As always I was really looking forward to my monthly run on the whw. I was up at 6am to the sound of light rain but hoped it would get better as the day wore on.
I left the house at 6.45am and rove over to Neal & Caroline’s. Unfortunately Caroline wasn’t feeling too well so decided not to run.
So Neal & I drove up to Kingshouse where we met Ross. I’d not chatted to Neal for ages so the journey passed really quickly as we caught up with all that going on.
Once we’d gone over the Erskine Bridge the weather brightened up and the further north we went the better it was! By the time we arrived at Kingshouse the sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a great day.
Leaving the van at Kingshouse
We drove back to Drover’s Inn in Ross’ car. I made sure I had the van key safely tucked away in my rucksack!
Bob was waiting for us at the Drover’s. Then we had a phone call from Richie & Gavin asking where we were. They were at Beinglas farm so by the time they drove round Marco arrived and we were ready for the off.
Richie, Marco, Me, Neal, Gavin, Bob & Ross
Drover’s Inn to Auchtertyre (10.01miles)
It was fairly obvious that very quickly our group of 7 would split up into at least two groups. Richie, Marco & Bob are really strong runners whose natural pace is a fair bit quicker than the rest of us.
We stayed together for almost a mile before the first small hill. Neal, Ross, Gavin and I walked it while Richie, Marco & Bob continued to run and that was the last we saw of them until Kingshouse! I just about got my camera out to record the moment!
Bob, Marco & Richie leave us!
Over the next mile or so Ross and Neal pushed on ahead of Gavin & I. They didn’t get too far ahead and we caught up by the time we got to Derrydarouch.
The weather was perfect and the views excellent. It was so good to out on the trail on such a lovely day. I chatted with Gavin about training and life in general.
We were still together at Carmyle Cottage as we headed up the hill. I took out my first peanut butter and jam sandwich and ate it as climbed up the hill. I was keen to use this run to work on my food intake.
As we neared the forest at the top of the path Neal & Ross had opened a bit of a gap and I had a decision to make, whether to push on and join them or wait for Gavin.
Gavin had said he was happy to run his own pace so I pushed on and caught Ross. By this time Neal had pushed on and we didn’t see him again.
Ross and I ran together for the rest of the run. I’ve ran a few times with Ross and really enjoy it. Ross is running really well and he helped me a lot as he set the pace for most of the day and I followed!
I ate another peanut butter and jam sandwich as we crossed the A82 before Auchterytre.
We arrived at Auchertyre in 1hr 42mins for the 10.01 miles (10.11 pace).
Auchtertyre to Bridge of Orchy (9.30miles)
I felt I was really into a nice steady groove now and the run to Tyndrum passed quickly. I did have one fall though! Just as we entered into the forest I tripped, fell and rolled over. Fortunately it was a soft landing and no damage done but reminded me to be careful.
There is a new path alongside the river coming into Tyndrum and Ross joked that it will be great for a sprint finish in the Fling!
I was interested to see just where the finish will be and how far short it is from the previous finishes.
New finish for the Fling
Me … next to the sign for the campsite.
My garmin showed 12.31miles at this point. We ran down to the previous finishing post and my garmin read 12.67miles so I reckon it is 0.36mile short. If you are running at say 10min miles it will about 4mins shorter.
It is a great idea to move the finish though as it means we can have a shower and use the campsite facilities.
I made a mistake at this point and stopped my garmin rather than pressing lap! So you can from the map at the top there is a break of about 0.7mile until I realised and restarted it!
Ross and I decided to walk the hill out of Tyndrum and eat some food. I tucked into my mashed potato with cheese while Ross had a rice pudding and shortbread.
As we walked and ate Gavin caught us up and carried on running up the hill. Once we’d finished our snack we started running again and within a few minutes had caught Gavin. He said his hamstrings were a bit sore and he was going to plod along at his own pace.
Ross and I had a really good run into Bridge of Orchy. We ran the majority of the way keeping a steady pace going. I was really enjoying the run and it was good to have Ross to keep the pace honest.
Ross arriving at Bridge of Orchy
Auchtertyre to Bridge of Orchy – 9.30miles in 1hr 33mins 28secs (10.03pace)
overall – 19.31miles in 3hrs 15mins 28secs (10.07pace)
Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse (11.96miles)
As we climbed up the hill from Bridge of Orchy I drank some more of my strawberry milkshake which has been another experiment this year. I make it with full fat milk and extra skimmed milk powder to add some more calories.
As we topped the hill and headed down the views were superb.
Ross went down quicker than I did but stopped by the hotel to refill his water bottle in the stream. I carried on running knowing that Ross would soon catch up which he did as we went through the gate at the end of the road.
I ate my pot of beans as we walked up the hill. I am definitely enjoying eating more ‘proper’ food and think it is helping me keeping my energy levels up.
We walked and ran and eventually reached the top and onto the Rannoch Mor proper. It was soon obviously that Ross was running stronger than I was at this point and I felt I was having to work too hard to stay with him.
So at the next hill while Ross continued to run I walked, using the time to regroup, drink and find my own pace. I assumed Ross was away as the gap quickly widened.
After a few minutes when I started running again I felt really good and within 10mins or so I’d caught Ross and gone past him! Then by the time we hit the long up hill he caught up again and we ran in from there together.
It just goes to show how even within a run two runners can have different good and bad patches but overall Ross and I worked well and helped each other on this run. Well I know Ross helped me!
As we climbed the hill Ross caught sight of Neal at the top. I need glasses for long distance so I was struggling to see him clearly. We knew that once he was on the down hill he’d be away again!
Once we reached the top we set off and ran all the way down to Kingshouse. I was keen to finish strongly and not hammer the last mile or so for the sake of it. But we also had the incentive of finishing under 5hrs 30mins which I’d said to Ross was the time I’d done this training run in 2008!
I was really encouraged that I finished feeling good and we did make it under the 5hrs 30mins!
Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse – 11.96miles in 2hrs 13mins 36secs (11.10pace)
Overall – 31.27miles in 5hrs 29mins 04secs (10.31pace)
Ross and I at the end of the run
We wandered into the bar to find Richie, Marco, Bob and Neal relaxing. Neal had finished about 5mins ahead of us.
It seems Richie, Marco & Bob had had a good run finishing about 50mins ahead of us.
Ross, Richie, Marco, Neal & Bob
Gavin came in a bit later looking as though he’d had a tough day but still smiling!
We then drove back to Drover’s Inn and went our separate ways home.
So thanks to everyone for a great day and especially to Ross for your company on the run!
Video of the run to come!