Sunday, 27 November 2011

Borders XC - Galashiels leg

Phew! Helping with the WOL half marathon duties are over and I was back out to race again today. I spent hours yesterday evening tussling with the spreadsheet on Open Office. I know there must be a way to get a whole column to carry a function but I couldn't figure out how. In the end I did all sums in my head for the results.

Today was the Galashiels leg of the Border XC.
I think fate wanted us not to make it there today but we did get there. First of all we were going to be picking up Ally Robertson but then he phoned to say his train from Livingston had been cancelled so that was his race over there and then. Because we didn't have to be up the road to meet him we relaxed and before we knew it we were leaving kind of late.

At Sherriffhall we took the wrong turn off the roundabout and were heading off to Dalkeith. A bit of guesswork on B roads took us back where we needed to be but it added a little time on the journey. Likewise, just after Newtongrange, there was a traffic light stuck on red. Eventually the cars ahead of us went through anyway. Still the clock was ticking.
As we went into Galashiels we weren't allowed to go the way we'd planned to go so we did a bit of headless chicken up and down streets looking for the swimming pool. When we got there, there really wasn't very much time to get stripped off and get going - which was maybe a good thing. The wind was very sharp.

Graham Henry (en bicyclette) got us in the mood by telling us how it was likely to be the longest and hardest of the cross-country season. There was just time for  a trot up and down the road to warm up before the off.
At the back we couldn't hear a word of the race preamble so we went into it blind.

There was an East District XC at Galashiels years ago - which was notable for being very hilly. Some of the faster runners weren't best pleased and I did a bit better than usual. I had in mind it might be a bit like that. I think ultimately we were in the same hilly field - but I'm not  sure. The course started off kind of flat on good paths, which would normally be a bit of a nightmare for me as all the swift people pulled off but for some reason everyone seemed to go off quite slowly. I discovered it was an easy matter just to run up the left hand side a bit quicker and I must have passed hordes of people this way. The track took us here and there and was quite interesting. After a while we started climbing and before long found ourselves entering a field. The ground was  wet but not too bad.  There was no indication of how very muddy it was going to get.

There was a longish hill and a few people started walking. This gave me heart and I kept going steadily at it. I kind of thought a woman was just behind me but I wasn't sure. As we topped out we went through the deepest smelliest mud you could hope for. "Lovely" I said. "Beauty treatment" said Anne Hay from right beside me. Yikes!!! another FV45!!! I tried to keep moving.

Ahead of me was the forlorn looking form of Kathy Henley. She'd usually be miles ahead but she was not relishing the "surface" (tussocky grass and muddy puddles) and after a while I eased past her. For a little while it seemed like she was going to wear this as an option. I got away down the hill ahead of her but then made rather a pig's ear of going through a woody bit - seeming to pick the deepest mud troughs available and having to jump over the enormous roots of a giant tree. We then went over a wall and onto a hideous path of mud and boulders and I knew she was right behind me...then over the carpeted stile and down a hill - she was still there. We went down a nicer but narrow path where we were stuck behind triathlon guy and another guy who were CHATTING!!!! I tried to get round them but started slipping around and remembered last week's twisted ankles and opted for biding my time.

As soon as we hit a more reasonable kind of path Kathy went by me. I hoped she would make the triathlete and the other guy try a bit harder and be quiet and that was what happened. She pulled surely and steadily ahead. Pretty soon Peter was shouting at me "Go! Go Now!" I knew he meant "Go now and you can catch Kathy", but the thing is I had already gone. This was me after having gone! I didn't have the breath to say so though.

Quite pleased all in all. There were rumours at the end that the course was shorter than intended - but I thought it was fine!
Scott, who had been out on the course spectating said a lot of people lost their shoes there. I had to scrunch up my toes to keep mine on in some of the deeper, suckier bits.

Peter, Amanda, Horatio and I went for a "cool down" or a warm up...whatever you care to call it afterwards. It really was very nice running in the woods.

We stopped in Stow at a cafe for some cake and post-race reflection, thus passing the indefatigable Graham Henry, cycling into the wind, not once but twice on our way back to Edinburgh.

Well its evening and the results are up already on the excellent Borders XC site . I'm a bit further down the field than I'd hoped but I think there was  a top turn out today and I refuse to be discouraged. Looking forwards to next week at Peebles already.

