Monday, 30 August 2010

Ultra Good Weekend

See what i did there? ;) After Thursday's shenanigans til the wee small hours i got up packed then headed off for very lovely leisurely lunch, think barely had time to sober up.. Then it was off to station to catch train. Stopped off en route to buy Jane some beautiful white roses, not cleverest idea! I then had to fight my way along the hell that is princes st during festival with huge bunch flowers, a case and a handbag! doh

Uneventful journey except for woman next to me who kept offering her daughter a tissue, when it was declined she would snap at her *then stop bloody sniffing* i was scared to sniff after that and ended up moving across aisle when i got chance lol

Jane picked me up from station and had a bottle of bubbly open by time i was shown to my room lol. That was quickly finished and we went of out for dinner, more wine was consumed along with some food of course!Was very excited to get first txt from UTMB about when she got to checkpoint, this was soon followed by txt from Soph to tell me it had been cancelled! Txt both George & Karen to see if she was ok and eventually got confirmation she was safe. There was still confusion later into night as to whether George's race was going ahead or not at that point.

Got to bed fairly earlish but didnt get to sleep til after 12...

Up again at 4.45,checked facebook & twitter to see that George & Richie were heading off to race start, thank god they got to race after all that!

Got dressed, breakfast and off we set for Buckie. Picked up number then headed off to Ballindalloch. Arrived to find midgies in full force, bloody evil little fuckers. Luckily Jane had some skin so soft in car and that seemed to do trick, no bites anyway.. Jane set off for her marshaling and i had wander around talking to Vicky, Paul, Karin and few others waiting on buses to arrive. Which they did before too long then it was hug city. Great to see everyone again.

Sarah shouted us over for race briefing which i listened to intently after thoughts of Clydestride! She promised we wouldn't get lost and had been out in bike with Sean for 6 hours the previous day marking course, i felt confident but made note to look carefully for the signs, it really spoiled my race time and i didn't want repeat performance.

We had a piper to set us off which was nice and off we went. My first thoughts were of how pretty the route was and that didn't alter for entire race.

Was caught up with my club mate's Fionna & Iain and we had bit of chat. Iain soon took off but me & Fionna ran for wee while together, it was her first Ultra and she was doing great. I let her go on though as i was quite happy to conserve energy for later.
It was flat for first 10miles or so, i stopped occasionally to take pics, all the tracks/trails were very runnable, after the devil this felt like running on marshmallows! lol

It had been raining on and off all week i think so it made it a bit muddy & slippy at times but nothing to stop us from running

Then we came across this sign. The UTMB clearly think it's all abut them when it comes to mudslides, we had our very own ;)
We crossed a few bridge, 2 of them extremely wobbly! i yelped like the big girl that i am, the more folk who got on it the wobblier it got haha, freaky. This bridge was tad more stable and stopped to take pic of river which was sparkling in the sunshine. Guy next to me told me it was River Spey and that was only time we crossed it

I had got a headache around mile 6 and i couldn't shake it, it started to make me feel sick and it lasted for next 15 miles :(
Iwas actually thinking about packing it in when couldn't shake sick feeling, then i had bit of word with myself. My focus is on WHW next yr, i'm sure there be plenty times when i feel sick during that so i got a grip and got on with it.

Got to Jane's checkpoint and gave her a wave and ran through, got to first checkpoint and just ran right through as i didn't need anything. I rarely stop at first checkpoints but i know the one time i don't leave anything I'll want something... lol

Had bit of chat with guy who'd done race before. Check it out, no top, and he no socks on ether. I dread to thin of chaff age issues by end of race! ouch.Thankfully he had shorts on!

Caught up with Robert & Penny the dog on first climb and he thankfully gave me some headache pills,was nice to have company and we chatted for next few miles as he told me about the hill race that takes place on the hill were on at that time, don't ask me to name it! We even passed a few cyclists struggling up! :)

Views like this are so worth the climbs!

missed out quite few pics this time as I had to keep putting my camera away as as we would suddenly get deluged in a downpour! we'd get dried out and then it would start all over again, monsoon proportions!

I was most impressed by how easy i was finding it, even in partsthat potentially you couldve got lost there was either a very clear sign, or a marshall. Great stuff. The diversion was just as Sarah had described it ie- nasty. Very overgrown (but pretty!) in parts,there was a very narrow path here and one wrong foot meant you slipped down a wee ravine, which i did several times. very tree stumpy on other parts

I was starting pick people off now, saw someone in distance and realised it was Simon, he's kicked my arse in Devil so i hadn't expected to see him but he was struggling with knee :( i made sure he was ok and left him with Robert & Penny and ran on.
Got to last checkpoint and just grabbed stuff and ran on, Vicky was there as was Alan who started chasing me shouting at me(abut grapes lol) then singing to me at which point i accelerated ;) worked in fling that did too, anyone needing a wee boost get Alan to sing and you'll take off into the night! hahaha Caught up with Donald, another teamate and he kindly fixed my bag for me as a keyring was bouncing around doing my nut in. I took off again and didn't see either of them til end.

Passed another marshal who gave very specific instruction towards a big white house, got round corner to find these!
what an amazing, special touch and i was filling u reading them all. I walked the entire length reading them all probably wasted good 5 mins but i couldn't not!
When i thanked Stephen for my message he said *eh? that was months ago!" lol

Saw Jane just up road from here and gave her my bag but I'd forgotten i was going to change into my harmeny vest before i finished, och well.
It wasn't long after her that Vicky caught me in the forest, she was flying! We had bit of chat about times and reckoned we'd both sub6 hrs if we kept at it. I stopped to tie my lace then carried on, then stopped again to bloody tie it, i have lock laces and just not got round t putting them in yet, must get it done"! Anyway, i ran on and couldn't see Vicky, crikey, she really mustve had put on a good sprint i thought. I got back down onto seafront to see Paul there. I said something about Vicky flying past and he said she'd not come through yet, i actually thought he was joking but he said he'd been there for an hour. Fuck, poor Vicky, she'd taken wrong turning, was gutted for her.

Last few miles were along coastline and i *thought* i was still on for sub6, of course if I'd read instructions properly I'd have sen it said 36.5 miles not the 36 i had in my head. My garmin beeeped at 36miles just i got to Murdo who was as cheery & smiley as ever,he told me it was just up into town and I'd be done. Cruel wee hill at corner and finish line was in sight. wooop, I'd done it. 6hours and 1 min! lol

Great finish with al the flags, Fab medal! i love medals i do :o)

Cant praise this race enough, Huge well done to Sarah and all the fabulous marshalls. Superbly organised, gorgeous route, what more could you ask for? Thats it for me in the SUMS series and it was quite frankly a perfect end to a pretty damn good year!


  1. Another great race Sandra. Well done.

    You can know start to really focus on the whw for next year.

    Do you have a target (time wise) in mind?

    No doubt your priority is to finish but the way you are running you should aim high!

  2. Well done Sants, another great run. :-)

  3. Great running and love the pics as usual

  4. I will be aimiing high yes John :)

  5. Great blog Santa and much respect. However, one question:- no VC at the end of the run??



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...