Planning Hardmoors support

At lunch time today I went for an easy run around Pollok Park. I was wearing my Hoka Mafate shoes so I was keen to run off road as much as possible. It was fun to follow various paths around Pollok Park keeping off the road as much as possible.

When I got home my Hoka Conquest shoes have arrived (thanks to for their excellent service) so I’m looking forward to trying them out.  They are designed to be road shoes so it will be interesting to see how they feel and wear on the road.

One  of the many things I like about running ultra marathons is all the planning and preparation that goes alongside the actual running of the race.  So I’m spending time getting things sorted with regard to support, equipment and food.

Regarding support this is what I have planned ….

  • Friday – Katrina & I will drive down to Helmsley via Saltburn and Scarborough so I can show Katrina the checkpoints.
  • Friday night – we will camp at Helmsley Football Ground where the HM110 race starts
  • Saturday - 8am Race starts – I will run unsupported (using the drop bag at Osmotherley) to Saltburn (59miles)
  • Saturday – Katrina will meet me at Saltburn around 9pm (maybe sooner, maybe later!!)
  • Saturday night – Katrina will drive to Scarborough and stay at a B&B while I run unsupported through the night using a drop bag at Ravenscar
  • Sunday morning – If I’m on target I’ll be arriving at Scarborough around 8am (again maybe sooner, maybe later!!)
  • Sunday – Katrina will run with me for the final 10miles to Filey hopefully arriving around 11am?!?
  • Sunday – We’ll need to sort a lift back to Scarborough to pick up our car (or ask someone to drive it from Scarborough to Filey?)
  • Sunday evening – prize giving at 8.30pm, then we will stay the night at Filey School hopefully getting some sleep!
  • Monday – drive home to Paisley (I think Katrina will be driving most of the way!!)

I think that is everything covered!

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Easter Monday & Hardmoors 110 entry

For the last day of our long weekend Hollie wanted to climb Ben Lomond.  In the morning Hollie had a driving lesson and I went for an easy 6mile run.  I have thrown away my Saucony Progrid Ride shoes as they were well past there best.

I looked into buying another pair but the cheapest I could find was almost £90 so I decided to pay a bit more and go for a pair of Hoka Conquest shoe from which are the road version.  I’m looking forward to trying them out.

So I ran in my Hoka Mafate even though I was on the road.  I have run almost 19miles on the road over the past two days and that’s enough for me. I’m ready to get back on the trails.

In the afternoon we set off for our walk up Ben Lomond.  I’ve run up and down a number of times over the last year but it was fun to walk this time. The weather was great but very, very windy near the top.

We went up the Ptarmigan Ridge which I really enjoy. Hollie half way up ….



The top of the mountain looked really spectacular against the blue sky ….


We didn’t stay too long at the top as it was so windy but we did ask a group of students to take our photo and I took one of them.


I like the view of the ridge as we headed down …


My mind is very much on my next race, Hardmoors 110, in just over 4 weeks.  I have collated HM110 all results from the race from 2008 to 2013.  According to my records 100 people have completed at least one HM110 race.  At the moment I’m sitting 56th in that list but would love to climb higher!

According to the Hardmoors web site 60 people have entered the HM110 race this year.  I have merged the list of entries with the all time list.  Only 11 of the 60 have completed the HM110 before and only 1 of the 11 has completed 2 races.

HM110 entry list



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100 mile week

Normally on a Sunday I get up early and run before church but today was different ….

  • 7am Easter Sunrise Service at Robertson’s Car Park
  • 8.30am Birthday Breakfast – Laura 24 today
  • 10.30am Joint Church Service at Mossvale Community Church
  • 1pm BBQ at home – was in charge of the meat!
  • 2.15pm Took Jo to Glasgow to catch the bus to Inverness
  • 4pm Watched Everton beat Man Utd 2-0 !!

So I set off just after 4pm for a run. I decided to do a road run and initially was aiming for 9miles but the challenge of reaching 100 miles for the week was too much so I worked out a route that would take me over 12miles and over 100 miles for the week.

route - 20 apr

I was feeling really good until about 10miles then the last 2 felt hard. It didn’t help that my road shoes are ready for the bin and have collapsed on the outside of the left foot so I was almost running on the pavement.

