Milngavie Trail Race Report

Sunday 4th June 2017

This was the 3rd year the 20th Glasgow Scouts group have organised this race and it was my 3rd run as well so I’m an ever present!

I really enjoyed the race the last two years so decided to enter again. This year I’m doing the West Highland Way Race so I thought a trail race three weeks before the big one was perfect.

I drove over from Paisley in the sunshine and it stayed that way all day. I was feeling good and looking forward to pushing the pace. My only concern is a sore right ankle that has been there for the past couple of months. It doesn’t stop my running but can be sore afterwards.

In 2015 I was training for the Lakeland 100 and used this race as a mini-target and I finished in 1:00:52. Last year it was only four weeks after the Hardmoors 160 and my legs were still feeling the effects of that race so I was pleased to get round in 1:05:28. My goal for this year was to be in between those times!


Before the start

Once I’d registered I set off with clubmate and good friend Steven Hill for a warm up. We ran out for half a mile and ran back chatting about the race. Steven has not done the race before so my best advice was to take it steady over the first couple of miles as the main hill is after that and if you go off too hard then you will pay for it!

The third member of Kilbarchan AAC who was running was Jennifer Rooney who was back to defend her Ladies crown.  It was good to chat to various friends before the start. There were plenty of Fling t-shirts in evidence.

A fly over of the route created by

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I positioned myself in about row 4 at the start so I wouldn’t be tempted to go off too hard! We started right on 11am in the sunshine.  Over the first half mile I made my way past quite a few runners including good friend Tim Downie who said, ‘I wondered where you were?’

Once through the high street and on the trail through Mugdock Woods I could see Steven Hill not too far ahead. Over the next mile or so I slowly caught up with him and by the time we climbed the first hill I was right behind him.

We ran together for a while and then Steven eased ahead before the big climb at 2 miles. I was happy to let him go as I was trying to get my heart rate down in preparation for the hill!

When we reached the hill I set off at a steady pace with the aim of being to run the whole way up. I remember the first year struggling a bit with the fact that there are a couple of plateaus thinking that I had reached the top when I hadn’t!

A couple of runners around me pushed hard on the initial climb but I soon caught them again as the hill went on. I slowly caught Steven and went past him about half way up. It was good to reach the top and know that the main climb was out of the way.

The Scouts do a great job with the race and have so many marshals out on the course. I could see Jennifer in the distance moving through the field so it looked like she was on course to defend her title!

I was still slowly catching a couple of runners which was encouraging.  When I caught a guy in blue (who turned out to be Ian Garett) he said, ‘I planned to contact you for some advice on the Lakeland 100.’  I didn’t really have much breath to chat but Ian has got in touch via Facebook after the race.

The next mile or so is mainly downhill to Carbeth Cottages so I tried to keep the pace up. One guy in grey went past me running really well.  I had my split (34:25) to the cottages from last year so I was interested to see what it would be this year.

When I reached the cottages I took a split and it was 33:58 so I was happy with that. I was also feeling quite strong so hoped that I would be able to run well to the finish whereas last year with the Hardmoors 160 still in my legs I was slowing!

Once on the whw path heading back to Milngavie I slowly caught up with the guy in grey who went past on the downhill and Ian plus a guy in black who had been ahead all race. I probably worked a bit too hard to catch them as I had to ease off a bit to get back on an even keel!

I reached the road and then took a right back into Mugdock Woods. The race route leaves the main whw route for a mile or so opting for the trail route. It is quite a twisty path with lots of tree roots and rocks to navigate.

I could sense a runner catching me and expected him to go past but suddenly I heard him cry out. I called back to see if he was okay but he didn’t reply so I hope he was alright!

It was good to get back on the main whw route and know I had less than two miles to the finish. I was still feeling I was running strongly so tired to keep the pace up as much as possible.

I was caught by one runner who almost missed the turn left. As we came into the town centre a runner from Garscube went past me. I stayed a few yards behind and then went past him on the run into the finish!

The final few yards is uphill but there is always something left to push that final bit. I finished 26th overall in 1:03:28.


Sprint finish uphill! Photo thanks to Kirsty Hill


With Steven and Isla. Again photo thanks to Kirsty Hill


Congratulations to Jennifer who retained her Women’s crown in a faster time than last year.

2017 Milngavie Trail Race Results

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Review of May 2017

May was one of my bigger months with 217.33 miles covered. With the West Highland Way Race coming up soon I was keen to get three weeks of good training in finishing with my three day recce of the Ring O’ Fire route.

Here is a list of all my runs in May …

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All runs in a graph form which shows the big recce weekend at the end of the month …

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All runs and cycles in a diary form …

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Finally a summary of all my runs so far this year grouped into types of runs …

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June will be dominated by the West Highland Way Race on Saturday 24th June. I plan to have a medium effort week this coming week then a two week taper leading into the race.

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Ring O’ Fire Recce Video

I really enjoyed my weekend on Anglesea. I had to change my plans slightly on the Friday night as I arrived later than planned but still was able to do three runs on the route as follows.

  • Friday – Rhosneigr to Four Mile Bridge and back – 13.56 miles
  • Saturday – Penmon to Rhosneigr – 46.13 miles
  • Sunday – Four Mile Bridge to Holyhead – 18.51 miles

I took lots of video clips of the route to help me remember the way as this will be only opportunity I will have to get on the route.  So I have covered the route from just before Penmon Point to the end.

