Friday 24 September 2010

Not such a RAW deal after all

I made no secret of the fact that I wasn't up for the River Ayr Way (RAW) Race. I was only in it to complete the four races required to qualify for the Scottish Ultra-Marathon Series.

I had my eye on fourth position, which would mean the 1st lady vet. I know, I'm a bit of a charlatan considering I had only just turned 35 when I did my first race this year. And the organisers are changing it to 40 for next year.

After a disastrous training run on the route two weeks before the race, I just had to screw my head on and get to the end.

The first 20 miles - of the just shy of 41 mile - I was a bit up and down, but after I left the Catrine checkpoint I felt reborn. The miles just kicked off and I really enjoyed the last 20 miles. Weird, eh?

It was by far my favourite race this year. The first, The Highland Fling - I blew up. The West Highland Way Race - well, it's 95 hilly miles. Enough said. The third, the Devil o' The Highlands - was just nasty from the start and then I fell running full pelt down a hill. RAW was the way I liked to feel during all races. Maybe it was the conservative start. Or maybe I ate so much the day before I should have really turned at the end and ran back to try and burn it off.

JK basically wrote my race report for me, so click here for the full account.

I got the points I needed to take 1st lady female...just. I didn't realise how close it was until the awards ceremony. My 1617 to Gail Murdoch's 1616. Thankfully most of the races are on trail, as Gail would run circles round me on the road.

The biggest challenge was trying to get my shoes on for the SUMS ball. My feet were soaked within one mile of starting the race, so my blisters had blisters.

Congratulations to all who completed the series. Especially Sonic who finished third in a hugely competitive field.

1st male Grant Jeans
2nd Jack Brown
3rd Marco Consani

1st female Lucy Colquhoun
2nd Sharon Law
3rd Jamie Aarons

1st male vet George Cairns
2nd Thomas Loehndorf
3rd Gavin Harvie

1st female vet Debbie Martin Consani
2nd Gail Murdoch
3rd Rosie Bell

1st male supervet John Kennedy
2nd Bill Hutchison
3rd John Kynaston

1st female supervet Elaine Calder
2nd Marion McPhail
3rd Jane Grundy

Thursday 16 September 2010

The (less) grand finale

Wow! Has it been that long since my last post? And I haven't got that much to say. I've made a half-arsed attempt at training for the River Ayr Way Race this Saturday. I'm only doing it to make up the fourth event to qualify for the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series. I'm guessing the majority of the field are in the same frame. I'm kinda cursing my DNF at the D33 now, but needs must.

So what's been happening over the last month? Still can't believe it's been almost a month since my last drivel-session. Well, I recovered fairly well from the Devils race - once the bruising and swelling had gone down and I could bend my knees again. I'll never again underestimate the importance of fully functioning knees when looking after an exuberant toddler.

Then there was the trip to Chamonix to support the troops on various races on the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit. Anyway who follows ultra running will know all the races were stopped/suspended/re-arranged. A lot of whw blogs have gone into detail, but I'll spare you. Despite only being on the sideline, it did put a bit of a damper on the holiday. Quite literally, courtesy of the monsoon conditions.

Here are some pix of the sun shining.

When it raining, it was bloody awful. Especially in a region that's so geared up for outdoor activities.

The morning the CCC started, the GM and I ran from Chamonix to Les Houches and I don't remember ever being that soaked. No wonder there so many who bowed out of the race - even before it was eventually stopped for less-able runners.

Thanks to the Crazy German for providing a comedy lifeline and DNF-ing at 5K. Although he maintains "it was six!". After he successfully completed the WHW on this third attempt, I've been a bit low on the ground on mocking material. Thanks, CG, for taking one for the team. The Courmayeur 5K will always have a special place in my heart :-) The comedy highlight was the night the UTMB started. Whilst running to a restaurant to escape the torrential rain, the GM shouted "Come on, Thomas. We'll get you up to 10K today".

Let's just say, I better not DNF this weekend.

I've been lucky enough to cover the full course on two training runs, so I've ironed out the logistical nightmares. I just need to find my mojo.