The short answer is, I couldn't.
Before the midday start on Saturday it was all pretty exciting. I knew loads of people there, and Gill, David, Michael, Matt and Gina were all racing so there was a really good buzz early on as we all got set up. The first few hours passed pretty quickly as we all trotted around happily enough in the sunshine. One guy Nick was hammering it a bit early on, but other than that we were all just coming off the track at various points and chatting with each other as we went along. David's wife Jan turned up in the afternoon (and again later on) with Callipos which was awesome, and we all ordered pizza from Dominos at about 8pm which was neat.
My goal had involved running 1 hour 10ks pretty much until I fell apart, and rely on having a strong walk to get me through the last few hours, but I was behind that by quite a bit after 8 hours, and by midnight I was following the same pattern as my last two 100s, slowing down, and with the growing sense that I had a lot of walking and pain ahead of me.
By 2am a few of the runners had gone to sleep in their tents - I hadn't brought one, and nor had Nick, who at this point was bloody miles ahead of me, so we just kept going. We didn't really chat much though, as he was stopping, resting, and then running a fast lap in the time it was taking me to run 2 slowly without stopping. Despite the fact he was suffering from his quick start, there was no way I was catching him. My legs were fine, but I was just knackered and struggling to stay awake, or eat anything. If I'd had any sense (or crew) this is the point I'd have switched from drinking water to drinking the high-5 carb drink I brought with me for exactly that situation, but I'd run about 120km at that point and wasn't especially sharp.
So I just kept trudging, shuffling, trudging and shuffling, and edging my way closer to my main target of 100 miles.
At about 8am Sunday morning I perked up a bit, had a bacon and egg roll and a caffeine gel, and felt a whole lot better. I started running again, and was soon knocking off laps in groups of five with short walking breaks in between. All of a sudden I hit 100 miles with an hour and twenty minutes to go (a PB by 35 minutes) and all was looking ok. A bit more running and shuffling along and I eventually hit 104.5 miles when the horn sounded for us to stop.
I was happy enough with that, and pleased that I'd made my main goals of still being on the track at the end, and hitting 100 miles. I came second too which was kind of neat, although the gaps between us all were so big in the last few hours there wasn't much drama on that score. Me and David won the team competition too, by about 70km in the end I think!
At the end of the race everyone was buzzing, and pretty much everyone had met or smashed the target they came with, and it was great to properly be able to thank the amazing volunteers from the local Scout group who had been looking after and encouraging us for the whole race. There was a bit of wait afterwards while they got our certificates ready, and we all hobbled around to one of the sports halls for the presentation where I picked up a certificate, whisky and glass set and £10 Waterstones voucher for 2nd place, and another certificate and a bottle of wine for mine and David's team win.
On reflection I'm a bit disappointed that the night stage whacked me out so badly again. It'll be a while before I go for anything that long again, but when I do I think I'm going to try and get some help crewing or pacing. I had everything there to get me out of the doldrums during the night (caffeine gels, carb drink for when I didn't feel like eating etc.), I was just too knackered to realise and use it.