Cateran Trail- Ian very kindly let me sleep and went off to do sort out drop bags at 5.30am, or silly o clock as he called it. Normal time for me that is.
I woke up in panic with sun streaming through the window and feared I'd slept through the race, in reality it was 7.50am. Ian got back after doing drop back duties and we went off for breakfast. We left hotel around 9 as our front runners were expected around 10ish to our first checkpoint at Den Of Alyth(26m)
We arrived same time as Colin Knox's parents and they very kindly (along with quite few other's who arrived as i was down in park) helped us ship all the bags from car to the park. Ian was on timing duties and i was on sorting drop bags. First through were the 2 Paul's, Paul who went on to win race only started running last yr, his family were lovely and really excited for him.
It was great being on other side of fence and watching people come through and trying to help where i could. Everyone was most appreciative and there were plenty smiley faces around at halfway point. Once the sweepers passed through we packed up and headed off for next CP at Enochdu, stopping very briefly to pick up and sandwich for us and a beer for Phil who'd requested one at last CP . We were bit worried about arriving too late as we were expected thre around 1.30 but were a good 20mins later. I'd got txt from Phil to say he'd pulled out at Blairgowrie, he is being cautious and sensible (shock) so he can make start of WHW.
Luckily we were fine, got updates from Karen as people progressed through CP's, she had it going like clockwork. Paul's family had arrived just before us and were super excited by now at prospect of him winning his first race. We had bit of chat about races etc and Paul came through looking fine and took off strong for last 6 miles. Weather was getting bit rank by now and it was raining pretty heavily, Ian stayed in car doing times (so sheet didn't get soaked) whilst i sorted peoples bags. Again everyone was lovely,i made sure folk knew what was ahead of them before they left though, ie- 5miles of climbing lol!
Colin's parents arrived looking worried as they'd had missed call from him, I'd already warned him there'd be no dropping out at our checkpoints but it was all fine in the end, a phantom phone call as you were. Mike came through in 3rd place even after getting lost for bit and was looking really strong, he had smashing race. Andy less so, he'd been with Mike for most of race but had been throwing up fair bit. Still went on to finish in 5th place though!
Bob & Sean arrived to relieve us of our duties, and as much as i wanted to see all my freinds through i was fading a bit by then, we did drive up to Kirkmichael to see few folk through en route though and managed to catch Anna before heading back to Glenshee. Quick medicinal glass of wine and catch up and i went back to room for what felt like best bath I've ever had. 2 days of WHW, 76 miles and full days marshaling were soaked away nicely. Back into my dress and heels and i felt normal again. Was great watching everyone come in, still smiling even if looking as bad as i had finishing in FW (ie-soaked through and bedraggled) Cracking night was had catching up with good freinds & drinking too much wine and champagne for late Birthday Celebration for Jane. Well done Karen for pulling off another fabulous race. I'll be back in some capacity next year again.
By Monday i felt fully recovered and was back up at my normal time of 4.30 and ran to gym then to work. I've ran everyday this week but decided to take rest day on Friday as we had 20m run planned that night. As it happened i got to bus stop to find it was 17min wait so i ran til bus came and managed a few miles, even though i was fully dressed for work lol
Friday night. Plan was for Headtorch run at 11pm from Milngavie to Balamaha. I've not done much headtorch running at all. First time ever was doing back up for Jen on WHW 2yrs ago, and I've done few wee runs. So this was new territory, a chance to see how it's going to be in the actual race. Crazy Oz Keith kindly offered to run us so picked us up around 9pm, we drove to Balamaha where JohnK was parked up in his Firestarter Minibus ready to transport us back down to Minlgavie to start running. Quite daunting to have such quality runners such as Richie & Marco as part of group i have to say.
I didn't feel good for most of the run, i had crippling stomach pains and felt sick for very good part of it. Not sure if it was my body freaking right out for making it run at 11pm or what but i gritted teeth and got on with it. I managed to take a tumble again, not on tricky rocky parts or hills, oh no, i had to fall on probably flattest piece of tarmac we'd come across all night. Numpty.Oh well, yet snother bleeding knee.
Getting used to running with headtorch is odd, i felt like i had tunnel vision. And it's strange running not really knowing where you are, we are so used to looking around and recognising our surroundings, it was interesting(and a tad worrying!) to hear Ian say he'd got lost as had many other's in this section. So not only do you have to be vigiliant to not fall over, you have to check where you're going and not always blindly follow people in front i guess!
As we came through Forest section on approach to conic hill we started coming across carnage.At that point Richie called to say it was only going to get worse, he recommended we divert but we'd came across them by then so carried on at first. Massive trees had blocked the path. I got over one but next one was almost impossible. We could see Keith's headtorch through the branches as he clambered around the firs (ouch) and we decided then we should turn around. Keith said he was going to bash on and try and get through somehow. We bade farewell and headed with heavy hearts back up towards road. We ended up running into Drymen centre then down road towards Balamaha, this wasn't part of plan and we were both fedup . Keith called to say he'd got big lost and was heading towards lights but wasn't sure where it was, turned out he came off just before Conic after managing to get through all those bloody trees!
We still ended up running 20miles, and i did the whole section that I'm going to need my headtorch for during race so it was a great training run in the end, a bit of an adventure to say the least.Many thanks to Keith for being chauffuer and to Johnk too. Got home at 5am , quick shower and straight to bed, although i felt ready for bed i could've easily went to work as my body clock was confused.com and used to being up ready to run by now! So that's me covered every section (well except for diversion) of WHW. I'm as ready as i'll ever be to take on this race, i have a great crew ready to look after me and training is in the bag, taper time now.
Wine tasting later followed by Champions league final. Woop.
Racing tomorrow in Dunblane then meeting my lovely friends for spot of lunching.
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