I was really pleased with how I coped running three days on the trot so that has hopefully given me confidence for the race in September.

The video lasts 44mins ….

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Plans for my Recce weekend

I’m feeling really encouraged with my running and training at the moment and I hope this positive feeling continues to the West Highland Way Race and beyond!

On Monday I was back at the club for our weekly Fartlek session. This was another tough session of 2 x (5mins, 4mins, 3mins, 2mins and 1min). Normally we have half recoveries but like last week Donald (who sets the sessions) only gave us 1 min recoveries.

This meant you really had to pace it right to be able to complete the session at a similar pace.  I was working hard right through the session and happy with my effort!

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I don’t normally run on a Tuesday but I made an exception yesterday as our good friend Debbie M-C was coming over for the latest in our series of Training Tips for the whwrace podcasts and Debs wanted to do a 4 mile run as part of her recovery from the Stirling Marathon.

So we enjoyed a run together chatting the whole way round before doing the interview. If you want to listen to it you can find it on iTunes or the whw web site.

I have a lunchtime run around Pollok Park today but may cut it to 4 miles as I ran yesterday.

I’m really looking forward to the weekend. When I entered the Ring O’ Fire race last year I always planned to do a recce weekend on the course and that weekend is coming up now.

I wanted to do it this weekend as it’s the holiday weekend so I get Friday and Monday off but also it is 4 weeks to the whw so the perfect weekend for my final longer runs. So by going down to Anglesea I can do both aims. Perfect.

I was keen to have some company to help with logistics and enjoy the run together so I posted on Facebook a few months ago and Simon Wheeler, who did the race last year, responded.

So our plans is as follows ….


I’m going to drive down to Anglesea leaving about 11am. I plan to book in to the Shoreside Caravan Park, Rhosneigr and then drive to CP2 (Day1) at Church Bay.

I’m on my own for this run so still undecided whether to run 10miles along the route and then run back to my car or run all the way to Amlwch and then try and hitch a ride back to my car at Church Bay.

I maybe too late to do the full 20miles so might end up with 12-15miles but we’ll see. This one is a big more flexible as I’m on my own.


I’m meeting Simon at the campsite then we will drive two cars to Aberffraw, leave one there and drive to Penman Point.

We will then run the 37 miles back to Abberfraw.

Then we will drive back to Penman Point to pick up our car and drive back to the campsite.


Similar pattern so we can run the final 19.30miles from Four Mile Bridge to Holyhead.

Here is a summary (times a very rough guide!)

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The weather forecast looks good with some rain forecasted for Saturday.

I’ll be taking some video clips of the route so watch out for that!

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LOVEultras 007 Top 5 tips for whw

For the latest episode in my vblog series I have shared my top 5 tips for running the West Highland Way race which is now just over 4 weeks away.

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Summary of training this week

This was my second week of 3 harder weeks in the build up to the West Highland Way race. I was encouraged with how I ran last week so was full of confidence for this week.

Monday – Club Fartlek Session

There were only four of us for the session. Euan and Ryan led the way and a guy Andy who I’d not met before and I followed on! I think Andy ran the first few reps a bit quick as he struggled on the final few.

The session was one of our standard sets of 10 x 3mins but the big difference was we only had 1 min recovery which made a big difference. I had run about 27 miles over the weekend so I knew my legs would feel it a bit but I was very happy with how I ran.

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Pleased that my final two 3min efforts were not my slowest.

Wednesday – Lunchtime Tempo Run

I decided to do longer Tempo efforts than last week. So after a mile warm up I ran 2 miles aiming for a HR of 145, then an easy mile (HR 130) followed by another 2 miles with HR nearer 150.

Again I was really pleased with how well I was running.

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Thursday – Ben Lomond Run

For various reasons this was my first Ben Lomond run of the year. I set off about 4.45pm in the sunshine and it was pretty warm all the way up. I decided to take it steady and see how it went for this ascent.

I reached the top in 1hr 25mins going up the Tarmigan Ridge. The views from the top were amazing as it was so clear in the early evening.

I felt good on the descent and even though my time of 53mins or so wasn’t that quick I felt good which was the main aim for the run.

Here are some photos …

Saturday – Morning Run on the Kilpatricks

This was an important run for me this morning as last time I ran on the Kilpatricks with Cammie I struggled round on just over 4hrs and felt really sluggish.

I think it affected my Fling preparation as I knew I wasn’t running very well. So I was keen to see how I felt today on the same route.

The weather wasn’t as good as that run in March but everything else was so much better. I ran a lot more of the hills and when I reached the Whangie which is roughly half way in 1:45 rather than over 2hrs I knew it was going to be a good run.

I finished just under 3hrs 25mins and again more importantly felt really good all the way round. So another confidence booster.

Sunday – plans

Tomorrow Katrina is running the Stirling Marathon so it’s my turn to be the supporter. I’m going to drop her off at one of the designated car parks about 7.30am. I’m then going to go for a run before taking my bike and cycling to meet her at a few points along the way.

Quite a few friends are running so I’m looking forward to cheering them on as well. Have a great race everyone!


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LOVEultras 006 Favourite Kit

For the latest episode of my series LOVEultras I have talked about my favourite kit for running ultras from my shoes to head torches.

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