whw run – Milngavie to Drymen and back

Last week Marco invited me to join them in a run on the whw – Milngavie to Drymen. I have an 11mile club race on Friday and initially thought I’d better not but in the end I decided a run with friends on the whw was more important and I’m so glad I did!
I left home just before 9am, drove to Marco’s on my bike (roads fine). After a cup of tea we headed to Milngavie where Debs and Sharon were waiting for us. Thomas and Richie soon arrived and after a couple of photos we set off at 10.15am

Richie, Thomas, Sharon, me & Marco
Richie had run from Milngavie to Balmaha and back yesterday and warned us it was very icy. We all wore Yaktraks or microspikes as it would have been impossible to run without them. Debs had some spikes which were quite worn down and did struggle on the route.
I ran with Richie for the first few miles and it was great to catch up and chat about this past year and plans for 2011. One of many things I love about the whw is how friendly and helpful everyone is.
I count it a privilege to be out running with this year’s whw winner and picking his brains about training, nutrition etc. Over the course of the run I had a good chat with everyone which was great.
Very quickly I settled into a nice rhythm and felt I was running well. With an out and back run I’m always trying to make sure I don’t work too hard on the way out as that makes the way back really tough!
The ground was very icy so it was hard to push too hard anyway. Debs was struggling more and more with zero grip so decided to turn back at Beech Tree. It was a real shame as I know she was looking forward to the run. The annoying thing was her microspikes had arrived at the Post Office on Christmas Eve but the card telling her that only arrived today!
So the five of us push on. Once we got to Gartmore and onto the road we took off our Yaktrax’s and spikes. It was so nice running on the clear road with some good grip.
Running on the road at Gartmore
My right foot in particular was really cold and hurting a bit but thankfully it warmed up and was fine from then on.
We turned round at the top of the field just before Drymen as the field was sodden and we decided not to soak our feet any more than necessary.
Approaching the turn round point

Thomas, Richie, me & Marco
Once we headed back I was assuming that I might get left behind a bit but I was pleasantly surprised to feel I was running really strongly and was keeping up no problem.
Once we got over the road Marco stopped to take a work phone call and I just carried on. After a while I realised I couldn’t see anyone so decided to keep going knowing that they’d catch me soon enough.
The miles went on, Beech Tree came and went and still no sign. Then at the end of the railway line I caught a glimpse of Thomas and Richie and so just kept going. They eventually caught me a mile or so before the short road section.
They were chatting away and went past. I decided to stay with them for as long as I could and we ended up running the rest of the way together.
I really surprised myself with how strong I felt right to the end. Often on this out and back run in December I find the last 5miles or so really hard and I’m hanging on. I kept expecting the same to happen but it never did and I felt really strong all the way back.
I chatted some more to Richie telling me how much his win in this year’s race meant to so many of us. We were so pleased for him. I remember getting a text from Katrina as I left Kinlochleven saying Richie had won and what an encouragement it was to hear.
We arrived back at Milngavie 4hours 5mins after we’d left. Marco and Sharon arrived a few minutes later.

Richie & Thomas finish

whw winner Richie and me!
Marco & Sharon with microspikes in hand
That was such an encouraging run for me. I’ve never felt that good at this time before. I think having an easy October and November and building up slowly in December has really helped me.
Thanks to Marco & Debs, Thomas, Sharon and Richie for your company. I’m looking forward to our next run in January already!
I took some more photos which are on Facebook.
23.96miles in 4hrs 05mins 06secs
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3 Responses to whw run – Milngavie to Drymen and back

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds a great run to end the year, well done!
    Caroline

  2. Thomas says:

    John, great report. I really enjoyed the run despite the dull weather.

    PS: let's not forget Sharon is a WHW Race winner too!
    😉
    See you soon!
    Thomas

  3. Stu McB says:

    Good running! Was that your new waistpack you were using? How'd you find it?

    I remember a clip of Karl Meltzer using something similar, maybe even the same one – look at the speed of the transition!

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