Bitterly cold at the finish, finish gazebo was threatening to blow away and had to be dismantled before the last ten or so finishers came in so quickly got some warmer clothes out of the car. Dry socks and shoes felt amazing, worth waiting for and seriously cushy smartwool socks they were too. Realised I had drunk next to nothing all day - oops so had a drink and waited for the others including Peter to come in. Everyone well within the darkfall cutoff!
Not too many folk hanging around when we went back up to the shed for our soup and chilli but had a chat with a few who were (including one other Orkney runner) and incidentally managed to interest a couple in Loch Katrine in March before catching the last few minutes daylight on our way back to Killin.
On the whole I enjoyed it after my awful start, could have improved my time but just wasn't there on the day. I think the large number of young runners and tri folk meant there weren't many folk at the back of the race - unlike other ultras I've done but a good run on a tough route. Would have been very exposed on a bad day at the time of year though.
Nice meal afterwards in the Bridge of Lochy hotel after the drive back and bath. Stiff as a board yesterday and travelling all day didn't help but better today (though still stiff).
Peter "Can we not do any more ultra's THIS year" made me laugh!
At 19 miles another checkpoint which I ran through and onto another landrover track which went over the top of the glen before dropping steeply to come back to along the bottom. Slightly rougher and muddier surface than before and lots of gates meant hard to keep it going. But could see and look forward to a long sharp downhill which when reached actually turned out to be really difficult to run on as it was very steep and uneven, I ran it but it was not fast! At the bottom a much better surface and most of it but got tired approaching the climb back up to the top. (Probably forgot to eat).Lots of sleepy highland cows watching in bemusement and 2 solitary spectators!
The climb back up was initially a very steep zig zag back to the last check point and no way could I run it but power walked. Grabbed a piece of tablet and square of fruit cake (yummy) at CP to munch up the rest of the hill and get going again for the last 2 downhill miles. Now the wind was getting up and it was cooler so put on the top I had removed earlier. Downhill hard on tired quads, but knew it wasn't far, eased off on the last wee rise before a look at watch showed that 6.15 was a possible so off down the last half mile to the finish. 6.11 something, OK the winners had been in for 2 hours but I was the oldest lady there so happy enough. Lots of young fast triathletes taking part.
Big checkpoint with drop bags and fresh socks here 14.4 miles with hot drinks bananas, cake etc but quite busy and couldn't persuade anyone to give me a drink so eventually helped myself, ate half a banana, grapped a pair of socks and stuffed them in my drop bag as couldn't be bothered changing and feet would only get wet again and I was off. Enjoyed running over the dam but not quite sure of the way - was directed wrong way by someone who'd pulled out but fortunately someone else came by and knew we didn't go that way. So accompanied 2 young guys half way up the hilly road into the next glen until they decided to run a bit so I left them to it - plodded on joined by two folk who had spent somewhat longer at the checkpoint. Heading down hill the other side was nice though hard on the quads and saw the first finishers returning when I was about 18m (speedy)
OK, so he's beaten me to it! Obviously not working hard enough this morning. Still will add my little bit.
Tigh nam Bodach, a tough wee run for no obviously good reason!
As Peter said getting there was half the battle with an early and very choppy ferry but arrived in Killin about 5pm, drive over the Ben Lawers road where we would go tomorrow very eerie in the dark with it trying to snow and high wind.
Fed and had an early night before another 5.30am start and a nice breakfast left out for us by our kind landlady. Drive back over to the start took about an hour on single track roads but the wind had gone down from the previous day and as we arrived dawn trying to break. Parked by the dam and a walk up to register in a large shed lit by organiser's headtorches and one of those patio heaters! Took a while to psych myself up to removing my coat as it was still fairly dark and chilly.
Briefing and off pretty promptly just after 8.30, short run down to where the track climbs over the hill at one end of the dam and back to walking for a bit. The landrover track then goes all round Loch Lyon with a few minor ups and downs, should have been easy running but after 2 miles was having difficulty catching my breath and had to stop and walk. Not happy and not sure why. My rucksack felt very heavy but wasn't really, everyone went past me but was grateful to one girl who asked if I was OK and advised just to walk through it. Good advice and appreciated. Settled after what seemed ages, maybe about a mile and got running again just before first river crossing and had no further bother even though I had thought I might have to drop out.
River crossings were less deep than imagined with no real current and were actually no problem but definitely more than the organisers had said. Not too cold either in fact once heading back other side of loch and out of wind actually got quite hot. Chugged along trying to catch a group of 3, eventually caught 2 of them and now the dam was again in sight, almost half way.
Mrs Mac - No advice from experience but would advise not doing too much until you are pain free walking reasonable distances. Then take it steadily from there. Probably try road/treadmill before you hit the trails again.
TP - hope you get paid.
Not scared about ultra - much!! Just hoping the boats are going Fri morning as big winds forecast, but guess better to be stormbound on Orkney than Antarctic. Hope FFB gets home soon.