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“I was delighted and broken at the finish” – Mark Darbyshire reacts to record breaking run

Tomos Land
Staff Reporter
Published on

If ever there was to be a king of the 100-mile stretch of the South West Coast Path National Trail from Coverack to Porthtowan, it would be Mark Darbyshire.

The British ultra runner exceed even his own expectations last weekend when he broke his own record at the Arc of Attrition Ultramarathon with an unbelievable performance.

Breaking the 19-hour mark with a terrific 18:51:54 clocking, Darbyshire shared that crossing the finish line was a mixture of elation and exhaustion.

“I was a bit nervous that I’d struggle to improve”

Sharing his happiness with how the race went on Instagram, Darbyshire revealed that he had initially been apprehensive before the race due to his success on the course in the past.

Men's podium at the 2024 Arc of Attrition Ultramarathon.
Mark Darbyshire takes the top step [Photo Credit – David Miller Photography]

“This was my third year in a row down in Cornwall and if I’m honest I was a bit nervous that I’d struggle to improve on how things panned out the two previous years.

“Training had gone pretty well and again the weather gods had been kind. The plan was pretty simple, get to Land’s End in good shape then push on.”

On race day, Darbyshire executed the first plan to perfection, and even went so far as saying that it was among the best first parts of a race he’d ever done.

“The first 50k was some of the most enjoyable racing I’d done for a long time myself @gavindale13 and @wyclefforbes broke away from a pack of 5 or 6 and pushed on chatting and admiring the sunset.

“Myself and Gavin arrived in Lands end 3 minutes over my CR time from 2022. I was feeling pretty good and thought I could possibly sneak a few minutes off that time.”

Sub-19 added extra incentive

After Gavin Dale had to deal with some stomach issues, Darbyshire forged on alone, with the realisation that breaking 19 hours was on the cards giving him an extra push in the closing stages.

“Unfortunately Gavin had some pretty bad stomach issues that I thought at the time might have ended his race so hats off for toughing it out.

“The last 20 miles were hard but I was still able to eat and move pretty well. When I thought sub 19 was possible it gave me an incentive to push. I was delighted and broken at the finish but managed to knock 20 minutes off my CR.

“Huge thanks to my mum for crewing she was looking dapper in high viz this year. My wife Laura who even managed to persuade my very teenage son to come out and cheer me on and of course all the supporters out there cheering even at 4 in the morning.

“Mudcrew put on a great race and really look after you. I will definitely be back in some capacity soon. If not racing then crewing or supporting.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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