Peter and I are both feeling we need to get out and do something longer during the week, if only to burn some calories. We're both chubbing up.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Borders XC - Dunbar Leg

I was busy dreaming when the alarm went off this morning and I did briefly think that maybe this was a race too far. Two early starts at the weekend seems an awful lot and I have to be up at 6 tomorrow to go out and do me some community nursing. It was a shame for me and I wanted to stay in bed. However...

I got up and slowly some of the confusion cleared out of my brain. I'd been at a party. Well I didn't know if it was a party,. It might have been living in some kind of a village - but up a hill at the same time. I had to do acrobatics to get from one part of my house to the other....phew! Better off up!

And it was a nice morning. One thing followed another and soon we were setting off for Dunbar, picking up young Ally Robertson of Lothian RC en route. I was still feeling quite sleepy so didn't contribute much to the conversation, but had I wanted to I don't think I could have slid a word in sideways as post-race analysis of the whole year and particularly Tinto proceeded between Peter and Ally. My only contribution was that I was nice and fat for this race. Peter said that was good, I'd be able to glide over the beach like a Pugsley bike.

There was a good Portobello turn out; Amanda Henderson coming along and running at last despite being a bit anaemic, also Graham Henry and Kathy Henley cycled there, new father James Harrison was there and Andrew Stavert and Tess. Sadly, Michael G. had to pull out with a dicky knee having done the Tour of Pendle yesterday and made it worse. It was a damn shame not to see Michael but it was nice not to be rushing off to Livingston to do the XC there straight after Dunbar. The weather was pretty balmy and it was lovely standing around talking after the race. But I am getting ahead of myself...

We set off, as last year, along the beach but seemed to go a bit further than last year, if memory serves. I swear I thought I heard the evil laughter of Baron Von Stuart Hay as we ran onto bizarre pitted rock formations covered with green slime, separated by rock-pools. The terrain was causing some consternation in those around me so I counselled myself to "keep the heed", which was good advice. It was a truly unique running surface. Then we turned around onto a boulder path with an option of sea-weed on the side. (Keep your mouth shut if you can - lots of flies) and then back onto the beach. Along the beach was fine and then up and onto some more hilly terrain  where I felt more at home. I got a bit stuck behind some others who were feeling a bit less keen round the lime-kilns and had to decide whether to chill and take a breather or to launch myself into the thick clumpy stuff at the side of the path, overtake and nail my colours to the mast. I did the latter. After making such a fuss the pressure was on!

The course opened out after this onto some very nice running on grassy paths with just the odd brick to be avoided - out to the lighthouse and beyond. Then back down onto the beach and trying to take the best line possible. I think I caught up to a few people here. I was wheezing away terribly but I was enjoying myself. I'm not at all used to trying to push so hard and I'm enjoying it. Pretty soon we were back up off the beach and then fairly soon turned around.

I found the 2nd half of the course much more interesting this year. For last year's race I remember watching the lighthouse desperately to see if I was getting any nearer to it and feeling it was retreating into the distance as I ran towards it. This time there was no gazing into the distance. The course was filled with interesting little twists and turns, hummocky grassy stuff, a couple of sharp hills. There were a few people ahead of me who I  was slowly but surely gaining on and I felt I had it in me to take them. One Carnethy-vested back, I realised, was that of Jonathon Whitehead, with whom  I have previous from the Tour of Fife. I nearly came a cropper trying to overtake on the right, turning over my ankle and ending up on my knees just before the water-jump, letting out a loud sweary word and then apologising and then doing almost exactly the same thing moments later, this time trying to overtake on the left, turning the other ankle, swearing, apologising...Jonathon just let me past after that. Both ankles recovered quickly and I still felt I could gain a couple of places so I flung as much effort as I could into the last wee bit. And I did. It was an exciting way to run.

I was, of course, last Porty  - the rest of them were all standing around bored, smoking cigars and chatting as I crossed the line. But in my head I'd run a good race.

Standing around talking to runners after a race is dangerous and I think we may have signed up for a few extra days running over the Xmas season - products of the unlimited mind of ultra-man Graham Henry. God Help us.

We are now also the proud owners of Dunbar Running Club buffs which may well help us navigate ourselves out of a tight spot some day as they have maps of Dunbar and the surrounding area on them.

Thanks Dunbar Running Club for a great day out!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Park Run

Forced myself to re-engage with the Park Run Process! Got up uber early on a beautiful Saturday morning with hardly a breath of wind. Peter got up considerably later. I couldn't face the thought of running in a vest as I left the house but I think I was over-dressed wearing a t-shirt.

