Final preparation for Hardmoors 60

I had planned to do my final easy run yesterday (Wednesday) after work but I had a dodgy stomach and didn’t feel too good. So I decided to rest and by Thursday morning I felt so much better so went for an easy run around Brodie Park before work.

I always like to prepare as thoroughly as I can for an ultra so here are some of things I have ready ….

1. Kit

The compulsory kit for this race isn’t as much as the Hardmoors 110 so I will be able to run with a lighter pack which will be good.

HM 60 kit 2


It all fits in nicely to my North Face Enduro pack ….

Hm 60 bag

2. Food and drop bags

I feel fairly relaxed about food for this race.  I have my Matrix energy drink and some soreen to start with and then will be quite happy to pick up whatever is available at the checkpoints.

I also have a couple of drop bags with a Greek style yogurt and some shot bloks to keep me going.  There is also soup and coke so I’ll be fine.

HM 60 drop bags

3. Pacing

I have my cards with mini-splits to give me an idea but my main tactic will be to run by heart rate as I find this really helpful especially early on when it is tempting to go off too hard.

My friend Robert Osfield sent me a really interesting spread sheet last week which worked out my optimum heart rate for the time run based on previous races I’ve done.

So for a race lasting 11-12hr Robert reckons I should be averaging a heart rate of 135 so that is going to be my aim.  It worked really well for the Hardmoors 110 when I was working on an average of 124.

Hopefully this time I own’t lose my data so I’ll be able to see how accurate it was.

4. Running gear

I’ll be wearing my tried and trusted kit. So from feet to head …

  • Hoka Stinson
  • Drymax Socks
  • Skins – knee length
  • Longish Blue shorts
  • Either a long sleeved or short sleeved top depending on the weather
  • Two watches – Suunto Ambit and Timex

5. Weather forecast

The forecast for Saturday look pretty good.  Here is the summary for Scarborough which is 50 miles our so into the race ….weather forecast

6. Travel Plans

We are heading down to Guisborough on Friday after work.  Martin and Lydia D very kindly said we could stay with them on Friday and Saturday.  They live very close to Guisborough so it means I can have an extra hour or two in bed before the race starts.

7. Grand Slam

This race is the final race of four which makes up the Hardmoors Grand Slam Series.  After 3 races I’m sitting in 2nd place from 18 who committed to the challenge at the beginning of the year.  8 of the 18 are still going and I hope we all finish!

Grand Slam 3 events

I think it is very unlikely that I can make up an hour on Jamie but if he has a bad day you never know!!! Seriously though I will be very happy to complete the challenge and

Well I think that’s most things covered.  I won’t have a tracker for this race but I will try and post my time as soon as I can after I finish.

Posted in Easy run | 1 Comment

Kilmacolm Half Marathon

It was my turn to support yesterday as Katrina and her friend Tracey ran the Kilmacolm Half Marathon. They are both building up to the Loch Ness Marathon and thought it would be good to do this race two weeks before the marathon.

I was taxi driver, chief (only?) supporter and jumper holder as they ran. The course is out and back on the cycle track towards Bridge of Weir so I decided to head down to the track at Kilmacolm and watch the runners go out and then once Katrina and Tracey had run past head up to the finish.

Here is a photo of Katrina and Tracey at the start …

startI took along my small video camera and set it up to record all the runners as they went past …..

Katrina was about 45secs ahead of Tracey but both were running well.  The 10k started at 10.30am (30mins after the half marathon).  The course was the same but obviously turning round at 3miles rather compared to 6.5miles.

The leaders of the half marathon were going past the slower 10k runners.  It was a good spot to watch as lots of runners were going by.  It was fun to encourage them as they ran.

I saw Katrina coming towards me and while she was going well she said it was hard and she felt she was struggling a bit. About 10secs behind her was Tracey running really well and catching.

The route carries on for a mile or so before heading up to the finish so it gave me time to walk up and be there to see them come in.

Tracey finished 67th in a new personal best of 1:41:30 and Katrina came in 30secs later in 1:42:00 for 71st place. So a good run for both of them and a real confidence booster before Loch Ness. It will be interesting to see who finishes ahead.


I went for an easy run at lunchtime today.  I felt pretty good and I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s Hardmoors 60 race.  I now have 89 guesses for my ‘Guess My Time’ competition.  I wonder if I’ll make 100??  If you want to take part you have until 6pm on Thursday 18th September.

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Gleniffer Braes Run with a difference

On 21st April this year I received an email from Strava saying that Steven Hill had taken all 3 of my segments on the Gleniffer Braes.  I decided I’d have to get them back one day …. and today was the day !!

Normally a week before an ultra I like to do a dress rehearsal on the Braes wearing all the kit I’ll be using for the race and running the 11 mile loop at race pace or more recently at race Heart Rate.

But for this race I decided to run round as fast as I could and see if I could regain my segments from Steven! So I wore minimal kit and my Inov-8 Talons and went for it!

For those who don’t use Strava I’ll explain briefly how it works. You upload your runs onto the site and it miraculously searches for anyone else who has run that route or part of it.  It then compares your run with others and ranks them.

