whw 19.02.10

whw 19.02.10
A cold winters morning.

Friday, 19 February 2010


I got the sleeper train at westerton at 05.56 and arrived at tyndrum at 08.00 on the train i found that i didnt have my energy food for my run, so i dropped off at brodies store and got some chocolate. I only eat 1 topic and half a bar of milk chocolate for the 33.7 miles i ran.
I ran the first part of this route thinking of all  the mile markers for the highland fling, it was very very cold for the whole day, the run through the forest at crianlarich was very hard work and very hilly with ice and still a little bit of snow.

Once i got to glen falloch i was in the shade and cold with a trip on a stone and fell face down with only a grazed hand. This part of the run was in the shade and again very cold with a few more bits of ice.

I kept pushing on and soon arrived at the top of loch lomond  and the same problem of my whole run happened again, a very strong sun in my face again which made it diffucult to take pictures. I really do think the best view of the whole whw is when you get to the top of loch lomond it is the best view of the entire route it is just so inspirational/ fullfilling and so why you - jog for jesus.
The trip along loch lomond was as expected tough, my worst part of this route is the top of loch lomond to inversnaid hotel. I managed to do more running on this part than ever before, so i felt good at this stage. The strange part of this section was coming across the famous wild goats just 2 mile before rowerdenan, there are normally only 3/4 goats, but this  time there was more than 12 with the bonus that i never smelled them.

Rowedennan to balmaha during this section i had a few stomach cramps and managed to get to balmaha without any problems in 8hrs 43min and still feeling ok/
Once again i just missed the 309 bus and managed to rehydrate with 2 pints of beer,the next bus was at 6pm and arrived at balloch at 6.26pm again i just missed the 6.23 bus at balloch by 3min so got the 6.53 train and arrived home at 8pm.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


I am planning a training run from tyndrum to balmaha, this training run is a bit close to my last long run but with no training done since sunday due to watching my kids during school mid/term i feel quite fresh so my plan is to get the 05.56 sleeper train at westerton to tyndrum and then head to balmaha. The 309 bus leaves balmaha at  16.25 and 17.57 so what does this mean.
Arrive at tyndrum at 07.56
Arrive at balmaha at ? ? ? ?
When i did last years highland fling i ran from balmaha to tyndrum in about 9hrs, so if i start running at 08.00 i should arrive at about 5pm, leaving me in between buses hopefully.
The distance for this run is about 35miles but may be shorter running from the train station.
So looking forward to friday.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


With the glasgow to edinburgh race being my first ultra this year and only just over a month away i decided to run from my house to linlithgow train station which is mostly forth and clyde canal and grand union canal a total of 35.3miles.

My run started at 10.30am a later start than i had hoped, the weather was dry and a cold. For this run i had taken my old mini ipod to see if it would help to let the miles go faster, i hadnt used my ipod for years and once i had reached the stables the battery had ran out and i would need to carry it for 5 more hours.

Once i had reached kilsyth the canal seemed to become a deep freezer and i was starting to struggle to keep myself warm and the canal was like one large ice cube, which is ok in a drink but running beside is very cold indeed. The first land marker i was looking for was the Falkirk Wheel which is 24 miles from my house, for such a big land mark you dont see it until you turn a corner and this massive structure is in front of you. I stopped here and had a drink of my energy drink and had a look at my heel as it was becoming sore, on inspection a blister was revealed and was soon taped with zinc oxide tape and headed on through the falkirk tunnel which was shorter than i remembered.

Once through the falkirk tunnel i was now on the grand union canal which was once again frozen, but the path is a bit rocky here, which if it was the whw you would say is good running, but after 24/25miles on a canal it seems to catch you out. My next way marker was polmont which i had ran from last year to edinburgh - to check the course out. After a long wait i came to polmont prison and knew i was close to my last leg to linlithgow.

Polmont to Linlithgow my last part of my run and it promised to be the longest, i had ran over this part of the route twice before and the last time was with eileen scott who told me that the worst part of an ultra was the finish and this was true about this last 6 mile leg as it dragged and dragged and after a few false alarms i seen the sign post for the train and it was a very weary person who sat in linlithgow train station at about 3.15 pm.

Now to explain why i got a blister, i have become used to wearing new shoes and just break them in with a long run, so got caught out with my new saucony trail shoes and if you remeber i said the falkirk tunnel was shorter than i remembered and that was because there is 2 tunnels with the second being the wet, damp and bumpy calderglen tunnel.

This has been my third long run on canals and it is amazing how different to other runs this surface is, to date i have had three bruised big toes, had very sore swollen ankles and feet.Yet when running on the whw i dont seem to have it as bad even though the terrrain is alot worse.

Split times : 9.52/9.57/10.39/9.49/9.58/9.37/9.21/9.36/9.39/10.03/9.52/11.17/10.50/9.30/9.41/9.54/9.32/9.43/1042/10.01/10.26/9.48/10.44/16.09/10.29/15.53/10.13/

Total distance 35.3miles in 6hrs 15min.