so the Fling was tougher than I expected! did nowhere near enough preparation but was confident of finishing despite abandoning my initial hope of a between 10 and 11 hour finish. felt ok at start and tried not to go too fast. beautiful sun poking over the top of the campsies overlooking the blane valley was a nice start to the day. arrived in drymen after 2.05 and was fine. the next section to Balmaha was no real hassle either. views from the conic were sublime looking north to what lay ahead.
next 7 miles after Balmaha were alright but I knew the wee hills were going to add up. arrived at Rowardennan feeling good but had made a point of taking 3-5 mins rest per drop bag stop to take on food and water comfortably. lots of folk just staying for a few seconds but I wasn't time obsessed just wanted to make sure I was loaded up with calories. the next section was a bit of a surprise as I hadn't realised it was so undulating. nothing mental just a lot of gentle but long uphill tracks. came in at inversnaid at about 7 20 ish and was in fine fettle. phoned missus to say only 18 miles to go, see you at the finish and got my ETA about 1.5/ 2 hours wrong! the next section over the rocks etc is a killer. I had read that it was tough but had no idea. knew by then there was no chance of sub 11 so hoped for a sub 12 and I'd cover the last approx half marathon section in 2.5 hours. nae chance! just so many goddamn hills and later on the downhills were very hard on the knees. my right knee as I type is swollen and much fatter than my right. I took some solace that despite having to shoo away about 30 coos and feeling like shit, I still overtook a good few relay teams and about 5 individual places. thought I was near the finish when I saw some buildings but it was the wigwams and a woman dishing out oranges said - 'well done you're doing great, only 2 miles to go.'
thought I had 400 yards left, so that was tough to hear, although oddly I ran the last 2.5/3 miles at a better pace than the previous 15. dreams of a glorious time were a million miles away and I was desperate to see my wife and her parents who had bravely hung about for 2 hours sitting in camping chairs. overriding feeling was of guilt that I'd made them wait so long due to my over ambitious estimated finish time, while missus W is carrying around a 7 and half month old bump.
finished in just over 12 and a half hours, slower than I had hoped for but I'm not disappointed with the time, delighted to have completed the very tough course. I definitely underestimated how draining the elevation and terrain is and clearly didn't prepare adequately but chuffed to have a Fling medal. I needn't have worried as family were all loving the Fling atmosphere and friendly outlook of all involved, not to mention the picture postcard scenery we enjoyed yesterday.
today, I'm hobbling about like the day after my first marathon in 2005. if... I do it again, definitely more hill work required! this event is awesome, the course is harsh, long and unforgiving but stunningly beautiful. organisation was excellent and everyone I spoke to was great. well done to everyone who ran the fling yesterday. Mrs mac - huge congrats and massive respect on your amazing time. awesome effort! also well done Lee on your first Balfron 10k. to turn up and finish after a car accident is much more than most would even contemplate! hope you enjoyed it and its the start of many more.
the fact that some guy beat the record by running it in 7.03 is astonishing. I have no idea how that is even possible. so, summer is a bit busy with our first wee one due for arrival mid June but maybe River Ayr Way next on the agenda...
welcome Lee-Anne! the Balfron 10k is a cracking race, it's quite hilly in parts but nothing crazy. you will find much flatter 10ks though. i've done it 3 times and it's always been great, the school is an excellent base for it and the course is beautiful. the views are amazing and the atmosphere supportive. you've chosen a peach for your first race!
there are loads of stunning races and routes to be had in central scotland especially in the summer. check out the scottish running guide for the most comprehensive race listings. Persoanlly I love the Callander Crags for a leisurely but hilly run which ain't far from you. or go from Bridge of Allan to Dunblane and back along the river path, short but sweet. you'll know the Hillfoots well no doubt so no need to tell you about Clackmannanshire! there is a free 5k Parkrun which is timed in Falkirk every sat morning at 9.30. run round part of Loch katrine is nice. forest paths in Queen Elizabeth forest in Trossachs is great too. there are hundreds on your doorstep. enjoy!
lovely 18/19 miler from Whiteinch to Milngavie then to Drymen along WHW with a mate on Saturday. beautiful views of the snow covered Campsies. perfect conditions. nice few ales and a beast of a burger at the Pottery to finish off a lovely day. always forget the nasty hills just before Drymen on the Gartness Rd. Fling is fast approaching and I've done nowhere near enough long distance but feel good. maybe have to resign myself to not having any time ambitions and just aim to finish.
glad to hear LK went well. I had signed up for the marathon and was going to take it very slowly as a Fling training run. however Missus w and I woke up with sore throats and all blocked up on saturday morning. went over to Callander direction and visited Doune Castle on Saturday and stayed with family just outside Doune. got up at 6 on the sunday but the sore throat was still there and a little wheezy, so reluctantly decided to to give it a miss. we were on a hill overlooking LK and it was sunshine/blizzard/sunshine/blizzard so despite being in a bad mood for a few hours about bailing out I think I made the right decision. running a marathon in the freezing cold with a sore throat etc would probably have put me on my arse for a week. didn't stop family giving me pelters right enough! however I've recovered already and will run tomorrow. DNS is definitely better than DNF! went for a short walk up the Callander Crags at 10am to clear the tubes and was wheezing all over the place so 26 miles would have been hell.
sounds like it went well by all the comments on here. well done FFB. hope you raised a fortune. Alzeimers Scotland is a great charity and was a factor in me choosing this event, so not bothered about 'losing' my entry fee! if you know what I mean. good luck in your Antarctic endeavours. well done to all those who braved the elements too.