Seeking asylum in the hills & transcendence on the trails

Not the West Highland Way – Race Report (June 2015)

It’s been a while.

It was a race I hadn’t really planned to do with the IAU WorldTrail Champs being only a few weeks earlier. Lots of sensible reasons not to. But racing isn’t as cold as that for me. Things aren’t black and white.

I don’t race to strict heart rate zones. Sometimes I run sections hard because it feels good. Sometimes I slow because I feel like it, and I can (or simply that I have to). Sometimes I make mistakes. Other times it comes good. It’s a race. Not a time trial. And sometimes you make racing decisions that you’ll live with, good or bad.

I’ll never be one of those “formula” runners. You know the types – “negative splits man…..,fat-burning is where it’s at.” Each to their own. I certainly wouldn’t publicly criticise other’s performances on a course they’ve previously run, twice beating tough records, twice winning. No matter what journals you read or podcasts you listen to, racing isn’t science. Not for me anyway (and many others too I suspect). Racing is raw. It’s all heart. And that cannot be quantified.

I had a tough race. I ran the entire way on my own with a clock that never slowed. A clock that needed no refuelling and one that didn’t care that the suffering was real.

I had a team around me who were selfless. Committed, encouraging and determined that they’d give me the best possible opportunity to run as I wanted. They made my 2015 WHW experience. Mum, Dad, John, Davie and Stephanie. It was personal. And it was real. They know what went into that performance and they know it wasn’t easy. And that’s all that really matters to me. I gave what I had on the day and if criticism makes anyone feel better about themselves, by all means, get it out there.

I’ve made a mark on the race that I love. 3 wins. 3 course records. 3 times in a row.

So a huge thanks to all the good people out there. The kind words and thoughts mean a lot. And to the clever ones. The public advisors. You ignited a fire in my belly and helped me to realise a dream and no matter what happens in the future, I’ll remember my 2015 WHW race vividly for those deep emotional moments, not my splits, average heart rate or section times.

CoachingVisit for distance coaching.

One response

  1. Boab

    Short but not succinct Paul. Lots in there between the written lines. It’s a fantastic achievement. Well done.

    October 22, 2015 at 8:22 am

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