Product review – Vieve Protein Water

Every now and then a company gets in touch and asks whether I would be interested in trying a new product.

Like the majority of ultra runners I am always interested in anything that will help with my running especially in the area of nutrition.

I was sent three bottles of a new protein drink Vieve.

drink 3
Naturally flavoured Protein Water with 20g protein, zero carbs and no added sugar. Vieve, a hydrating protein top-up for busy, active people on the go.

Here is some information about it from the web site ….

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drink 1

I can’t really comment on the ingredients so my key test will be whether I can easily drink it in a race situation. Unfortunately I’m injured at the moment so I’ve not been able to try it out on a long run but I have used it on a cycle ride or two.

They taste really good with a mild flavour. I do think I would be able to drink them during a race and would be interested to see what effect they have.

Their web site does offer a free sample to try so if you want to see for yourself sign up and try it.
Afraid of commitment?  Don’t worry – try one of our delicious flavours for free before you commit to a bigger pack.  Simply pay the cost of shipping & handl


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Update on tendon injury

When I last saw Matt Williamson (physio) 6 weeks ago he recommended that I contact my doctor and request an MRI scan and we both agreed that not replacing my insoles was a mistake! So when I saw my doctor he said he would request an appointment to replace them.

On Monday I had my appointment with an Orthotist at the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria. She was really helpful and keen to find out the extent of the damage in my ankle and how to sort it out.

So I had an x-ray straight away. They took images from 4 different angles as I was weight bearing. I’m also going to get an MRI scan, hopefully in the next 4-6 weeks. I have a followup appointment on Monday 4th December when the consultant will discuss the results.

I’m also on the waiting list to see a specialist about getting insoles. On average it takes 12 weeks to get an appointment. I’ve been on the waiting list for 6 weeks so hopefully it won’t be too much longer.

I’ve decided to wait until I’ve had the scan and have new insoles before starting to run again. I figure that I’ve waited this long I might as well hang on a bit longer. There is some pain in my ankle so I don’t think it’s going to do much good trying to run at the moment.

That means that I definitely won’t be running the Glen Ogle 33. I was hoping I might be able to make it but it’s not to be.


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Dunoon Ultra Marathon – supporting Katrina

Yesterday, Saturday 7th October 2017, was the second Dunoon Ultra Marathon (33miles). Katrina heard lots of good things about the event from last year and decided to enter this year.

We left Paisley at 7pm and drove the long way round to Dunoon. We stayed at the Cop House Campsite which meant we only had to get up at 5.30am to get down to the registration at 6.30am

It was great to meet up with Thomas and Silke and the rest of the Greenock Glenpark Harriers group who were running the race, some individuals and two relay teams. Our good friend Lesley McKerral was running plus lots of other friends including Donald & Elaine, Pauline and Fiona.


Katrina ready to run!

Just before the start I walked down the track half a mile or so and videoed everyone going past.  I put it together and posted on YouTube ….

Once they had all gone through I had planned to drive up to the checkpoint at Glenbranter (14 miles) but Scot one of the race organisers said that if I was quick I could walk up the hill opposite the Benmore Gardens and catch the runners again at 3 miles.

So that is what I did and I made it in time to see the first runner go past. So I took video clips of all the runners as they went past running up a hill.

Katrina was chatting away with as she ran up the hill so I took that as a good sign. I was concerned about Lesley though! She stopped when she saw me and said she wasn’t happy and didn’t really want to be there. I encouraged her to walk the up hills and just keep going!

Once all the runners were through I walked back down the hill and drive to checkpoint 2 at Glenbranter. Thomas & Silke were there so we had a good chat as the runners went through.

Katrina arrived about 10.45am (2hrs 45mins). Thomas took a great photo of her as she approached the checkpoint.

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Katrina seemed happy enough though she was feeling tired. She ate a fruit pot and then set off for the next checkpoint which was about 10 miles away.

I walked down the lane to cheer on Lesley. I was hoping she would be feeling better and I’m glad to report that she was. I decided to jog alongside her and chat for a few minutes we she approached the checkpoint.

Suddenly I tripped and fell straight into the mud! Lesley was concerned I was okay so I’m going to claim it was all part of my master plan to divert her attention from her own race to looking after a clumsy clot like me!

Once Lesley was through the checkpoint I headed back down the road to checkpoint 3 at Benmore Gardens. I had time for a hot chocolate before heading to the checkpoint to cheer on the runners coming through.

Katrina arrived about 12.25pm still running well. The last leg didn’t have as much climbing and she was running okay. She had a quick drink of coke and was on her way for the final leg to Dunoon.