It also allows you to set your own segments and again if anyone else runs that segment it shows up.  So I set up 3 segments on my 11mile Gleniffer Braes run.  I have a 1.6mile warm up from the house to the start of my loop and then 3 segments of around 2.6miles each.

route 13 sept

Here are the details of the 3 segments ….

Leg 1 includes a big climb and a couple of smaller ones …

leg 1

Leg 2 is the most technical with a narrow path to run along a one point …..

leg 2

Leg 3 is mainly downhill so good for the quads ….

leg 3

When Steven did his faster run he started drove to Robertson’s Car Park and started with leg 3 then leg 1 and leg 2.  I was starting from home and running in order 1,2,3.

I took it easy to the start of leg 1 then pushed hard up the hill and right the route to the end of the segment. I’d written Steven’s times on my hand so I knew I had to be under 22:04. I was pleased to see that I had taken 20:23 so was inside the first one!! Game on!!

leg 1 13 sept

I knew from previous runs that my previous best on leg 2 was a good 2 mins slower than Steven’s so I would need to keep the pace up.  Part of this route goes through fairly thick ferns in the summer so it does slow you down a bit!

With less than 1/4 mile to go I knew it was going to be close so pushed it hard up the final hill and just got inside Steven’s time by 18secs.

leg 2 13 sept

The final segment is mainly downhill but there are a few cheekily hills so I continued to push keeping my HR and effort up. I was confident of getting inside this one as my previous best was only 10secs behind Steven’s.

Sure enough I managed to shave 52secs off Steven’s time.

leg 3 - 13 sept

I really enjoyed chasing Steven’s times and it was fun to regain my segments!! Here is a summary …John v Steven

One of the fun things about Strava is that if someone does take your segment you get a notification and sure enough Steven received this message ….

from steven

He sent me this message ….

text 2

So watch this space!!

My plan for the week is easy runs on Monday and Wednesday before Saturday’s Hardmoors 60 race.

Posted in Gleniffer Braes | 2 Comments

Final Ben Lomond run for a while

I’ve really enjoyed my weekly trips up and down Ben Lomond over the last number of weeks but this one on Wednesday night will probably be my last until next year. Initially I was going to be on my own but Jonny was feeling better and so was keen to join me.

We set off about 4.45pm and headed up our normal Ptarmigan ridge.  Jonny has also entered the Lakeland 100 for next year so we spent most of the way up chatting about the route, our training plans and generally looking ahead to next year.

Last week when I did my double trip I was thinking about how I felt and how it was going all the way but this time as we chatted the time flew by and after 1hr 19mins we were at the top.

It was a bit hazy so the photo is not the clearest ….

ben lomond 10 sept

We had a good solid run down and I’m really pleased with how strong my quads feel. I’m certainly ready for all those steps on the Hardmoors 60 route!

We completed the run in 2hrs 09mins 45secs feeling good and having had a great run.

On Thursday night I ran a steady 5.37miles at 7.33 pace feeling strong.  I have just 3 runs to go before the Hardmoors 60.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in a guess for my ‘Guess My Time’ competition.  I’ve had an amazing response with over 80 guesses already.  I think the prize offered by has encouraged lots of folk to have a go!  You have until next Thursday 18th September to enter.

Posted in Ben Lomond run, guess my time competition | Leave a comment

Guess My Time – Hardmoors 60

It’s time to open my traditional ‘Guess My Time’ Competition for the Hardmoors 60 race which starts at 8am on Saturday 20th September from Guisborough.

This year have very generously sponsored my little competitions with some great prizes.  They have been super generous for this one offering a Salomon S-Lab Advanced M Belt Set for the closest guess ….

waist pack

It retails at £54 so thanks so much to Keith at ultramarathonrunningstore for your support. Plus there is a limited edition key ring as well!! Plus your name on my Hall of Fame!!

So to win the prizes all you have to do is guess how long you think in hours, minutes and seconds it will take me to run the 62miles.

To give you an idea my goals are ….

  • Bronze: sub 13hrs
  • Silver: sub 12hrs 30mins
  • Gold: sub 12hrs

I’ve been really pleased with my running so far this year and would love to finish off the Hardmoors Grand Slam with a good solid performance.

To enter please send your guess by ….

  • Leaving a comment on this post
  • On Facebook: John Kynaston
  • On Twitter: @jkynaston
  • by email:
  • By text: 07905 218162
  • in person

Please send your guess by 6pm Thursday 18th September.  Thanks!!

Posted in guess my time competition | 17 Comments

Supporting Glenmore 12/24hr race

I ran the 12hr race a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.  This year a number of friends were doing either the 12hr or 24hr so we thought we’d head up to Aviemore after my swimming lessons and support the race.

Steven, who I run with a lot on the Braes, was doing his first ever ultra (12hr) so we really wanted to to see how he was getting on. I also offered to marshall but Bill and Mike who put on the race had enough folk.

We left Paisley about 4pm on Saturday afternoon in the sunshine and arrived at the campsite at Glenmore about 6.45pm to find a very wet field and stories of hailstones and torrential rain.


