Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Highland Fling

This was my 4th Fling this weekend. 4th! I've only finished the damn thing once though.

My first Fling was very special in so many ways but I've already blogged about that. 2nd i fell once early on the again a mile from BeinGlas. I thought i'd done some real damage and pulled out there. Last yr i felt great for first 15miles then started to feel crap. Coming across poor Ellen lying with broken shoulder in Forest near Rowardennan confirmed another Fling DNF. Again, it's there in my blogs.

But things were being sent to test me before getting anywhere near the race. I originally had planned to run with my whwrace crew. Susan & Nick. But Susan got injured, then Nick did too. And Ian had football so i had to change plans around a bit. Nick told me he was still coming to support me, which is quite incredible considering he lives in blooming Lincoln.

So this year was going to be different, i was getting to end if i had to bloody crawl there. Training has been going well and i was confident, but you never really know whats going to happen on the day. We arrived in Tyndrum the night before and had much fun meeting up with all the usual suspects. I slept really well and was raring to go by time 6am came around, which for me is a perfect race start time. Quick photo call with club mates and we were good to go.

I had specific instructions from Ian and was determined not to mess things up. Bit difficult reeling it in now that first section has been upgraded so much, had to keep pulling self back so as not to suffer later.I loved that so many good friends were marshaling, i got kiss off both George & Karen at Beech Tree then Neil & Caroline at Drymen, love it. Puts proper spring in step that does.
 Got to top of conic and much to my surprise i also found Ian. Quick chat/kiss and i was off back down. Plenty people passing me taking advantage of upgraded path but i was being mindful of my quads for latter stages.

David caught me here and we ran into Balamaha together and then headed to toilets. I was in and out there and on my way again.Not long after coming off the first climb after Balmaha a relay runner passed me rather speedily. He then proceeded to run towards guy in front and can only describe it as manhandled him out way! When guy protested the relay runner shouted "I'm in a race mate"  guy responded "aye, so am i!" how rude!
yeah you're in race but a mere 12miles compared to the 53 we were doing it's fucking rude to do that.  Rest of relay runners were great btw. whoever you were, hang you re head in shame, doubt you'll be reading this though, guessing us Ultra runners aren't important enough.
 Arrived at Rowardennan bang on schedule and after lovely hug from Fiona R i was off again. Arrived at Inversnaid again bang on time again. More kisses and hugs from Karen & George and off i go again.

I struggled this section, lots of people were passing me here. Not sure if it was because i was slowing down or if i was being sensible still. There is so much jumping off rocks and trees here that i was ever mindful of my ankle problems. Every time i jumped off a rock, cause lets face it there is no choice here, i felt crunching. I was probably over paranoid but after issues I've had i didn't care. So i took it easy and i calmed down and let people pass.

Which meant i came into Beinglas feeling good. Dropbag here had a bottle irn bru, can red bull and a miniature of vodka. Helen Munro was much amused (thanks for pic) and i took that and took off. Took slug of redbull and poured vodka in then called Ian to let him know where i was. I was around 30mins behind schedule here and was worried it had all gone pear shaped.

Not so said he, you've got 2.5hours to get to end, you CAN do this. You know what?after that phone call i knew I'd put everything i had left.I also txt Nick to let him know my time. I came across Duncan McGoohan about mile from Beinglas (he was everywhere!) and he kindly took my empty can and off i went. Just after Derry Darroch i came back onto trail then came a cropper, tripping on smallest stone. Smashed knee hard and landed in pile of cow poo.

Lay there shouting FUCK. Hurt my elbow which was bleeding but my knee was really hurting. Oh well, not lot i could do except pull self up and get on with last 9 miles eh?
In fact it probably spurred me on. I started seeing people in distance and targeting them, passing them and setting new targets. I ran through Cow poo alley as others were tip toeing round edge, fuck it, i'd already been lying in it did it matter if it got all over my shoes?

Got to Crianlarich and had forgotten Gavin was going to be there, another huge hug and i was on way up into forrest. Another mile on who should appear but saint Nick!
Now i knew he was coming but i had expected him around the wigwams perhaps, he was at bottom of hill 5 miles out and when i spotted him to took off up hill. I soon caught him though ;)

we carried on picking people off and chatting away happily. By wigwams i was bursting and had to run to loo and as i came out Keith Ainslie passed me, i was suprised and told him i thought he'd be way ahead of me, he told me he'd been chasing me since Beinglas!

Told Ian this yesterday and he told me i couldve got sub11 if i'd not gone, told me i shouldve peed myself and that i'd be getting cleaned up at end anyway! lol. No race is worth that much, sorry!

So no i didn't sub11, but i was very happy indeed with 11.05 which was a PB by a about a minute.Had few glasses of red at finish and quick catch up wth everyone. Delighted to find out my  clubmate Fionna came 2nd, so delighted for her, only got beaten my a minute too! We got 1st ladies team too as well as mixed team prize. Not bad for wee club - go Harmeny!  Sean cleaned me up at end and made me scream a bit but i was ok really.

I'd told Nick not to let me stay too long at end (no willpower me) as we(he!) had to drive to Fort William, get cleaned up, food and sleep to start all over again in morning in Tyndrum but thats another blog. We headed off still meeting loads folk and hugging/ catching up as we headed to car, Nick joked that it's like walking along road with Julia Roberts. Shame he's no George Clooney ;)

Got to Fort William and all i could think about was a hot bath. Checked into my room to find a shower. I actually nearly cried, i also swore. Then i found out i only had 2 towels. ffs, 2 people were originally booked in this room.
 towels? Oh, and no hairdryer> wtf. Travelodge fail.

I txt Nick to say was ready and off we went for a massive Indian meal and few more glasses red and i was tucked up in bed by 10.30 ready to face next days challenge.

another blog to follow.


  1. Sounds exciting Sandra and maes me even more jealous that I was working. Damn shifts!



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