Again I waited for Lesley. She arrived about 30mins later in good spirits. It’s amazing how you can turn a race around and Lesley was so much happier now than she was at 3miles! This photo says it all!


I was planning to drive straight to the finish but Scot told me I could see Katrina and Lesley one more time at a road crossing about 3 miles away.

I arrived about 5 mins before Katrina arrived. I explained she had one more hill to climb before the descent to Dunoon.  Again I waited until Lesley ran through before driving to the finish at Dunoon.

I arrived in plenty of time and it was good to soak up the finish atmosphere. The finish is on the pier which makes a superb finish.

I reckoned that Katrina would arrive before 3pm which she did! Katrina finished in 76th position in 6hrs 48mins 36secs. Thomas took a lovely photo as she crossed the line …

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Katrina was very happy to finish and enjoyed her complimentary beer. We waited for Lesley to come in. She finished in 7hrs 18mins really happy!

Here is a video of Katrina and Lesley as they finished …

So congratulations to Katrina and Lesley and all the other runners. The race was superbly organised and it is definitely one I want to do!


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LOVEultras 014 Interview with Cammie part 2

My good friend Cammie came round the other night and we recorded an interview about his Glencoe Skyline race for the latest episide of my LOVEultras vblogs. Enjoy …

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Supporting Cammie as he ran the Glencoe Skyline Race

This weekend we enjoyed a great weekend supporting our friend Cammie as he ran the Salomon Glencoe Skyline Race.

Last week I interviewed Cammie in the latest episode of my vblogs LOVEultras 013

Katrina and picked Cammie up at 1pm and we set off for Kinlochleven. It was a good job that we gave ourselves plenty of time as the road works on the Erskine Bridge made the first 10miles or so pretty slow.

We dropped Katrina off at the bottom of Jelly Baby Hill (Inverornan Hotel) as she wanted to do a long run in preparation for the Dunoon Ultra which is coming up in a few weeks.


Cammie and I continued on to Kinlochleven stopping at the campsite at Caolasnacon to pitch Cammie’s tent. We were staying in our van.


We then drove to Kinlochleven so Cammie could register for his race tomorrow and we watched lots of runners finishing the Ring of Steall Skyrace and the Ben Nevis Ultra. Both looked tough events!


Donnie Campbell finishing the ultra race in first place

Cammie had treated us to the filmshow in the evening starting at 7pm. Katrina arrived in time to watch the four excellent films. The final one was about 89 yr old Bill who is still running 50k races. Cammie and I decided we want to be like Bill and still running at 89!

After the film we headed back to the campsite and we were tucked in bed by 10pm as we had an early start in the morning.

Our alarm went off at 5.45am and by 6.30am we had eaten some breakfast and packed up Cammie’s tent and our van. We dropped Cammie off at the start at 6.45am.


Initially we were going to stay in Kinlochleven for the start but we realised we probably wouldn’t have time to see the start and then get to the Devil’s staircase in time to see the leaders coming through.

So we set off before the start and we were glad we did as we got one of the last few car parking places at Alterneath. We headed up the hill and stopped at a good vantage point where we could see the runners coming over the hill and making their way down the zig zag path.

We were really looking forward to seeing Kilian run past and he didn’t disappoint as he acknowledged our cheering. He was in 4th place and looking strong.


I took video clips of all the runners as they went past and put it together as a short video.

It was good to see Cammie near the back of the field but looking comfortable and running strong. It is so easy to get pulled along running faster than you intended or can maintain so it was great to see that Cammie had started sensibly.

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We waited until the final runner went past before making our way down and heading to checkpoint 5. The car park leading to the checkpoint was full so we drove back up the road 400 yards or so and found space there. Other cars were parked on the side of the road and later on we talked to a policewoman so was taking registration numbers and was going to fine them for irresponsible parking!

We walked up to the checkpoint and were pleased to hear that the leading runners hadn’t come through yet so we were going to be able to see Kilian and the top runners again.

We decided to walk further up the hill as the midge’s were out. As the runners came we stopped, cheered them on and took some more video clips before walking further up the hill. I’ve not put this one together yet.

Kilian was at the front of a group of 4. They were all moving well and it looked like it was going to be a great battle to finish. We knew that would be the last time we would see them.

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Kilian leading the way into checkpoint 5

We found a good spot to watch the runners coming over the hill and heading down to the checkpoint. We knew Cammie was hoping to be at checkpoint 5 by 11.30am at the latest as that would give him 3hrs 30mins to reach checkpoint 11 by the cut off of 3pm.

The official cut off for checkpoint 5 was 1pm but Cammie had worked out that he would need well over 3hrs to complete that section.

When Cammie came past us he definitely looked tired but he was moving well and reached the checkpoint around 11.15am so he was ahead of his plan but he didn’t have too much time to play with.