Anyway I reached my 100 miles for the week. I know a lot of people do this regularly but I’m not one of them. I normally average around 50miles so this is a big week for me.

week summary 20 apr

I’m still well ahead of the 2014 miles in 2014 challenge. The plan of 5.52miles a day calls for 607.20 by 20th April and I’m on 825.15 so lots of miles in the bank.  I will need them though as after the HM110 I’m planning to take things a bit easier for a month or so.

2014 miles 20 Apr

When I was running with Dave on Monday and Tuesday he said he was going to reread my 2009 HM110 race report.  He has and left this comment on Facebook ….

Just re-read your race report from the 2009 H110 race. Bloomin’ epic. Emotional. Inspiring. Just hope we have very different experiences this year.

If you want to read it you can find it here. 

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Back on the Braes

My friend Steven got in touch on Thursday asking whether I was planning to run on the Gleniffer Braes at the weekend so we arranged to meet at 6.30am this morning for an 11 mile run.

It was another lovely morning with the sun shining.  It was still quite cold and I wore gloves but it was so good to be able to run on the Braes in good weather.  The track too was so dry in comparison to last Saturday when I ran.

I wore my inov-8s but would have been fine in my Hokas.  I should have worn the inov-8s last week and Hokas this week rather than the other way round!  But it did mean we were able to run steadily all the way round.

We haven’t had a chance to run together for a number of weeks so we spent the time catching up on various races and runs we’ve been doing. We felt this lovely morning was a reward for the tough conditions we have run in during the winter.

Steven has entered a team for the West Highland Way Relay race and I’m going to join the team of Steven, David and Norman for a training run on Sunday 4th May. That will be 3 weeks before the HM110 so fits in perfectly.  The plan is to run 24miles from Glencoe to Fort William so covering the final two sections of the relay.

Katrina very kindly offered to come with us and after dropping us off drive up to Fort William and then run back up the course and run in with us.

Steven has a new Garmin watch which has bluetooth and an app on his iPhone which means that he can set it up so people can follow his run as he runs! It is like having your own tracker.

Once we finished I had a look on the sight and it worked really well ….

Steven - braes

I have now run 87.72miles this week making it my biggest week of the year.  I have a 9-10mile run planned for tomorrow but wondering whether I should run at least 12.28 to reach 100 miles for the week!  We’ll see but I think I’d be better to stick to the plan!

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Recovery Run

After my back to back runs at the beginning of the week I wasn’t sure how much more I would run this week.  In my plan I had 3 more runs but I wanted to see how I recovered.

I was really pleased that my legs feel really good so I went for an easy 6miler at lunch time from work. It was very windy and running into the wind was hard but really easy when the wind was behind me.

The Hardmoors 110 race is now just over 5 weeks away so it’s all getting very exciting.  Next week I’m planning to do a double Ben Lomond run.  I’ll go up the Ptarmigan Ridge and down the tourist path then back up the tourist path before descending the Ptarmigan Ridge.  That should be a good workout for my quads.

I uploaded my 3 runs from this week to Strava and was pleased to see that I’m top of the West Highland Way club!!  No doubt someone will catch me up over the weekend but it’s fun to be at the top while it lasts!!


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Report of our 2 day recce run on the Hardmoors route

When I planned my training and build up to the Hardmoors 110 race I was really keen to get on the route for 2 days and cover the final 70 miles or so of the route. My good friend Dave Troman who is also doing the HM 110 was keen to join me so we were able to find a couple of days that suited us both.

I drove down to Keswick on Sunday afternoon and then Dave, Tracey and I drove over to North Yorks where we were staying with friends of Dave and Tracey.  As a bonus the house has a TV projector so Dave and watched the final round of the Masters in great style!

The plan for the 2 days was ….

  • Monday 14th April Kildale to Whitby (36miles)
  • Tuesday 15th April Whitby to Filey (34miles)

For these two days I had a few key aims …

  • To get 70 miles of running in my legs over the two days. This was my big week between the HM55 and the HM 110 races.
  • To recce the route carefully. I have done the race once before in 2009 but I can’t really remember much of the second half of the route. I was struggling big time from Ravenscar onwards and had my head down most of the way!!
  • To work out my mini-splits.  I like to break down the route into bite sized sections of between 2-4 miles so I was going to work out where they are going to be.
  • To take lots of photos and enjoy the views as on race day a lot of the seecond half of the route will be in the dark.
  • To rid my mind of lots of negative thoughts I have about the second half of the route and replace them with lots of positive thoughts to inspire me for the race!!

