favourite off-road race: Bullock Smithy
  • Least Favourite Ultra-Race: No got one, yet!
  • Why did you start running trail races? After listening to Paul Rushworth’s tales of cakes and biscuits at every checkpoint I had to find out if it were true. Also for a bit of variety as they tend to be quite low key events and the whole thing just seems a more relaxed, sedate affair with the promise of refreshments every few miles.
  • Injuries received? None
  • Furthest Distance ran?The Bullock is 56 miles but I think we run it in a way that makes it 58 miles as a minimum.
  • Trainers worn: Nike Pegasus 28 trail shoes
  • Favourite running kit? Buff
  • Top tip from your experience: Never think of the race in terms of distance, I always break it down into the number of check points and just think about getting to the next one! How do you train for a 12 hour + race? I tend to follow general marathon training and do some back to back long runs at the weekends. This year I think the longest run I did was 16 miles in the month before though I had ran 26 miles a couple of months earlier at the Baslow Boot Bash which gave invaluable time on my feet preparation as well as a reminder about what proper hills are like to run up! Other tips for people wanting to join you next year? Buy a good head torch and give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen!? Also, have a strategy and stick to it, be it walk up hills, went to eat etc, don’t deviate and research the route so you know what to expect and where to go & again don’t deviate from that! And if you do get lost don’t dwell on it, you’ll have all the time in the world once you’ve finished to check out where you went wrong.
  • Age: Senior
  • Occupation Company director
  • Years Running: Seriously 4yrs
  • Favourite off-road race: Bullock Smithy
  • Least Favourite Ultra-Race: Maybe the ldwa 100 next May?
  • Why did you start running trail races? Paul Rushworth conned us into doing it, and a break from monotonous road running, also the chance to see parts of the country you would not normally see, i.E three shires head peak district a must see. I didn’t know this before doing trail races but the rivalry is not as hardcore as road races there is a sense of all in it together, which is important when your at a low point or lost at night in the peak district
  • Injuries received? Mostly from playing football (I know I shouldn't) my knees hurt from ultra running
  • Furthest Distance ran? 58 miles
  • Trainers worn: Not too clever on this one, I have tried super supportive to next to nothing, still not sure what I should wear but I have a good pair of Brooks, ran the bullock this year in an old pair of nikes, people kept asking why I was wearing road shoes for this event, “because they are comfortable”
  • Favourite running kit?My camelbak with 3ltr bladder its like a tardis on your back all the gear needed and comfortable, not forgetting Ben “the map” mason for navigational abilities.
  • Top tip from your experience: Its not a race its a matter of completion, just focus on the next checkpoint/ aid station not the overall distance, run or walk when you can gauge how your body is coping with the distance. Eat real food not just gels and lots of sugary foods how do you train for a 12 hour + race? From my limited experience, marathon training and competing is adequate, try to do back to back long runs over a weekend to experience running tired. I completed four marathon distance events before the bullock this year that saw me through other tips for people wanting to join you next year? If you like a challenge to push yourself beyond 26 miles it is an amazing feeling to finish, all the support staff and food throughout is great and the fry up at the end is worth the entry fee, we will be doing it again along with Rushie so more the merrier! Lots of people have said “I’m not fit enough to do that distance” but for me it’s a mental challenge you would be surprised what the body can do if you can beat your mind into submission.
The Bens
Ben Mason
Ben Hatherley