Monday, 15 November 2010

The Road to Tyndrum

Can be a rocky one!

Had pretty quiet week and only ran 3 times, work has been really busy though. I wanted to be extra rested leading up to race as although i wasn't racing it, it was going to be my longest run since perth and i needed to make sure i was going to be strong enough to get Susan through the latter part of race.

Was out for drinks and lovely dinner on friday but in bed fairly early. Sat morning was spent cleaning house then watching the fottball as it was early kick off. Before too long Susan said she was @ penicuik and i realised i hadnt even packed yet! ffs.

Threw stuff in suitcase and Susan arrived. Quick coffee and we left, Susan put my case in car commenting that it was very light. It was then i realised i'd not packed any trainers! jeez, had to run back in and grab them and off we went. Roadtrips with Susan can be an adventure, a few years ago we headed up to do Lochaber Marathon and somehow managed to go round Loch Fynne and through Oban. Seriously.

THis time we'd got instructions and we kepy kinda foccused on road ahead. We made it to Tyndrum without any worries and after checking in to our Luxury Hotel we went off to grab some supplies and get food. Clearly the Tyndrum Hotel is anything but luxury. I'd stayed there few times before but Susan hadnt had the *pleasure* Our room was baltic.Radiators freezing, luckily there was a convector heater to compensate, that and a *fat* telly with no remote control. And a sticky carpet. Lovely, really it is.

Anyway...we had great burgers in Paddy's bar and few glasses of wine. We decided to head to our room with bottle wine we'd bought in greenwelly to watch classic saturday night telly. Susan emptied out all her supplies ont bedside cabinet, here is her side of bed.
Here's mine >

lol, i did have some supplies honest. And because we were leaving too early for breakfast the hotel kindly made us packed lunches. You cant fault the service there I'll give them that, they couldn't have been more friendly & helpful. We decided it would be warmer to watch xfactor actually in bed but not sure this made us any warmer, as Susan quite rightly pointed out it was a 0.5tog duvet. lol.

Up at 6am to have breakfast and get organised. It was then i realised I'd not packed my garmin ffs. Oh well, i wasn't racing no big deal. I was wearing my kilt as the race organisers were trying to break record for most people wearing kilts in a race.

Before too long it was time for off, got lift up to start (kinlochleven) from Phil & Liz, many thanks. Logistically it wasn't exactly easy to get to and they saved us any major running around next day.

Got to start and register and we got our fabby tshirts, we had choice of jacket or tshirt but opted for shirt, they're techy ones and at least will get used again.Met Dr Andrew Murray @ start, what an incredibly lovely humble guy. Most people had long tights on under their kilts, i was only one with wee shorts on lol, most folk told me i was nuts lol

Ian & Lorraine arrived and after few hugs and pics it was time for offski. Susan was more than a bit nervous but i told her I'd look after here and get her to end.

Conditions were just perfect, a proper sunny winters day and the higher we got the snowier it got. It was really icy on some parts too which made it bit hairy but it was great fun. Everyone was chatty & friendly and it was a very social race. It was pretty snowy at top of Devil's staircase which made it all the easier to run on instead of the patchy ice. Ian had done that part before but it was all new to Susan and i was explaining that the descent is far quicker than then ascent (going from kinlochleven to tyndrum anyway! the other way takes FOREVER)

We had great fun bounding down devil and we got to bottom before too long. We enjoyed the run towards kingshouse and everyone was still in good spirits. The road up towards the ski centre was really quite icy and horrid to run on, we passed a couple of walkers who congratulated us and suddenly one was lying flat out on ground after slipping, we checked he was OK and headed off along Rannoch Moor.

We overtook MrsMac, her hubby & few others on moor and we eventually lost Ian here too.I think our eagerness to get off it meant we pushed on that bit faster. Sun was beating down on us by this time and i decided to change into my vest, so there i was standing in my bra when who appears from nowhere but Andrew Murray! lol, of all the times.. He told us we were flying and we had quick chat before he took off , we kept him in sight for about 20 mins before losing him. He'd apparently taken a wrong turn somewhere and did extra couple miles hence he was behind us. lol too funny.

Soon enough we were off moor and heading towards Victoria Bridge, it was here that Susan started to wobble. She told me i should go on ahead without her when we got to bridge of orchy, i told her in no uncertain terms that wasn't going to happen, this was a recurrence for rest of race.

we had nice view of way up hill ;)


She would keep stopping & tell me she couldn't go on, I'd tell her she had no choice unless she could fly to end. Then she said she wanted to sit down, i told her that certainly wasn't going to happen! Then she got cramp every time we climbed a stile, then she felt sick. lol, i was used to all this after buddy running her last 12miles of fling 2 yrs previous so everything she threw at me i was ready for.
I lost count of times she told me to go on ahead to leave her. I lost count of times i told her to fuck right off. She said she was spoiling race for me because she was so miserable, that she was making me miserable. I turned to her and said *do i look miserable to you?* she agreed i didn't
I was actually having the best day ever, totally chilled out and loving the scenery, the run, everything. The fact i wasn't racing was party to that, the other fact was i had said to Susan I'd run the race with her and that was exactly what i was going to do.

Susan doesn't realise just how Strong she is, she was running really well but it didn't matter what i said, her head was saying something else.Considering our stopping and starting we still managed to overtake several people on last last stretch, and before too long we were at gate top of hill where a smiley Lorraine was takin
g pics having completed the 7 miles run and was on her way back to bridge of orchy. We ran down that last hill like the wind and we crossed the line hand in hand to huge cheers & applause. we finished in 5hrs 43mins

Just brilliant.I was so proud of her but she still couldn't see how well she'd done, i think after a few days reflection she will though. With few more back to back training runs in she'll be more than ready go tackle the Fing again.

We went off to collect our medals, have chat with Andrew Murray & few of marshalls and missed Ian coming in. It wasnt until we were safely enconssed in green welly with tea & a crabbies ;) that i realised it was Ian's first Ultra! Because he'd done so many training runs with us up WHW and in braemar last yr i completly forgot that was his first,felt bad about not seing him in after that! doh.
Went back to see Liz coming in but missed her , seemed to be theme of day! was starting to get cold by then so after saying our goodbyes we headed off to Hotel. Oak tree Inn is like the polar opposite of Tyndrum Lodge. Amazing rooms, warm, cosy, inviting and fantastic views. What more could you ask for? Had lovely dinner and drinks n front of roaring log fire, perfect. Had many a drunken in night there last yr with Karen, George and the motley crew, we were always last ones in bar and usually got thrown out haha

Out this morning for 4 glorious miles along Loch Lomond, it was a stunning but very c
old day. great way to end a brilliant weekend.


  1. I must, I MUST come and run up there.Please make sure you make me

    Fantastic running you pair

  2. you really MUST come up then! you're morethan welcome anytime, you were supposed to come up last yr remeber?

  3. Great read Sandra, and I agree, Susan IS a lot stronger than she thinks she is!

  4. Sandra, I was one of the marshalls yesterday and I was absolutely awestruck that you were running in that kilt and bare legs! You really looked like you were enjoying yourself and I hope your friend is proud of herself for finishing the run with your encouragement/nagging (delete as appropriate). It was a cracking day all round.

  5. Julie, all the marshalls were smiley & happy this always helps keep me happy too! You all did wonderful job, many thanks.Think Susan can see how well she did now!

  6. Well done to you and Susan, Sandra. Looks like a great run and that's a cracking picture of Susan with Kings House and the hills in the background.

  7. 0.5 tog diabolocal, I'm surprised you didn't make like boy scouts.
    If you did can we see the pictures;-)



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...