We chatted to a few folk and discovered from Kirsty (Steven’s wife) and David (another friend from Kilbarchan) that Steven was going really well. The leaderboard had him in 2nd place but we weren’t sure how up to date that was.


I wanted to have a decent run so set off at 8pm to run 4 laps which would give me 16miles. I decided to run in the opposite direction to the race so that I could see more people and not be overtaking folk.

Glenmore loop

I was running clockwise whereas the race runners were going anticlockwise. The first lap was in the light so I could see everyone but half way through the second lap I put my head torch on and it was harder to see who was who!

The only two runners with vests on were John Duncan and Antonia Scott.  On one lap I saw a vest coming towards me in the dark and shouted ‘Well done Antonia’ only to discover it was John!!

I was conscious that my torch was blinding some runners as I approached them so I tried to shade my torch with my hand as I went past as I didn’t want to annoy anyone.

Steven was going well but I missed him a couple of times in the dark.  I could see that he was well on his way to the 60 mile target he set himself.  I thought he could have made one more large lap making 17 but he decided to start his small laps from 11pm.

Steven ended up finishing 3rd with a distance 64.37miles. A superb debut ultra!  Steven has written up his race report and its well worth a read!

Loads of people commented that I was going the wrong way but the best comment I had was from one of the 24hr runners who seeing me for the 5th time said “Kynaston – you idiot!’ That kept me laughing for a while. A guy who is running for 24hrs calls me, who is only doing 4 laps, an idiot!!

The 16.17miles took me 2hrs 33mins which I was happy about.  I got some warm clothes on and watched the end of the 12hr race.  It brought back memories of running round the camp site in the dark with everyone cheering. It is a great atmosphere.

At 12.30pm I headed to bed. We were trying out our new van. It’s not fully ready yet. I’ve started doing the insulation but it was nice and toasty especially as the rain started again. As I lay nice and warm in my sleeping back I did think of all the runners still out there doing their laps.

I was up at 7.30am and caught up with how everyone was doing. John Duncan was leading the men’s race.  At 8.30am I went off for another couple of laps. I started with Ian and we ran together for a couple of miles before he stopped for a ‘comfort break’.

On my second lap I took loads of photos of runners as I saw them.   Not all the photos came out too well but I put the best ones on Facebook. One of my favourites was of John & Helen Munro. Helen was doing the 24hr and John supporting …NOVATEK CAMERA


After my run Katrina and I walked round the course cheering on the runners as they did their last lap or two.  We arrived back in time to watch the runners finish off their 24hrs doing the small laps.  I took some more photos which are also on Facebook

We didn’t stay around for the prize giving as Jo & Jono had driven down to Aviemore to have some lunch with us.

Bill & Mike put on a great event with loads of helpers who all make it a very special atmosphere. Ada deserves a special mention as she records all the laps for the full 24hrs! NOVATEK CAMERA

Posted in Glenmore 12hr race | 2 Comments

Double Ben Lomond Run

Last night (Wednesday) I ran up and down Ben Lomond twice.  I did this a couple of weeks before the Hardmoors 110 in May and really felt it benefitted my quads so decided to do it again.

Jonny was planning to do at least one loop with me but wasn’t feeling too well so I was on my own. I arrived at Rowardennan about 4.45pm and set off for the first climb. I decided to up the Ptarmigan Ridge and down the Tourist Path for each loop.

The weather was great with very little wind.  The top had a bit of cloud so views weren’t great right at the top.

Here is the route and profile ….

route 3 sept

profile 3 sept

Some photos ….

Getting ready to go (do you like our new van?) …

3 sept 01

Heading up with great views ….


NOVATEK CAMERAI used this gate as a mini-marker …. 1st ascent 32:38, 2nd 33:39 …



Zig-zag path to climb ….



The real top is behind this one ….



There is a runable flat bit before the final climb …..




Once over these stepping stones there are four climbs ….



First climb goes round to the left then the right ….




Second climb ….



Third climb ….



Final climb and the top …


1st ascent 1:20:52, 2nd ascent 1:21:58 so pretty consistent! Photo from the its ascent.

3 sept 13


The main object of these runs is the long downhill so I tried to push as hard as I could without twisting an ankle or tripping over.

I used this gate as a marker.  1st descent 28:51 and the 2nd 36:15.  I was feeling good on the 2nd one but it was getting quite dark and it was more difficult to move as quick.


Photo back at the van after the 1st loop. 1st descent 48:14 so in total 2:11:53.

3 sept 15

Photo at the top for the 2nd ascent …

3 sept 16

The 2nd descent took me 1:05:40 for a total trip of 2:28:10.

The 14.98 miles took me 4:42:20 and so I finished about 9.40pm in the pitch dark.  I accomplished my goal of trashing my quads and as I write this the following evening I can still feel them!

Tonight I went for a run with Katrina and Tracey. We ran 6.33miles at 8:27 pace so that worked well for me!

Over the weekend we are going to support and help marshall at the Glenmore 12/24hr race so I’m planning to do at 24miles over the weekend either running with anyone who needs some company or on my own.

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