Seeking asylum in the hills & transcendence on the trails

Posts tagged “ultra marathon

West Highland Way Race Report – 2011

The West Highland Way Race 2011

Where to start? It’s such a long race, and so much happens over 95 miles (or more). This was my first long ultra in my first season racing. It wasn’t  in the plan for this year but I couldn’t resist when the opportunity arose.

Anyway – get on with it.

We arrived at Milngavie just after 11.00pm and the car-park was almost full. It had rained in Glasgow all day. Heavily. But as we walked up to register in the church hall it stopped and almost felt warm. There was an atmosphere around the place of nervousness, excitement and anticipation – what would lie ahead for all runners and support teams?

I registered without any hassle – “enjoy it” was the parting remark. Hmmmm. Off to be weighed and within minutes we were back in the car with almost 2 hours to kill. This was tough. I was desperate to just get going. To finally forget about the tedious planning and prep of food, drinks, times, meeting points, sleep times, clothes, blah, blah, blah. I was desperate to get on with the running bit – to finally feel my legs moving under me and some wind in my face after a week-long taper. I hadn’t run more than 5 miles at a time over the last week and wanted to be reassured that I’d still remember how!

I sat in the front seat of the car – my crew left me alone with my thoughts. They sat on some deck-chairs and drank tea in a carpark close to midnight – the whole thing was bizarre. I felt pretty confident, just ached for the clock to get closer to 12.30 and I could commence the pre-race sock / running shoe ritual.

There was a race briefing 20 mins before the start. There were so many people around I couldn’t really hear what was being said. Next thing I knew I was saying my goodbye’s to my Support and making my way to the front of the startline. It was quite a sight – 150 or so runners all ready to do battle with whatever the WHW would throw at them over the next day. (more…)

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The support of an ultra runner

GUEST POST by my sister Nicola!!!

A day in the life of an ultra marathon support person……

On Saturday 21st May my brother raced his third ever ultra marathon, The Cateran Trail 55 and until a few months ago I must admit I had never really heard much about ultras, SUMS,  Jezz Bragg etc etc. I mean it was only last year that the boy actually starting running seriously (and did a few 10k races). (more…)


The Cateran Ultramarathon – race report

This was a race I had never planned to do. It was only a few days after the Highland Fling that my sister asked me what the next race was going to be “there’s the Cateran run but I guess it’s only a few weeks away – too soon probably.”

Without meaning it, a small seed had been planted and as I started to recover from the Fling I looked into the race details…. (more…)


Running on Empty

Friday was my last opportunity for a long training run before the Cateran Trail Ultramarathon next Saturday.

I’ve started to mix up my longer runs meaning I generally now include 2 x types of long runs in my training. Both very different and both much debated / discussed by the running community. (more…)


My first Highland Fling (2011 Ultra)

I had run / cycled / walked quite a bit of the West Highland Way in the past and on the Saturday before the Fling I wanted to get one final long run in. As some of you will know I had to miss the GEDM race a few weeks before due to sickness and it had knocked my confidence quite a bit, especially as the training had suffered. So I decided I needed a decent long run and a week before the race seemed a good time to try out some of the course. It would hopefully (read on)


The Highland Fling 2011 – night before

Big race tomorrow. The Montane Highland Fling. Not got a lot to say about it following the GEDM sickness fiasco. Yes, I’m nervous something happens again before the start line.

Anyway, I’ll post up race results / report sometime next week. My sister most likely will be tweeting some race updates. Feel free to follow her here or my own account here.

So, it’s early to bed for me. I’ll leave you with some pics of the area from last week’s training run (excuse the poor quality – rubbish camera, and I don’t like to stop for long).

Night.

**See race report here**

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Running, racing, sickness and sadness

I understand now. I must be a bit of a drama queen. That’s obviously the reason I haven’t written anything for a while. Last post I did was the night before my big race – the one I had put a huge amount of effort into preparing for (The GEDM). Other than a knee injury the week before the preparation had been meticulous and my training relentless. Long runs, nutrition, weights, hydration, clothing, checkpoint times, target pace….the list goes on. I was so ready for it.

Headed off to bed night before the race at 10pm, breakfast plan all sorted, clothes prepared, support bag and instructions all organised – family had been briefed (and were excited about the race). Then at about 2am I was dragged out of my running dreams into a bit of a nightmare by the pain that was building in my stomach. read on


The night before the race – GEDM ultra

Not much to say really. 56 mile race tomorrow. Haven’t run all week due to injury. Will run and finish tomorrow though. Slightly apprehensive about it due to the knee but keen to get going.

I have a good team behind me (my family) so it’s another mini-adventure

My sister @lilacswizzle will be doing some twitter updates, other than that I’ll see you in Edinburgh 😉


Knee’rly in with a chance

As I said yesterday I managed to get an appointment with Glasgow’s finest Osteo last night. Was a pretty thorough session and as expected was an Ilio tibial band issue. He already knew that I was racing on Saturday regardless and after a fairly detailed examination didn’t waste any time talking me through his treatment recommendations to get me to the start line for 9am on Saturday (and fingers crossed the finish line in Edinburgh the same afternoon). Yep, you know what’s coming – I did too, and just to confirm the impending pain he stated that it’s normally “a pretty aggressive treatment, and when I do it , it can be a little uncomfortable.” Yeah right. IT Band release? It’s up there with child birth I’m sure of it 😉

To be fair to him, at the point where I actually stopped breathing whilst chewing my arm he did remove his elbow from my thigh for a minute before returning to the scene. What a gent 😉

So now it’s no running until Saturday which isn’t ideal in any way but my knee is feeling better – just have a thigh that’s a little tender. Still, should be feeling a lot better by tomorrow.

Roll on Saturday.