I really enjoyed this race last year and when Graeme Reid sent out the email with the date for this year’s race I thought it fitted in well with my plans. It was 5 weeks after the Hardmoors 160 and 4 weeks before my next ultra, Great Glen.
I must admit I was hoping that I would have recovered a little quicker than I have. The Hardmoors 160 is definitely still in my legs but I’ve not got much soreness so there was no reason not to run! I would just have to accept I wouldn’t be able to run as well as last year.
The weather was very warm as I drove over to Milngavie for the start of the race. I registered, got changed, asked someone to take a photo and then I went off for a mile or so warm up along the start of the route.
It was good to chat to a few friends before the race. They were interested to hear about the Hardmoors 160 … well some congratulated me and I told gave them the highlights whether they wanted to hear or not!!
Fellow club runner Jennifer Rooney was also running so we chatted before the start. Jennifer couldn’t remember her time but knew she was a few minutes behind me. I ran the 12k route in 1:00:56 last year but was thinking if I could be within 5 mins of that I’d be happy.
I decided to start very comfortable and see how I felt. There is a bit hill after a couple of miles so I wanted to make sure I left something in the tank for that climb.
The hill comes at the top of the stem of the lollipop when the route turns right. The profile shows it clearly …
As we ran the first loop around the park I could see Jennifer not too far ahead and I thought I might catch her as the race went on but I was wrong!
I caught up with a few people over the first couple of miles but a few runners went past me as well. I felt I was running as hard as I dared trying to stay as comfortable as possible. It took a bit longer than I remembered to reach the top of the step and the steep hill.
Once we started up the hill I knew I was going to be catching anyone, Jennifer wasn’t too far ahead but by the time we reached the top she was away and going past other runners. Good for her!
I settled into as hard a pace as I could manage. Over the next mile or so another runner caught me and I caught two runners.
I was breathing hard the whole time but had a couple of spells where I tried to ease off enough to get my breathing under control.
It was good to reach the top of the loop at Carbeth Cottages and start heading back along the whw route to Milngavie and the finish. I tried to smile at the photographer but not sure I succeeded!
There were lots of walkers out who were encouraging the runners as we went past. Some looked as though they were starting out on walking the full whw. They certainly picked a lovely day weather wise to start.
I could see Jennifer and I reckon she was about 35 seconds ahead. I knew there was no way I would be catching her now and I must admit I was hanging on a bit now and hoping that I wouldn’t lose too many places and that I wouldn’t slow down too much.
I feel my heart and lungs are okay but my legs still feel heavy and sluggish. There doesn’t seem to be much spring in them. I’m hoping that one day soon I’ll feel I’m running more easily!
It was really hot but I hadn’t taken any water with me as I figured I’d only be running for an hour or so and I could mange that. I didn’t feel I over heated as a lot of the course is in the shade.
I reached the road where the route goes left then right into Mugdock woods. There was another marshall directing us onto the path through the trees. The race was so well marshalled and signposted.
I remember last year struggling on the more technical section falling once. This time I took it a bit more steady. I couldn’t see anyone ahead but could hear someone not too far behind.
I reached the top of the stem and knew I had about 2 miles to go. I continued to work as hard as I could. The runner who I could hear behind me caught me with about a mile to go but thankfully no one else did!
I ran in to the finish line finishing 29th in 1:05:28. I was about 4 and a half minutes slower than last year but I’m taking that as a victory.
Jennifer finished 23rd in 1:03:12 but more importantly was 1st female so congratulations Jennifer.
I chatted to friends after the finish. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the race but found it very hot!
Libby Paterson came over to let me know how much she enjoys my blog which was really kind of her. She said she really felt my pain as she read my Hardmoors 160 race report. Her husband Andrew was also running today and is also doing the Great Glen Ultra in a few weeks so I look forward to seeing them again.
Thanks so much to Graeme Reid and all the marshals who put on another excellent race.