Recce Run on River Ayr Way

Sunday 5th September 2010

I was keen to have a recce run on the second half of the RAW as I’ve never run on the route before. I reckon that there is more chance to be with people over the first half of the course so I’m happy to run that without a recce. Also I wanted to give my foot a good workout. If I can’t cope with a 20mile run run I won’t be able to manage the 41miles on race day.

I was up at 6am and out the house by 6.30am, arriving at the Citadel Leisure Centre at 7.20am. Ross Moreland arrived 5mins later. I’d not met Ross before but recognised him from various races. One of the great things about being involved in ultra running is that you know that you’ll get on okay with anyone who is also ‘into’ running long distances.

We left my car at Ayr and drove in Ross’ car back to Catrine. It was a good choice as Ross has a sat-nav who directed us to the right spot.

Ross at Catrine

On the first of the bridges over the River Ayr

We set off just before 8am. I’d downloaded, printed and laminated Tim’s maps from the RAW web site. They were superb but even so we set off up the road and missed the turn-off. After a quarter a mile or so we realised we were wrong so turned round and used that as our warm-up!!

I decided to wear my road shoes and they were fine. The track is pretty dry and firm.

Once on the track we were fine. We chatted as we ran and the time and distance came and went. I was really impressed with the route. It is really varied as we ran through woods, over fields, bridges, some roads, farms, towns etc.

I wasn’t sure of the exact location of the checkpoints but recorded laps at Failford, Stair, Annbank and the end. Here is a summary of the times and pace.

Ross ran the race last year and it was really helpful running with someone who knows the route. There were a few times when he explained where he went wrong last year so I tried to make a mental note of which path to take.

Generally the route was well marked but there are places when it would be easy to miss a gate or turning. Plus a couple of times there were two paths and no sign. I’m really glad that I’ve run the last 21miles or so as the last thing I want to do is get lost on the race!

We saw a lot of wildlife on the route including some impressive birds and deer. The route stays quite close to the river the whole way so there is always something to look at and enjoy.

Nice and soft under foot

For the majority of the run Ross was leading the way and setting the pace and I was quite happy with that. I reckon that if we were on our own he would have gone a bit quicker and I would have gone a bit slower so maybe it helped both of us.

The view of Ross I had for most of the run!!

My foot was manageable until about 15miles but I must admit it was hurting more over the last 7miles or so. But to be honest it wasn’t just my foot – generally I felt as though I was having to work much harder than I wanted to for that pace.

It was a very warm morning and I was sweating a lot (even for me). It felt like I was back in Thailand at one point! So I know my general fitness is not where I’d like it to be. This was my longest run since the whw in June and I could feel it.

With about 5miles to go I tripped and fell. Thankfully it was in the woods and I fell on pine needles so no damage done. Most times when I fall it’s an indication to me that I’m not running well or I’m tired as I’m not lifting up my feet up enough.

Looking happy as there was less than a mile to go!

I felt as though I was hanging on to Ross over the last 2-3miles and he definitely helped me finish off the run. I was glad to see the Sea and the Leisure Centre and enjoy a hot shower.

We drove back to Catrine in my car, stopping at a shop to buy something to drink as we were both quite thirsty. I bought a litre of milk and it tasted sooo good.

So where does this leave me? Well I’m definitely going to run the race. My foot might well be quite sore by the end but now I know I’m not doing it more damage I’m happy to grin and bear it …. and take ibuprofen!

I also know that I’m not in great shape and so the priority is to finish so that I have four races to qualify for the SUM series. Hopefully I’ll get enough points to finish 3rd in the Super Vets Category.

Ross is aiming to get under 7hrs (having finished in 7hrs 15mins last year) and from this run I reckon he is well capable of that. I’ve been thinking about my bronze, silver and gold goals for this race and will post them later.

Plus I will be doing a ‘Guess My Time’ so watch out for that.

I took a few photos on the way that I’ve put on Flickr.

Congratulations to those who took park in the various races at the Perth Ultra Fest over the weekend. We went over for a couple of hours on Saturday to support and watch. I took a few photos.

Sun 5th Sept Run Details
22.17miles in 3hrs 45mins 05secs (10.10pace)

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4 Responses to Recce Run on River Ayr Way

  1. If it's any consolation, I totally died too. The last five miles were brutal. I think you're like me, in that we like to know the routes we run. Hopefully the knowledge will make the race a little more enjoyable. See you next weekend :-)

  2. Santababy says:

    route looks nice! still nt tempted though. Hope yur foot is ok, great to see you at weekend, thanks for the support

  3. Paul says:

    Great post! Would love to do RAW – reckon I'll try for next year. I live half a mile from a section of the route, so will be there to cheer on the runners a week on Saturday.

    Good luck!

  4. Johann says:

    The course really looks good, perfect for a wonderful race. I’m just glad you’ll be running. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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