The race starts at 1am on Saturday morning and I had arrived at 12.30am.The weather was dry and I wasn't nervous too much, one of the nurses I work with had picked me up and waited to see the start and then went of to bed lucky her.After a brief talk it was on ur marks and go with a 10 second count down by some of the runners.
I had planned on running the same pace as the last 4 years doing the fling, but I had forgotten my watch,i know from the past what my pace is so i just got on with it and ran. Over the first 12 miles I normally start chatting but this year I was quite and focused. My first problem was a sore stomach which had me stop 3 times in the first 30 miles. I knew from last year i would reach the Forrest at drymen, when it would be getting light and I was bang on target. Next checkpoint was balmaha where I was hoping to be at for 4.30am, I arrived at 4.45am and was a bit down as I thought I was running a bit harder than that.
Balmaha to rowerdennan,
I still hadn't met the usual runners i meet along this part of the route so I just got on with running and expected to see them at any corner. I was joined by corned beef Hughes eventually, who I was to meet on and of until inversnaid. I was feeling ok just now and it was only light rain, so wasn't getting to hot or cold.
Rowerdennan to inversnaid ,
I had drop bags at both these check points and was quickly through each check point passing runners who had passed me running earlier. Felt ok and only problem was my back had a spasm with my waist bag a little heavier than usual.
Inversnaid to beinglas farm,
I normally hate this section but I ran with a young chap from carnethie and we chatted and the time passed quickly, before I knew it i was at beinglas in about 9hrs 30 min aprox.
Beinglas to auchtyre,
once again this section was no bother just kept putting one foot infront of the other and managed to get to the check point and get weighed. On getting weighed i was warned about the amount of weight id lost, in all my ultras before iv never had a real problem, so a little worried about my next weigh in.
Auchtyre to bridge of orchy,
the weather now had changed from light drizzle to heavy rain, not a problem the rain coat id been carrying since milngavie, was now being used although it was 13hrs later. I never seen one person on this section and only passed a few walkers dressed for winter.
Bridge of orchy to glen coe ski centre,
Derek joined me on this section and the company was good we managed to catch 2 runners who had set of 20 minutes before us, weather was heavy rain but not too bad. This was were i had my first bad patch i felt faint, light headed and not myself. But i kept going and im not sure if derek had noticed my bad patch.
Glen coe to kinlochleven.
At glen coe my feet were 15 plus hours wet and had a few blisters, i dont normally change shoes but i did and i was never so glad as my heels were burning and feet on fire and tired. My sister inlaw was horrified to see my feet. but i just had some soup and my longest break of the race.
Once again derek decided to run this leg with me, which made me worry about him, as this meant he would be covering 35miles for the day. In all my life iv never seen derek run more than 16/ 18 miles and over the last 6 years he hasnt run longer than ten miles.
I was still managing to walk run and was ok over devil stair case and down the ice factory into kinlochleven. At this final check point i was worried about my weigh in so derek made me drink 500mls of fluid before being weighed. Once i was on the scale i had put on 2kgs id lost, so i think the last scales were wrong and i worried without needing to, lesson learned believe in myself next time.
Kinlochleven to fort willim,
After another change of socks and top we set of through kinlochleven. I was in a rush to get to the top of the hill and onto the old military road before it got dark.We started to aim for the search and rescue team base camps, the first was about a mile along. The next was 5k a target to go for and reached in day light still and then we just reached the old ruins and it was dark. From now on it was just kick the rocks and derek making me run when i could. When we reached lundavra it was still a hard slog to get to fort william and eventually i couldnt run anymore and i just tried to walk as fast as a pensioner in asda on a saturday afternoon. Once onto the main road in fort bill my will had gone, my thighs had gone and i just wanted to walk into the finish at the sports centre. Once id reached the nevis round about i gave derek my water bottle and rain jacket and mustered a run to the finish with a few grunts and groans along the way. I expect this is a bit like child birth, all the pain and torture is forgotten till the same time next year and you think o no not again. At the finish a young lady asked how i was, as i looked quite good, god knows what the other runners looked like if i looked good. So my answer was well thats me got 2 goblets and it just woulnt look right unless i got a 3rd one.
So plan is to have a week off and then start training again for nexy year and go for a sub 25 hr whw.