Posted: 26/07/2015 at 20:19
So- race report:
It was obvious as soon as we drove up the hill to the start point ( at the bottom of the gondola at Aonach Mor ski area) that the last part of the race would be a pretty horrible up hill.
400 or so of us gathered in the ski centre carpark, where they were handing out free midgie repelant. We were then told to line up under the trees for th estart- I decided that this would just mean I would get eaten alive , as the midgies were out under the trees.
I jumped into the group as they set off. We started off on good wide track, in ideal temperatures- not too sunny, No rain all day.
There was a short bit of narrow muddy trail, with the odd puddle/ stream to jump over.
We ran past the Commando memorial, and down to the Caledonian canal- good ash trail, although a tiny bit boring. Down the neptunes staircase- serise of locks on the canal.
After this we went a few miles on pavement, and my calf muscles began to tighten up- I was reduced to run/ walk and eating a packet of crisps, which eventually seemed to solve the calf issue- by this time we were heading towards the final uphill for the last 4 miles of hilly trail- I passed a few people, and then the 26 mile marker appeared- you'd think all your troubles are over, but this last couple of hundred yards were on a very "undulating" mountain bike trail.
Finally across the line- 4:53 approx. About mid-pack, I think ( I was 199th!).
So- almost exactly 1 hr slower than my PB- I am a bit disappointed to with the problems with my calves, but happy that I finished strongly once I got more salt in.
ONwards and upwards- Would recommend this to anyone who needs a tough trail marathon to train for a hilly ultra, but it's not a PB course!
Only 1 runner went sub- 3.
I was 9th F50. Not sure I've often placed in the top 10 of anything!