Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Striding along the Clyde

Pre Race prep was dealt with in the usual Sandra way.

Home from yet another stressy week at work, finish packing then wait patiently on Phil arriving to pick me up.I had vague ideas of nipping into a weejie shopping centre and picking up new camera on way to Hotel but he arrived too late for that. We made it to hotel without any dramas and parked right outside (clearly they knew i was coming ;0)) checked in, dumped bags and headed to nearest pub as Phil was gagging for pint by then. Picked pretty dodgy typical weej pub so decided to make it just one in there before going a wandering. Ended up n pub with live music, bonza! Few more ermmmm soft drinks and we were up ceilidh dancing like loonies. Perfect Ultra prep i think you'll find.

We stayed til last orders then resisted finding a later pub by heading for Kwababas, having realised none of us had eaten since lunchtime. Perfect Ultra prep i think you'll find.

Kwababas polished off it was time for bed. Alarm set for 6.30. Up @ said time and down to breakfast @7am for fry up. Perfect Ultra prep i think you'll find.

So, off we go. Phil wasn't doing the race, too flat he said. He was heading up the Highlands to meet bunch of like minded people to run up & down hills. Me, Nick & Sophie were heading up after doing race to stay join rest of them. We parked up and wandered round hugging folk and saying hello to everyone. Lots of familiar happy faces, everyone calm and happy. I went off t drop my drop bags and after checking in my CP3 bag, Mark asked if it contained vodka. Ermm yes, of course it does i said!

Before too long it was race brief time, Lee told us to run like fuck til we got to the finish, or something. Or maybe i wasn't paying too much attention, i remember her mentioning the Hilton though... i like my nice hotels as you all know.. Ian Beatie was official starter and was playing around with his horn whilst Lee gave us final thoughts. Suddenly the horn went off and wooooosh we saw Casper the friendly ghost take off int the distance with Paul Hart in quick pursuit. Always makes me laugh to see those guys take off like that, awesome stuff to know they keep that kind of pace going, it was a conversation i had many a time en route with various folk.

Ran past BBC building and SECC and therein lies my knowledge of the Weej. After that it was blindly following folk. Tip of the day, don't blindly follow folk, they might be lost.

1st checkpoint was upon us fairly quickly and i felt ok and decided to run right through it just giving them cheery wave, I'd not touched drinks i had in bag so no need to stop really. I do love coming through checkpoints on Ultras though, there's always lots of happy smiley faces and it really lifts you. Ian had discarded his horn was here directing folk across bridge. I think it was along this path that we took a diversion. This is when i really miss my camera, I'd have stopped and took lots of pics to remind me of each stage. Anyway, the diversion was what you could call interesting. I was following a bunch of blokes and hoping they were going right way as i saw no signs except *diversion* where we were directed off walkway.

lets just say the scenery was *interesting* i was almost tempted to pop into the shop i passed with the rubbish tip emptied out in front of it when i spotted the door open, was was the door kicked off, i cant recall... Don't think I'll be rushing to Celtic park anytime soon as i soon spotted that in distance, i did joke later that the players/manager must get armour plated cars to take them into stadium

Anyway, i managed to dodge the bullets and kept close to the guys in front not wanting to get lost on my own here. Wasn't too long before we we back on walkway though but I'm pretty sure we ended up in random housing estate around here too, just running past it, not through it, still. Random.

I have to say wasn't overjoyed with route at this point and decided music was way forward. At least a bit of Sclub7 always makes me smile ;) I was convinced many a time we were lost but still followed folk in front, don't think we were actually lost at this point, this came later.

At least we got back onto Walkway again and beside Clyde so i knew something was right. few times i came through gaps and saw someone running past me from different direction though, Got to end of pathway and to a bridge, i was still following what arrows i could find, yellow ones. as i went to cross bridge i saw blokey run up road towards roundabout and had to shut him back as i spotted a (white) arrow pointing across road, wasn't convinced this was *our* arrow as it couldve been a random workies one but i spotted sign for walkway at other side bridge. Ran with blokey and caught up with another guy who was just out for run and he told us we were about 1.5m away from checkpoint. Yahhooo. that meant around halfway point. Back out to busy road and round roundabout and in towards hotel, where we found checkpoint round back. phew.

Ian was here again and said i was looking good, i told him i'd have been lost many a time if i hadn't been following folk. got my drop bag, emptied rubbish then set off again. It wasn't too far til we hit Strathclyde park, now i *do* know this area. I remember Lee saying we went round back of boating shed. I was with another guy coming into here and we had discussion about which way it was, finally plumping for left as we saw building to left and assumed it was said building.epic fail.

we ran round the water chatting then got past M&D's to find 3 other boys looking we started following arrows and going round in circles, then one of us would check out one direction, one the next and so on til we got fed up ended back in same place. Then Robbie had genius idea of calling Lee, thank the lord! I told him to tell her we were past M&D's on same side and we were told ermmm wrong side of water!It was at this point that the Glasgow god started chucking big bucket loads f water over us, yeah, Wait til we stop you fucker! I quickly put jacket , gloves and buff on only for it t stop soon as we started running again.

Cue 5 pissed off faces, one bloke just took right off and i never saw him again, rest of us plodded on bemoaning the 45mins we'd wasted. I lost my Will & motivation here and started taking walking breaks, letting the 4 *lost boys* take off ahead of me. Then the rain stopped so i took off my jacket, gloves etc only for it to start again ffs, and i inadvertently stopped my bloody garmin! aaargh i noticed after about 15 mins of thinking, "ffs, I'm going slower than a slug"

Was scunnered. Got to end of park and in between dodging cars trying to make roadkill of me there were 2 lovely girls handing out jelly babies ( i don't Even like them but took one) and rocky road. Don't know who you were but thank you, as i said earlier a smiley face and encouragement makes all the difference.

got grip here pleased to be back in trails again

the 2nd half of race was much improved, trails, Fields, forests etc, just lovely. Now if we could start it at strathclyde park next yr that would be great! There was a few tricky moments though. I was trying not to follow folk anymore and just follow signs and instincts. There were quite a few places, especially in the Forest sections that I'd come across 2 paths and luckily i seemed to pic right ones, nt sure if they both came out at same place but was happy not to get lost again. at least i dont think i was? who knows.