We had superb weather over both days and I can safely say that all my aims were fulfilled.  I thought it stead of my normal written report I would post some of the many photos we took over the 2 days to give you a feel of the trip.

Setting off at 8.45am from Kildale ….


View of Roseberry Topping from Cook Monument ….


Approaching Roseberry Topping ….

NOVATEK CAMERAAt the top of Roseberry Topping ….

recce04Guisborough …

recce05There are plenty of signs to follow …

recce06Impressive railway bridge just before Saltburn …

recce07A quick stop at Saltburn after 15miles …

NOVATEK CAMERAThe start of the coastal path …

recce09Looking back towards Saltburn ….

recce10The route is easy to follow …. just make sure you keep the sea on your left …

recce11Heading towards Skinningrove …

recce12Climbing out of Skinningrove …


Running along the cliff tops ….

recce14Some steep cliffs to avoid ….


Staithes ….

recce16Time for a photo ….

recce17Running along the beach at Runswick Bay. If the tide is in during the race runners will have to wait for the tide to go out (the clock stops for them!) ….

recce18Climbing up the gully off the beach ….

recce19Looking back towards Runswick Bay ….

recce20Approaching Sandsend ….

recce21End of day 1 at Whitby 35.6miles in 7.02.22 ….

recce23Thanks to Dave’s wife Tracey and friend Alison who picked us up and drove us back to Kildale …



Day 2 starting at Whitby ….


Whitby Abbey looking spectacular ….

recce26Another beautiful day with the sun shining ….

recce27Heading towards the Whitby Fog Centre ….

recce28The path hugs the coast ….

recce29Running down the very steep hill at Robin Hood’s Bay ….

recce30Ravenscar in the distance ….

recce31Steep steps to navigate past the Youth Hostel ….

recce32Heading up to Ravenscar ….

recce34Lots more signposts to follow ….

recce35Dave points the way to the Ravenscar checkpoint ….

recce36Ravenscar Checkpoint ….

recce37Back on to the coastal path ….

recce38More great views to enjoy ….

recce39Looking back ….

recce40Lots of steps to descend and ascend ….

recce42Dave checking the map ….

recce43Next checkpoint at Scarborough in the far distance ….

recce44Scarborough getting closer ….

recce45There is a 3 mile run along the promenade at Scarborough ….

recce46The Castle at Scarborough close up ….

recce47Looking back towards Scarborough Castle ….

recce48This is whereI went wrong in 2009 at the end of promenade. I went up on the path to the right rather than going on the lower path to the left ….


Final push to Filey ….

recce50Climbing up the hill out of Scarborough ….

recce51Filey Brigg in the distance ….

recce52The path goes past a few caravan parks ….

recce53Filey will a very welcome sight ….

recce54I loved this sign!! ….



The route from Filey Brigg goes along the Promenade to the far side of Filey ….

recce56The final hill up to the finish at Filey Secondary School ….


End of Day 2 – 34.8 miles.  Thanks for a great run Dave!


Splits from the 2 days ….

Day 1 splits

Day 2 splits

Dave has also done an excellent video of our run ….

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Braes run, Wedding and London Marathon

Yesterday I went for a run at 8am up on the Braes.  It was really windy and wet so I put on my OMM jacket and needed it. The mistake I made was to go in Hokas rather than my inov-8′s so I was slipping a fair bit.

The wind and rain was particularly strong at the top but it was good to get out for a run. As I made my way down after a couple of hours the cloud was blown away and the sun came out.

In the afternoon I had the privilege of conducting the wedding for David and Lauren. They had a great day and it was fun to be involved. wedding 2

This morning we decided to stay in and watch the London Marathon.  There were some great races and interesting to see how Mo got on in his first marathon.  Mo had a tough time but I’m sure he learnt a lot from the whole experience. I wonder whether he will refocus on the track for Rio 2016 or stay with the Marathon.

This afternoon I’m off to Keswick to meet up with Dave.  We then head over to North Yorks for our 2 day recce run on the Hardmoors route which we are both looking forward to.

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