I'm back to doing a lot more double runs again. This makes me feel far more normal. This week i ran 8 times in total so i decided to have nice lazy day on Saturday spending the day watching for updates on UTMB When i heard Karen had been timed out i felt sick and almost cried, i was proper gutted for her. Sent her txt to see if she was ok and she said she was, gutted but ok nonetheless. Never have i wanted someone to finish a race so much, after all the dispapointment of the previous year :(
Rest of day was spent endlessly checking facebook and twitter watching people progress, exciting stuff. Phil txt me to say he was having breathing problems and was pulling out as he reckoned he'd be timed out at next Cp, i txt him back to see if he was ok and he said he was in back f a landrover and apparently in Italy, lol. He seemed pretty cool though, i was just releived he was ok. Next one we lost was George who was also having breathing problems. Not the news i wanted to hear at all.But again, once i checked with Karen we knew he was safe and ok it was relief. UTMB is damn hard race taking no prisoners. I take my hat off to all who even attempt it. Think we awoke to news that Ritchie had aced it and was finished, woohoo.
Sunday morning we were up early to head down to Melrose for a race.
Chris & Caroline organised same race last year but i was up doing Speyside so i missed it.It's not an official race at the moment, it was pretty much just fetchies and a few locals. But it had everything an official race should ie- registration, a race director, Marshall's, routes, disclaimers...
I knew there was hills involved and that was about it. After leaving a rather dreich and windy Edinburgh we set off for the Borders and drove towards the sunshine. Although still breezy (the car was shaking) at least it would be sunny for the race.. We arrived and registered soon enough the hall was awash with people who were either marshalling, running or just arriving with a plethora of cakes!
Race was meant to start at 11am but someone was late, bit unusual for Sophie to be late ;) but she got there in the end.... Chris asked me to quieten everyone down by shouting so he could do his pre race briefing. I listened intently for a change as i had no clue of route and wasn't sure if there would be anyone to follow. One tip he said was to make sure we had the Eildon hills on our right, and if they weren't then turn back because we were lost. lol
We all followed Chris up to Railway station and after waving my garmin in air, putting it on my head and lying it next to road it refused to grab a signal, as everyone was watching and waiting on me i told them i wouldn't bother with it and would wait on it kicking in as i ran. And it did. So off we went, the local boy took his place at the front and it wasn't too long til he was in the distance with Ian on his heels. I was behind Ian with Al, IanS and Soph.
Al said he was taking it easy as he'd been doing time trials and hills the day before and was chatting away, clearly running at a leisurely pace. I was working hard and gasping answers out occasionally to him lol I could hear Soph yap yap yapping away behind me to Ian lol As we came to a second gate and a hill Al mustve got fed up with my heavy breathing and took off into the distance. My aim was to keep him in my sights.
I soon lost the dulcet tones of Sophster so was on my lonesome but keeping sight of young Al. The hills were relentless, there didn't seem to many downhills at all to make up for what seemed like endless drags. My lungs and my legs were working hard. I last saw Al as i approached the village of Bowden, he was just leaving, it was still going uphill. Through the village and a small down followed by more ups and dodging some Combine harvesters & tractors as i took in the climb ahead. I'd completely lost sight of Al by now and had to keep wits about me to make sure i didn't take wrong turns. Thank god i listened to breifing. Chris was out on the course around mile 3 i think, right at top of a hill where i gasped and said *fuck, this is hard work*
I realised at this point that i was 1st lady, wow, me, 1st lady in a race. This must be how Lucy Colquoun feels all the time! woohooo Ok there weren't that many girls in the race but you can only race who's there right?I kept close eye for the arrows and there were few Marshall's out pointing us in right direction too.
On and on the the climb went and windier and windier it got making it even more tougher. My legs were screaming stooooooooooop, I'm an Ultra runner, i walk up hills not bloody run up them. I did relent and took few walking breaks, walk 10 paces, run 20. Did that til got to top whilst vowing never to come back and eventually there was a downhill.
I'd gone the wrong way.
I turned myself around and ran back cursing my stupid self. As soon as i turned the corner i saw Sai in the distance marshaling and waving at me. She pointed across the road to a pathway and shouted encouragement at me. As soon i saw entered the path i saw Soph and Ian ahead at end of path. Fuck, there goes my lead, i ran like a loon and busted my lungs trying to catch them but they disappeared.
Out the pathway and i could see the train station and i gave it all i could. Soph ran back towards me with a perplexed look on her face wondering what the hell had happened to me lol. I crossed line just a minute behind her & Ian having done and extra half mile! ffs, Muppet. total time was 1.14.02 Race was officially 13.1k or 8.14 miles. Or if you're me 8.55 miles and 13.8k ;)
I was handed a medal and a goody bag and got huge hugs by the gorgeous triplets who were doing a damn fine job on finishing line. :o) Ian had a cracking run and came in under the hour. We saw a few folk in then headed down to the hall to get changed as it was more than a bit windy and cold by then.
Quick change and back into hall where we were met with a tremendous buffet. Sandwiches, cakes, crisps, sausage rolls, you name it. Let me just point out that this race was free, all Chris had asked for was a donation to his charity.We got a medal, a goody bag and fed! Incredible that all his friends and family had pulled together not only to Marshall, time keep, but also to go to all this trouble too. Nothing short of fabulous.
I had about 4 cups of tea and enjoyed sarnies and cakes whilst catching up with everyone. We all agreed it was bloody tough race but also that is was lovely route and superbly organised. I was only numpty who took wrong turn and i blame myself for not listening properly. Ian is always telling me i have 2 ears and one mouth lol
Chris did bit of prize giving and gave out few spot prizes. . He picked Ian's brains a bit about what else he needed to do and i have to say, put this one in your diaries for next year folks. Yes its tough but its a lovely route and worth it for the crazy downhill at the end, and for those of you who like your cakes then you certainly wont be disappointed.
Massive well done to Chris, Caroline and their small army of helpers. Top work.
Got home and settled down to watch one of best football games i've ever witnessed,i had to drink a bottle of bubble to celbrate. Happy days.
Rest of night was spent constantly checking on rest of random scottish punters doing UTMB, it was exciting typing in the race numbers and watching the wee red line progress across those mountains, cracking website they've got and superbly organised. John K had spreadsheets and a dedicated site updating everyone too, top work as usual John!
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