I kept swapping places with 2 blokes in front of me & we were all a bit unsure so it was good to know i wasn't only one at that point. We came through a bit where we got to what i can only describe as a thistle Field, now although there had been signs on the gate saying *this way* there was no obvious trail, just a field. We decided to just follow the Clyde anyway and ran through the thistle field, climbing a knolly bank thing which suddenly came to an end then climbing another noe which did same, lol. Then we passed load of cows i did Wonder if that was ones Soph had *warned* us abut on the clydestride FB page the other day.

Well thank god she did! :p they were as threatening as a Ray McCurdy in a race nd were just lying around being lazy cows quite frankly. As i was exiting said field i heard music, turned around and saw a quad bike with 3 girls whizzing about with radio on full blast, i think they were farm workers as thy seemed t be doing something feed wise, friggin mental west coasters.

Got to end of road where some lovely Marshall's were directing us across and down towards pathway again, i loved this whole section right to end. Last checkpoint wasn't too far from here

As i approached a bridge towards a lovely looking house there were folk cheering and clapping, this put spring n my step and i realised it was last checkpoint! wooop, vodka time. boy did i need it. Bumped into one of *the lst boys* here and asked where the others had gone he said they were about 1/2 mile ahead. I had n bloody idea how far was left though as i knew I'd added in extra miles but also *lost* miles when garmin was off my wee blonde head was about to explode trying to figure it out. Mark told me i had about "10 or 11" miles left so at least i had a vague idea.

Didn't stay long, just grabbed things and took off, and ran rest of race swapping places on & off with lost boy. I ended up in random Field not long after CP, there were 2 paths, i took wrong one, clearly. the trail stopped, so did i. I looked up t see 2 women waving at me from hillside, i shouted across and asked if i could get there and they said yes. So i schlepped across overgrown Field and climbed fence, they told me i was 3rd person to end up there in short time they're been there.

Ok, I've said it before but west coasters are mental ok. I ran past a duck pond and in the middle of it they had a hut which was blasting Judy garland music ut to the ducks, then further up there were 3 plastic cows in the field which looked more menacing than the ones Soph had warned us abut earlier Made me laugh though at least.Problem was my ipod decided to give up on me too, s i wa stuck with bloody judy garlandmy head for long enough.

Talking of which, i got txt around tis point to say she'd pulled out, was gutted for her. Also had txt from Phil to say he'd bloody hurt his foot, yet again n Devil ,yet again in same place. ffs, this day wasn't going so well...

got into a what seeme to be a wee village and passed 2 folk walkng, i asked how far to New Lanark and they said 1.5miles or so. bonza!Seemed to get there quite quickly and just as i ran like loon into (very lovely!) village, Debbie & Sharon passed in car peeping horn and shouting out window. Wehey, this must the the end and sped up again and ran through village... then on, and on

Damn, where is this finish? plenty signs though! so i knew i wasn't lost at least. this section was great actually, zigzagging my way down through forest i overtook someone and was who was cramping every time he tried to sprint. He encouraged me to press on though. I passed LOADS families and at one point said to one group "where the fuk is finish?* oops.they just laughed at me. Actually it was just ahead. Down the steps across the grass and woohooo, i'd finished.

Big Hug from Lee @ finish and fab tshirt and cold beer at end hit spot. Was great to catch up on everyone at end and swap stories about general lostness lol

Was delighted to see Lesley finally make it end of an Ultra, her smile was mile wide, go girl you did it!

Was bit worried waiting on Nick coming in but didn't want to txt him in case it freakedhim out. i actually thought at point that Nick & Sophie must've went ahead of me. Then i got to end and saw Ray standing there and nearly fell over. Turned ut he was timed out though! Nick came through smiling, god knows how after also getting lost and having dodgy stomach for days before and all way through race. Hats off to him for carrying on, not sure i could've/would've.

Ended up doing 41.44 miles, which wasn't as far as some folk! I was disappointed with my time and my performance but I've got over it. I guess it just wasn't my day. We have them all time in training runs but this was first time in a race that i just couldn't pull it together.I think it was getting lost that threw me, it's first time that's happened too. Still the old saying of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger stands i guess. I guess we've all got to have bad runs sometimes so we can remember how good the good ones are.

Want to say Many thanks to Lee & all themarshalls/supporters, i know just how much hard work she has put into this race.

Hope this report doesn't put folk off doing the race or detract from Lee's marvellous acheivement for pulling this race together in wa she did :)
I'm justa bit of dizzy blonde who doesnt do maps/directions very well perhaps. I will say i didn't enjoy 1st half but loved 2nd half.


  1. Thanks Now I've got bloody Judy Garland stuck in my head :-)

  2. Great blog as always x It is always lovely to see you waiting for me at the finish, just sorry you have to wait so long!

  3. oh yeah, now I remember getting lost in that field too and having the climb the fence! Well done, great report - see you at RAW :o) x

  4. LoL @ getting lost in the field. Follow the Clyde all mine all mine. :-D
    I think perfect ultra prep would of been for most of us to look at the bloody maps!! ;-)

  5. great report x How about i get you a navigation course for christmas babe. x



This could be a long blog, but 100 miles is a long way. I've always had a pull to this race for various reasons. I've heard many g...