Once Cammie went past us we headed down the hill cheering runners as they went past. One of the final runners we saw was Bob Allison who completed the UTMB only two weeks ago so this was an amazing effort. He reached the checkpoint around 11.30am so it was going to be touch and go whether he would make it.

After chatting to Stuart who was one of the race officials we decided to drive past checkpoint 11 and head to the Glencoe Tourist Café for some lunch. It was a good idea as the checkpoint was full of cars and vans and it would have been difficult to find somewhere to park.

The Café had wifi so it was good to catch up with how the race was going as well as getting the Football scores from Saturday!

By the time we arrived back at checkpoint 11 there was room for us to park so it all worked out well.

It was great to catch up with various friends including Clark & Amanda, Graham & Katie to mention a few.

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Waiting for Cammie to arrive (photo thanks to Louise Provan)

As we had seen everyone at checkpoint 1 and checkpoint 5 so once we started seeing runners who were ahead of Cammie earlier we started to look out for Cammie. The cut off for this checkpoint was 3pm so we hoped that he would arrive in plenty of time.

I had my binoculars and I was looking out for his lime green top. Suddenly Katrina say him arriving … he had put his red gillet on so I hadn’t seen him earlier.

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Cammie arriving at checkpoint 11 with 20mins to start

Cammie was really pleased to arrive with plenty of time. He spent 10mins ini the checkpoint during which time Katrina and I put a couple of compede plasters on two toes, fed him some coke, refilled his water bottles and sent him on his way.


Still smiling !

On the way out Cammie had time to do his ‘Usain Bolt’ pose.


We stayed until after 3pm to watch the final runners make it in time. One of the last runners was our friend Bob Allison who squeezed in just in time.

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Encouraging Bob as he leaves checkpoint 11

It was going to take Cammie around 5hrs to run the final section to Kinlochleven so we had plenty of time to drive to Kinlochleven and go and get some food. We wandered up the course to see a few runners finishing off.

We went to a pub opposite the finish. I was hoping that they might be showing the Man Utd v Everton game. They were but only downstairs and the food was upstairs! It was just as well in the end as the toffees lost 4-0!

We walked back up the track and watched a number of runners finish. Some were finishing really strongly while others looked in pain and struggling a bit.

We were back at the finish around 7pm and had a competition to guess what time Cammie would finish. I guesses 8.10pm which would be 13hrs 10mins whereas Katrina went for 7.45pm.

Cammie was faster that both our guesses and finished in 140th position in a time of 12hrs 18mins 43secs

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Cammie even had time for his Bolt pose as he finishes!

We were so impressed with Cammie. What a great performance and we really enjoyed supporting him.

I put together the various video clips of his run which hopefully will give a feel for the race.


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LOVEultras 013 Interview with Cammie Kennedy

While I’m still injured and not running I’m enjoying supporting and watching other races.

On Sunday 17th September Katrina and I are supporting our friend Cammie Kennedy as her runs the Salomon Glencoe Skyline Race.

For my latest LOVEultras vblog I interviewed him about the race and his preparation, hopes and fears.

Posted in LOVEultras | 2 Comments

It’s what underneath that counts

Normally I don’t have any problems in motivating myself to run. Basically I love to run and have been running regularly for the majority of my 58 years but at the moment I’m injured with a sore tendon so I’ve not been able to run for the last 6 weeks. It is getting better and I really hope to be out running soon!

It is easy when injured to do nothing. The physio I have been seeing said that some of his clients just vegetate when they are injured but I have been keen to maintain some fitness so when I can run again it won’t take too long to regain my fitness.

I have always felt that to maintain a regular fitness programme it needs to be part of your daily routine. If you can run/cycle to work then that is ideal.

So while I’ve been injured I have tried to do the following three things ….

  • Cycle to work. I work about 5 miles from where I live so it’s great to be able to use that time getting some exercise. I’m also fortunate in that there is a shower where I work!!

With friends Steven and James after a 35 mile cycle ride to our work Team Building 2 days

  • Cross Trainer – I must admit I don’t like to be indoors to exercise. I much prefer to be outside even in the rain and wind but sometimes it may be the only option.

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  • Elliptigo – A friend lend me his Elliptigo so I can get outside. An Elliptigo is basically a cross trainer on wheels. It is closer to a running action that a bike but you don’t have the impact of running.


So far I’ve been for an hour along the cycle path which is a mile from my house. I wear similar gear to running plus a cycle helmet! I’ve not worn my heart rate monitor but I suspect it would a similar rate to a steady run.

So if, when, you are injured look for creative ways to keep some sort of aerobic fitness until you can get back to running!

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