Tricia/TP - Still swithering about my entry, would like to do it but would be mega
bad wife leaving P behind after his stone procedure earlier in the week (it should have been a couple of weeks ago).
Somewhere they said expect an hour up on your normal marathon time. The canal section will be pretty flat and I think there's 8 or so miles of that. I think if I do it will be treating it as a short ultra, but as you say will have to carry own snacks!
Had a very slow run at Harris HM 10 days ago but still got first V55 prize, better weather than last time I did it but a bit of a headwind. Followed by 12 miles on the WHW (Kingshouse to Bridge of Orchy) while we were away and 20 miles on Sat Stromness to Birsay, which was amazingly soggy underfoot for the time of year, started warm and sunny, then rained heavily for an hour then brilliant sun for the last 8 miles.
Finished in 4.12.42, most of the Orkney folk already home but a few still to come so waited for them in another heavy hailshower before the very welcome soup etc!
Time to chill before the ceilidh which went really well and two of us picked up age group trophies.
Tired legs and brains yesterday, a last walk on Balnakeil beach, trip to Smoo cave for the first time visitors, lunch and the drive home - which was not without incident, almost collided with a French driver who had come off single track road onto the wrong side of the road at Bettyhill. Lots of braking and both drivers somewhat shaken but unharmed.
Complete brain fuzz at work today but guess that means it was a good week!
Race morning didn't dawn too bad but warned by the RD that he would pull out any runners looking like they were getting cold I changed jacket to my heavy waterproof and bunged on a hat.
Off out through the village, wind hitting straight away but still dry. Worse exposure out of the village heading down to ferry turnoff but still not too bad. Became aware that everyone was clumping together in an attempt to gain some wind protection but we were all too close and kept bumping into folk and wanted some space, wasn't to happen though as any time I got clear of our little clump the wind slowed me up and ended up back in it again!
Then at 6-7 miles the extra treat, heavy, and I mean heavy hail, not just short showers but 10-15 min at a time, painful on exposed thighs! Brief respite, then another bout, and so it went on, a few folk slowed dramatically and 4 withdrew and were pulled from the race at this point! At the same time the hill climb started, on and on until just over 11 miles in, then downhill for 2 miles until the turn. Still tough going into the wind the only consolation we were going to have the hail on our backs in a minute!
So pleased to see the marshall at the turn and it even stopped raining. The way back was a completely different experience, the field spread out and it was much nicer running though tough on the old legs pounding downhill for about 4 miles. Felt realtively strong up until 22 miles though and then it wasn't far to go though the last 2 miles were hard work, made up a few places on the way back in and a marked negative split for most folk.
Friday we were meeting 2 other Orkney marathon runners off the bus and three others coming by car in the afternoon, had a drive down to Oldshoremore, very nice beach but a bit chilly to linger when the rain came on. Rest of the day socialising, drinking tea and eating. The decision not to run the marathon on the Cape had been looming all week and finally announced on Thurs, no surprise with more 40 -50 mph winds forecast but disappointing especially for those who hadn't done it before. So we knew about the wind, rain, hills but there was one treat in store yet!