Inspirational Stuart Webster of the Halterworth Harriers, decided to take on his biggest challenge to date - the iconic Arc of Attrition race which is a brutal 100ish mile event held on the South West Coast Path around the stunning Cornish Coastline. 

The winter race started at midday on Friday January 26 and it's renowned for the adverse weather conditions which are usual for this time of year but fortunately the weather on the day was dry and milder than it had been of late but this didn't make up for the 14000+ft of elevation and a period of high rainfall making the course a mud fest in places. 

The gruelling 100-mile race has a strict 36-hour cut-off and is organized by MudCrew, based in Cornwall, who make it clear the race is not for the inexperienced. In fact, you had to have done the arc 50 or completed another ultra of at least 100k to qualify to enter. All 100-mile finishers receive an Arc of Attrition buckle, although they vary depending on the time in which competitors finish. 

Stuart had a support crew, Linsey Haswell, and Oli Stone. He set off to the start of the Arc in the village of Coverack with the other 365 starters, it was an impressive affair with the banging of a drum and then off into the clouds of blue and yellow smoke. Stu got caught up in the throng of the early single-track climbs so the initial part of the route was much slower than he anticipated but he still got to the first checkpoint way before the estimated cut off. The next part of the race saw him gain nearly 100 places and with Linsey and Oli watching him on the tracker, they had a job to navigate to the points to reach him in time to give him his much-needed supplies. 

By this stage of the race participants start to zone out and it becomes eerily quiet. Stuart kept his focus and was storming on ahead and by the time the GPS tracker had updated to the next point, he had smashed the top 100 and was in position 68th. Linsey and Oli were taking short naps in between the meeting points but made sure they were at the planned place in time to meet Stu. It was a race against time at points as there were other crew members all aiming to do the same thing. From the light of day, it was just a focus to keep going and to make sure enough food and drink were taken on to keep him fuelled and to keep cramps at bay. By this stage of the race the 366 participants were now down to less than 250 with people either not making the cut offs or pulling out. 

The final stage of the race was the most mentally challenging, with thousands of feet of ascent to get through to reach the finish at Porthtowan on the North Coast but with his crew on hand Stuart passed each point in good time and his spirits were kept up by all the support. 

Each dot appeared to move slower on the tracker but Stuart clearly had a second wind as he passed more competitors and when he finally reached the welcoming sight of the much awaited finish line, he was in position 58th and managed to smash the 36 hour cut off time and most impressively he even got in under the 30 hours, finishing in an excellent time of 28 hours, 13 minutes, 51 seconds receiving one of the magnificent gold buckles.