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Tips of the trade, erm trail - The millstone 100

We asked previous Millstone finisher - Jon Moulding - his tips on tackling this epic event. If you're taking part in the Millstone this year - or the Limestone 50 or Peveril 33 - this three minute read is a great investment of your time.

Did any part of the Millstone 100 take you by surprise?

One of the things that surprised me was just how good the aid stations and volunteers were. In the middle of the night, hours from anywhere, there’s suddenly happy smiling faces and people looking after you with tables full of food and drink. Because of the trackers, they quite often knew our names before we’d even arrived, which was quite special. They really were brilliant.

What single piece of kit would you consider was fundamental for the event?

While not essential, there are two bits of extra kit that I personally think really help. One was poles, which I used almost from the start. They may even have slowed my pace down at times, but over 100 miles that’s not a bad thing. Anything that can save a bit of energy for later on the course is a benefit. The second bit of extra kit for me was a GPS. I’m comfortable navigating with a map and compass, and enjoy it, but in the dark with the cloud down on top of Kinder, Bleaklow or the Derwent Edges, it’s easy to take a wrong turn or even lose the path completely. A GPS makes it easier. Even so, even though I’ve been over those hills a few times in the dark, a few of us still ended up missing Kinder Downfall and following a path towards the middle of the moor. And it wasn’t the only wrong turn we made! If you were doing the event again this year, would you approach it any differently?

I’d do more training beforehand! But I always say that... In terms of what I did on the event, I don’t think I’d change much. I would take two headtorches though. It’s difficult to change the batteries when you don’t have a second light source, and it’s good to have a back-up. I’d make sure one of them was a bright one. I have a reasonable headtorch but there were places when I found the dark peat in the first half just sucked up all the light shone at it. I might even consider getting a waist or chest light to reduce the light reflected back in your eyes when it’s foggy. Any advice for a first time 100’er?

Firstly, take it really easy at the start. In fact, take it really easy for at least the first 50 miles... If you’re still feeling fresh at half way, then amazing… how did you do that?!? You’ll still be going faster at the beginning than you will at the end. If you’re not going to be running up something in the second half of the course, don’t run it in the first half!

Secondly, you’ll probably find yourself naturally grouping up at night. It’s good to have some company in the early hours and you’ll probably find you keep each other motivated and can help each other out from time to time.

Thirdly, treat it like an expedition, like a journey, and enjoy it. Keep going. The finish will come and you’ll be thankful you did!

- Written by Jon Moulding, finisher of the Millstone 100, 2021.

To find out more or to enter the Millstone 100, click here.

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