I set up this blog (Oct 06) to record my training and thoughts in preparing for the 2007 WHW Race – a 95 mile ultra race from Milngavie to Fort William.
I have now run 40 ultras over the past ten years including the whw 6 times and you can read all about them, watch my race videos and lots more by using the tabs at the top of the blog.
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A few weeks ago I asked a few friends whether anyone was interested in a final training run on the whw route a couple of weeks before the Fling. I find it really helpful to do the first 19miles or so to give me an idea of pace, effort and to get an idea of what shape I’m in.
I left home at 7.35am on my bike and drove to Marco & Debs new house. Debs & I then drove to Milngavie where we met Sharon and Ian who were waiting for us. Thomas & Silke arrived a few minutes later.
Time for a group photo and then we were off at 8.40am.
Debs, Ian, me, Sharon & Thomas
We ran together until a mile or so after Beech Tree. It was good to be able to run with each person and have a chat about various things along the way. The weather was superb and it was so good to be able to run in the warmth.
Sharon and Debs stopped for a ‘comfort’ break so Ian, Thomas and I pushed on. I was keen to try and run at my Fling pace which calls for 1hr 45mins to Drymen.
I have been toying with the idea of going off a bit quicker but having arrived at Drymen in 1hr 48mins 35secs I’ve decided I don’t want to go any quicker than that so 1hr 45min it is! I think the effort it would take to get there in 1hr 40mins would take a lot out for me which would show later.
Ian & Thomas arrive at Drymen
Ian & me at Drymen
Silke had left a water bottle for Thomas at Drymen so while he looked for it Ian & I ran on knowing that Thomas would catch us soon enough. I’ve not ran with Ian much this year so it was really good to spend some time together and as usual our conversation ranged from our training to the whw race to our families to the golf at the Masters to name a few of the topics.
Sure enough after 30mins or so Thomas caught us and I was happy to see that he’d had to work hard to catch us!! When we got onto the open area before Conic I pushed the pace a bit as I’d said to Silke I’ll be 2hrs 55mins to Balmaha and I was bit behind schedule!
I opened up a bit of a gap by the time I crossed the bridge before the climb up Conic Hill. I walked and ran up the hill and when I glanced back could see Thomas working hard to catch me so I decided to run more than I would normally do to make sure he had to work hard. I was only thinking of helping Thomas!
He caught me about three quarters of the way up. We walked up together for a few minutes before Thomas pushed on. There were plenty of people climbing Conic Hill but I was able to run down without too much difficulty.
It was getting quite hot by the time we reached Balmaha. I arrived in 2hrs 58mins 11secs with Thomas a few minutes ahead. I was very happy with my run and it gave me a good idea of were I’m at in my preparation for the Fling.
I’ve run 65miles this week and the same last week so to be able to run that at the end of two big weeks is encouraging. Hopefully in two weeks time I’ll be rested and ready to go!
Me & Thomas at Balmaha
We were getting a little concerned as to where Ian was but when he arrived he said he’d ran an extra mile so he could record 20miles! When we changed we discovered we both had brought the same t-shirts to change into!
Me & Ian at Balmaha
Sharon had decided to stop at Drymen and so arrived with Marco who picked her up. She was fine but with all that’s going on with her mum who is very ill felt 12miles was enough today.
Debs came in a few minutes later looking very strong and happy with her run. A good confidence booster after a virus that had messed up her recent long runs.
Time for a final group photo before driving back to Milngavie and home.
So thanks to Debs, Sharon, Ian and Thomas for your company on the run. Thanks to Silke and Marco & Cairn for their support.
Silke had run out an hour or so towards Rowardennan and back and Marco was off to the hills for his 10mile run so everyone got a good run in.
More photos on Flickr (Debs, Thomas, Silke, Ian – feel free to download for your blogs!!)
Milngavie to Balmaha – 19.08miles in 2hrs 58mins 11secs (9.21pace)