Arriving on the Prom we met lots of Porties. Nice to come out of seclusion for a while. I felt not too bad on my warm up and gave myself a pre-race chat about not getting too negative about the whole thing, whatever the outcome. We had not been back to do a Park Run since they lengthened the route and the last few times (way back in 2010) that I had come along I'd been getting slower and slower.

In the first mile I briefly overtook Andrew Stavert who came back for me at almost exactly a mile. My Garmin beeped and Andrew said good morning and some other things. I gave him a thumbs up. I've given him the chat about not being able to speak and run before. He punished my by pulling away into the distance. My first mile would be the first time I've run sub-7 in quite some time, so I "let him go". Being a generous person I let quite a few other people go too; Sandy MacDonald, Ian Duckworth and Aileen Ross to name just a few. However my next mile was the 1st sub 7.15 mile I'd run in quite some time, if you don't count the mile immediately preceding so I wasn't too down-hearted. The last mile is a bloody thrash and I managed to not even see the tea-hut which is at approximately the 4K mark. A good bit of editing because I hate the sight of it and it makes me sick. Quite soon we were on the last 0.1 something of the run, being careful not to slide on the slippy leaves and simultaneously finding just a little more pace now I could see the finish banners.
We brought it home in 22.39 which although far from world class was okay. Not my slowest even though the course is now longer and I was worried about today. I'm hopeful I can go back and do some quicker ones although I don't think there will ever be better conditions.

Peter was in 2nd place for a lot of the race but got "girled" just right at the end. Hey 3rd place isn't too bad and since she's in the 20-24 age-group she must be, literally, less than half his age.

Don't do as I do, do as I say. Get along to the Park Run even though I've just avoided it for 14 months because that last mile is the furthest you'll ever get from home. Sheer hell. Until you stop.

Friday, 18 November 2011

In need of a plan

Its been a busy week and running has been crammed in around the edges. I'm definitely feeling reluctant to go out in the dark. The last 2 winters have just  put me off the whole thing. I need a plan or a goal or something. A something that trumps reluctance.

On Monday night it just looked so dark and cold outside the only bargain I could strike with myself was that we'd take the car to Tesco and en route park at Arthur's Seat and run around the thing. The 1st mile is all uphill and then the next 2.4 miles are flat and downhill and by that time I was warm so it was quite a nice way to do things. Then I bundled on lots of extra clothes because in Tesco's beside the fridges is one of the coldest places on the planet.

Tuesday afternoon we were at Peter's dad's funeral in the beautiful Binning woods. Couldn't help assessing the woods for running potential even though I was at a funeral. I've been reluctant to write about this because I don't want to step on anyone else's emotional toes and fear that my acceptance of his death might seem like callous indifference to someone who had a stronger attachment and has a bigger adjustment to make. Peter's dad was a nice man who was well into his 80s and he hadn't been very well in the past year. I felt glad it was relatively quick and he didn't have to spend much time in hospital.

It was a green burial in a bio-degradable coffin and there was a humanist minister to give a service. No one mentioned the G word, which would have suited Peter's dad. The setting was absolutely lovely - if a bit cold, and the high trees above seemed to dwarf us all and emphasise that we are just a part of nature. I don't know what it would have been like earlier in the year if the midges had come out though - pretty unbearable I would imagine, and I don't know how well it would work further into winter. I was concentrating on fielding Peter's mum who I was afraid was going to trip on a stick and take a header into the leaf litter - or worse yet, the coffin hole. (I think that's called a grave - ed.) Peter's mum was Mrs Buchanan no.1 and they separated and divorced in the early 70s I think. Elizabeth was Peter's dad's 2nd wife and it was her and Caitlin, Peter's half-sister who had organised the day. Both families get along fine and there were no rumbling grave-side tensions. They are  a nice bunch. It was interesting to hear Alistair's (Peter's dad's) story and hear how he never threw anything out and always had a camera handy. There seems to be something genetic going on there. A good number of the Buchanans are variously involved in taking photos and filming.

I had a presentation to prepare for Wednesday but not til the afternoon so I had my best run of the week, a 10ish mile route around Arthur's seat and taking in the innocent railway path and Duddingston. At last the November fog blanket had lifted and it was sunny and bright. The autumn colours were lovely and the sun had warmed things up enough so you could smell the trees and the gorse. My presentation was not very good but it was good enough so I've passed another bit of my course.

Yesterday I could not persuade myself out after work. Enough was enough. Today I forced myself out. It was okay but I wouldn't want to be doing too many forced runs. That's what people who join  the gym after Christmas do. See it as a chore. Regard it as being "good". Force themselves to go a few times and then give up because its all stick and no carrot.

