Another great day on the whw route. I left the house at 8am and picked up Richard G at Paisley Train Station. I’ve not met Richard before so it was good to have a chat in the car on the way to Drymen.
We arrived at 7.50am to see Ross M waiting for us. Ross had camped for night in a bivvy bag but seemed fine! Thomas, Marco and Richie were not far behind. Sharon & Debs had decided to run from Beech Tree to get a few more miles in.
First mini diaster my garmin 205 wouldn’t switch on. Not sure what’s going on but I left it in the car.
Once we took the obligatory photo we were off. The weather was great and we were all looking forward to another good run on the route we all enjoy so much.
I was feeling in good shape but was very aware I was running with some very good runners today so wanted to make sure I ran at a pace I was comfortable with and not get pulled along too quickly, especially early on.
The run breaks down nicely into four sections …..
Drymen to Balmaha
We set off a few minutes after 9am.
Mini-disaster number two: I was a couple of minutes up the road and I couldn’t remember putting my car key in my bag. Marco stopped with me as I looked. Couldn’t find it anywhere. So I ran back to the car and couldn’t find it there either. We only got the car on Wednesday!
For the life of me I don’t know what happened. I rang Katrina who was driving the minibus to Beinglas Farm to pick us up, to bring the other key so at least we can drive it home!
Mini-disaster three: As I took off my nathan waist bag the top of the water bottle broke and I was left with a big hole! I tried to stuff my hanky in it but it still was leaking. So in the end I drank my milk shake which I was saving for later and used that bottle for water.
Anyway with these various things going on in my head it took me a while to get into the run. I was chatting to folk but trying to work out what I’d done with the key!
We stayed together for the first 45mins or so and then Marco and Richie followed by Thomas moved ahead. Richard, Ross and I stayed together climbing Conic Hill and descending to Balmaha.
Richard went over on his ankle just we came into the firest above Balmaha but seemed okay. So a solid first section.
Drymen to Balmaha (6.88miles): 1hr 20mins 12secs
Balmaha to Rowardennan
Richie, Marco & Thomas were waiting for us at Balmaha and after a few mins rest we were off again. We stayed together for the first half an hour or so before Richie, Marco & Thomas were off again not to be seen until Drover’s Inn a few hours later.
After another 20mins or so Ross pushed on leaving Richard and myself to run together. I’ve not met Richard before so it was great to chat and get to know him, chat about plans for the year and various other things.
Richard is doing the Marathon de Sables in early April so his focus is on that. He has also entered the whw this year so has some big races coming up.
We had a good run into Rowardennan keeping a steady pace going and running well. Richard has run two 45mile races over the last two weekends and so understandably was feeling it a bit in his legs but was looking strong to me.
We had a 5min stop at Rowardennan where I had my mashed potato. I added some cheese to my recipe and it seemed to work well. It was very tasty and went down well!
Balmaha to Rowardennan (7.97miles): 1hr 23min 09secs
Rowardennan to Inversnaid
Richard and I set off and ran and walked the next section to Inversnaid. Richard has not run this section before so it was good to chat about my tactics over this section. I’ve no doubt at all that Richard is going to produce some really good fast times on the whw.
Again we kept a good pace going, chatting and working together. It’s amazing how much easier a run like this is running with someone. We reached the single track in a good time and ran into Inversnaid feeling strong.
Just before we reached the hotel we saw Ross who had stopped for a chicken sandwich. We ran through Inversnaid and set off for the last section of the day.
Rowardennan to Inversnaid (7.25miles): 1hr 20mins 24secs
Inversnaid to Beinglas Farm
As we started off I had the second of my peanut butter and jam sandwich. One of my aims for these monthly training runs is to try out some new nutrition things.
So after half an hour I got out my trial for today …. milk jelly. This is another of Cara’s ideas. I used half a packet of rasberry jelly, added in 250ml of full fat milk and made my jelly. It went down really easily so I will be adding that to my list of food, especially for the final third of the race when it’s hard to eat anything.
We ran together for the majority of the section. Ross fell behind a bit a couple of times. I think he was paying the price for his earlier faster pace. Richard was into his second wind and going well and I felt I had plenty of energy.
We paused to look at Dario’s post and take a couple of photos. It’s a very impressive post and will be appreciated by many in the months and years to come.
Me next to ‘Dario’s post’
We had two miles left, mostly downhill so I pushed the pace with Richard. I’d stumbled a couple of times but didn’t fall. In the end it was Richard who tripped and fell but rolled onto his side and was fine except for a grazed hand.
We arrived at Beinglas having really enjoyed our run. We knew Ross was just behind so carried on to Drover’s Inn before we got cold.
Inversnaid to Beinglas Farm (6.63miles): 1hr 30mins 18secs
Overall run Drymen car park to Drover’s Inn (30.23miles) in 5hrs 52mins 40secs
Full details will come later when Richard sends me his garmin file of the run! Thanks Richard
After the run
We went into Drover’s Inn to see Marco, Thomas, Richie, Sharon, Debs, Katrina & Silke all enjoying some food and drink.
Richie, Marco and Thomas kept an excellent pace going all day finishing just under 5hrs.
Debs & Sharon had a good solid run and seemed happy with their effort. They are getting ready for their 100k race in March when they’ll be representing Scotland in the Celtic Cup alongside Thomas who is also respresenting Scotland, qualifiying through residency.
Katrina & Silke ran 10miles on the route. They went out to Carmyle Cottage and back and then towards Inversnaid until the came across Richie, Marco & Thomas. It was Katrina’s first ever run on the whw but it will not be the last as she really enjoyed it.
I drove the van back to Drymen where we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
So another great day on the whw. Thanks to everyone for your company.
I have an easy week coming up which I feel ready for!