The Arc of Attrition, a.k.a. That Horrible Pendeen Slog

Over the years, I’d heard various rumours about how tough the Arc was. I knew nothing about the race itself though. I had assumed it was exclusive; that one would have to be selected to run it, or enter countless lotteries to obtain a place. So I had chalked up the Arc under a list of legendary races I’d probably never get to run, like Hardrock, Badwater and Barkley, and never bothered to find out what it actually entailed.

Sometime last year, whilst perusing races for 2022 (no doubt shortly after finishing an ultra), I thought to check the Arc’s qualifying conditions. I was surprised to find it only required a 100km finish, and night-time experience. So I looked into entering for 2022; but It was, unsurprisingly, sold out.

I spotted a waiting list button, casually added my name to the list, and then went on to enter some other races, including the Cotswold Way Century. I forgot all about the Arc.

Then, out of the blue, in November, I received an e-mail offering me a place. I had 3 days to accept. I still had absolutely no idea what the Arc actually was, so I finally read the blurb on the website’s homepage. Cornwall, 100 miles, late January, bad weather guaranteed. I had been looking for a January ultra, and wanted one with a bit of an extra challenge, so this seemed perfect. I entered.

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