I've got a couple of thoughts in my head about what I should be doing. One is doing lower mileage and running more frequently. Some people say its better training and I'm willing to give it a go. Just I'll have to find ways to get myself out there. Even better would be finding something that I really want to train for - and then I'll know how I should be training because I'll know what I'm training for. But there's no point in trying to force that, I need to let the thing come to me.

In the meantime there's maybe a Park Run tomorrow and definitely the Dunbar leg of the Borders XC series on Sunday. Peter and Michael G. have a bit of a mad notion that they'd like to do Dunbar and then get to Livingston in time to partake of the East District XC there. Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to make the ladies' race at Livingston.

Vive le weekend.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Tinto Hill Race

Not my best race ever. I've been wanting to do this race for years and through the whimsies of fate have been unable to so I think that added to my desire to do it.  I had also built up a picture in my head of what it was going to be like.

For some reason I thought it would be very steep and mostly on peaty bog and grass. In reality it was pretty much all on very rough track,  and it was very, very busy. Its pretty much 2 miles uphill and then 2 miles down. Where I was in the field we seemed to be jammed shoulder to shoulder a lot of the time on the way up. I found myself walking when I didn't think I should be walking and it takes stubbornness to start running when everyone around you is walking. I had to make my way round people to move up the hill and I felt like I was irritating them. I tried running 50 steps and walking 50 steps but I'd get stuck and have to stop.

I've had a cold for the last few days so my breathing was a bit off although I don't think it had that much impact, my legs felt perfectly strong. Mentally I was a bit adrift. Joan Wilson coming shoulder to shoulder with me towards the top gave me the spirit to try and stay ahead of her to the top knowing she would destroy me on the rough-looking downhill.

On the downhill I'd pretty much given up. I just didn't want to hurt myself and I hated the rough stony ground.   At first a trickle of people were coming past me but this built up to a good size river of people over-taking me. A guy just ahead of me in the latter stages was making more of a meal of it than I was so I joked to him "Its just a bit too rough isn't it?" but he took this kind of wrong and barked "that's why its called hill-running!". No doubt it made sense to him. I thought I would try and beat him to the end for being grumpy but I actually don't know if I did or not.

And then phew, phew Barney McGrew it was all over. I was very thirsty and appreciated the juice and biscuits the Carnethies had put out for us.
As Billy Bragg says you have to take the crunchy with the smooth.


  1. that was race number 40! (of the year)
  2. I did negative splits!
  3. I didn't hurt myself.
  4. Coffee and a cheese sandwich on the way home
  5. Nice sunset over the Pentlands

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Glen Ogle 33

race prep with whisky

looking like I feel - like hell! before the start - photo Roly McCraw

I thought this was early on but it turns out its just before the finish

Some photos robbed from the Glen Ogle 33 facebook page

table service post-race

check out the elevation

There are too many stories to tell about doing the inaugural Glen Ogle 33 mile ultramarathon. I might be too tired for the job! Despite about 12 hours in bed over night I'm still feeling like going for a nap and I keep wanting more to eat.

I might try a more formal system of organisation than usual in order to tackle the interweaving themes of the weekend.


  1. we thought we'd try doing this a bit differently and so booked a (cheap) room in the Dreadnought Hotel in Callander for the night before and after the race.
  2. unfortunately the "people" in the room next to us had been out and got themselves so drunk that there was shouting, crying,  running away, arguments, banging, drama and police from about 1.30am to 4.30am. Given we've just short ago got rid of an asbo neighbour we're a bit sensitised to this kind of thing and rather than sleeping restfully to feel restored for the big day ahead had to resist the urge to get out in that corridor and BREAK SOME HEADS.
  3. the room smelt like gin under perfume, it smelled of alcoholics
  4. because we were staying away from home we went out for a meal to the Taj restaurant where the bored waiter rather over-waited us, insisting on pouring our beer out of its bottles into our glasses as we drank. You can imagine, out-of-season Callander on a Friday night must get a bit dull.
  5. the food was good, no complaints, but being cheapskates and also skint we skipped dessert and went and somehow convinced ourselves that it would be nice to have a wee whisky. The pub prices would be ridiculous so we decided we should get a quarter bottle - but Peter was too snobby to drink the kinds of whisky that you can get in a quarter bottle so we ended up purchasing a half bottle of Isle of Jura. (???This isn't really our behaviour so I can only assume the ghost of the person who died of drinking gin in our room, who I could smell, had got into our auras and was forcing us to drink in order to get some kind of secondary hit in the spirit world - you read about this kind of thing happening.)
  6. So we drank a bit more than half a half bottle of Isle of Jura and went to bed fairly early in hopes of a good night's rest until...see 2. above
  1. While unpacking and getting ready for the race (pre Taj restaurant etc.) I discovered that I had committed one of the cardinal sins of preparation and forgotten a bit of essential racing kit a.k.a my shorts! I had been fussing around with more esoteric and less necessary bits of kit (sleeves - I had a set of sleeves I got in a goody bag from the Edinburgh Bicycle triathlon years ago)  I thought I could wear them til the early morning chill wore off and stuff them in my bumbag. As it turned out this was quite a good plan - but in the meantime I never packed any shorts.
  2. A quick call to the ever-helpful Richard Dennis who was driving up the following morning saved the day - and seemed to provide him with plenty of amusement. Despite him always pretending that I am thinner and faster than I am he produced a pair of shorts that were just the ticket. Thank you Richard.

  1. day dawned as my alarm let us know it was 6am. Both of us were tired and bad-tempered having snatched perhaps 1 and a half - 2 hours sleep after the night-time fiasco. Probably we were a little hungover from Cobra Beer and Isle of Jura whisky. "Hell mend you then" I hear you say and I can only agree. 
  2. We could have arrived earlier to the start in all honesty and I had little time to stand in my pants on one leg in the wooded registration area and try on the shorts which Richard had brought for me. Thankfully they were fine because by this time I had sent my running tights away with Peter to the car which was some distance away. There was a fair buzz of excitement and quite a few Portobello runners and well known other runners. I was still feeling pretty crap though and never got round to putting any drink in the bottle I was carrying or carrying any gels. I had drink and gels in my drop bags so it was fine, but meant I had to stop at the first stop - only about 4 miles in.
  3. The start was away up on the other side of the road and up a hill. There was the usual low key race preamble and we were off. The first 3 or 4 miles were mostly on quite hilly off-road track which I really liked. I thought I'd keep going on the uphills as there's quite a bit of hilliness in my legs at the minute. Quite a few people where I was were doing the ultra thing of walking uphills and running flats and downhills but rightly or wrongly I didn't want to.
  4. I lost a few places stopping at checkpoint 1 but went past a few people quite quickly after getting going again and then I think there was very little change of position throughout the race. The sun was coming up and the views really were spectacular. There were thousands of little cobswebs glistening in the trees in the low light. There was also fog lying  in dips, misty mountains, silver and goldy light. Lots of autumnal beauties.
  5. I chatted for a while to a guy (haven't figured out who he was yet) who remembered running with me in the early part of the Pentland Skyline in 2010. He had camped the night before and been caught out by how cold it was - sub-zero temperatures over night - so had only got a couple of hours sleep. He still looked cold 7 or so miles into the race. He was telling me he's training for some ice-bound 135 mile race in Minnesota in January. We ran together and chatted for a while, then I pulled away towards the 2nd checkpoint but unbeknownst to him he passed me about a mile later as I was having a pee in some woods! I passed him again a couple of miles further on on the steeper uphills and I didn't see him again.
  6. I had a long period running on my own up quite steep paths. There had been an arrow pointing left with Go 33 written on it, but the "Go 33" was upside-down and I developed the worry that some brand of woodland ned had turned the arrow the wrong way. I tried to apply tracker skills as learned from Ray Mears and a recent program with James May trying to escape from a prison (Broadmoor?) while a tracker tracked him. I could only see the odd footprint in the mud, which seemed odd given there were a good number of runners ahead of me. But wouldn't they be running up the less muddy stuff in the middle of the path as I was? I thought if I was a tracker I would probably be able to see that the grass was broken and trampled but not being a tracker I couldn't. What to do anyway? Go back and go the opposite way on the ASSUMPTION that the arrow had been tampered with? It was just the paranoias kicking in. And as so often happens, as my anxious paranoia reached its peak I saw figures ahead in the light. Ahah!
  7. I made some ground on the people ahead but never caught them. The ground flattened off and a new arrow pointed right saying helpfully "To the pub." It was very nearly all downhill from here. Some people pulled steadily away from me. Perhaps I steadily pulled away from other people but I've no way of monitoring that. After CP3 I ran together with a woman who I think, looking at the results, must be Lorna Maclean, for a good 2 miles or so. I was starting to feel pretty tired. We were about 20 miles in. I thought wistfully about the marathon distance and wished I only had 6 miles to go. In reality it was going to be somewhere between 10 and 13 miles. The organisers had decided to re-route the first few miles off road for safety and had warned that it was now a little short - somewhere in the region of 1.4 miles off the original 33 mile distance. I hoped, as I so often do in a race, that it would be even shorter. At the same time I tried to protect myself from devastating disappointment late in the day by cautioning myself that it might be longer than I was expecting. We were going over ground we had already covered and I was no longer susceptible to the charms of sunlit mountains and misty was getting hard. At about mile 24 it was a relief to be off the long downhill section and onto some more undulating ground just simply because the challenge of going uphill took my mind off the feeling that I wanted to be finished. I wondered if this insight could be applied more generally to my life as a whole. Was this what all the signing up for races was about? Some uphills to take my mind off waiting for the inevitable and longed for end? I thought not. Good metaphor though. Ah my poor legs.
  8. At CP 4 we went right instead of left and onto the roads that were to take us to the finish. This was somewhere in the 25th mile. Rumour had had it that this stretch of road was mostly flat. Haha! It was not. It was very undulating. I was almost relieved it was undulating for the reasons discussed above in THE RACE section 7.
  9. At this point my right hip was hurting and so was my left knee, so I spent most of the rest of the race paying attention to them. I was cracking out some 10.30 and 11 minute miles and could do nothing about it. It was not going to be a heroic race race finish like Kielder Marathon. I dawdled along the winding, undulating country lanes trying not to speak to myself out loud.
  10. Eventually, and I mean very eventually, I was turned off the now foresty path and it was a mere 1 or 2 hundred yards to the end. Very glad to stop. Better average pace than Speyside by about 1 minute per mile so a better performance I guess. I forgot to tell you I gave up ultra marathoning in those last few miles of the race. Again. I've given it up again.
  11. The Garmin says the race was 30.51 miles, for which I was profoundly grateful.

  1. After getting a goody bag and what-not and finding out from Peter how he and others had done we went a walk to the Inn to get something to eat and then Peter told me his brother had called just after he'd finished his race and told him his dad had died that morning. That was very sad. Peter's dad's not been well so its not a bolt from the blue but still it was a shock. Its a big transition.
  2. So we were both a bit shell-shocked when we got over to the Inn in Strathyre to claim our free soup and drink. In fact we never got round to having any soup. Peter had a "cider shandy" if there is such a thing - and I unthinkingly had a coffee despite having had enough caffeine to keep a battallion awake for a week over the course of the race in the form of gels and red-bull etc.
  3. The Porty crew had gone well mostly. Johnny Lawson had a tough race. Kathy did brilliantly in her first venture into ultramarathon territory and came 3rd lady. Peter was what he liked to call "1st Porty" which is 9th to most of the world. Graham Henry was not far behind. Richard ran consistently and well as usual. Gareth Mayze - honorary Porty as he came with the Porties in the Porty bus to Tour of Fife 2010 ran an absolute stormer and came 2nd over all. Lucy was 1st lady,  running well despite her recent 100 miler in Spain. Roly ran well and enjoyed his first foray into ultra-land.
  4. I was "Last Porty" - that's 74th to the likes of you. I'm sure its quite good really!
  5. I should mention the goody bag was great. Sweatshop voucher, specially labelled beer, a tunnocks wafer (ya beauty!), some High 5 sports drink and another sports bar.
  6. I should mention the organisation was smooth and lovely, the marshals were great and stood for a long time on a cold day and still managed to be cheerful. I would highly recommend this race and if I hadn't given up running ultramarathons I would think about doing it again myself!
  1. We'd had a kind of plan. The kind of plan that you make when you're fresh...that we'd take the bikes and then after we'd raced, we'd drive back to Callandar - get changed etc. and then cycle the 9 miles on the cycle path back to Strathyre and the Inn to have some beers with anyone from the race that was still about and then cycle back later, in the atmospheric dark, to Callandar. The bikes were locked together in the back of the van.
  2. As it worked out they were doomed to remain there. We got back to Callander and smuggled pizzas and a bottle of wine into our room. Much cheaper than eating out. Then we went to bed at about 7pm. I got up at 1am to have another couple of slices of pizza finding myself starving hungry, but apart from that slept through til this morning. And today I am still tired...and hungry.
  1. So, as with my race, this post will just peter out rather lamely...