As I might not get another year like it, I thought I'd best write it all down. And possibly frame it!
Anglo Celtic Plate 100K: I was lucky enough to be selected to run on the Scotland team. I'll never forget my first Scotland vest, and I'll never forget this race. It was probably the hardest race I've ever done, but it was great to try a classic distance and push myself out of my comfort zone. I just missed my sub:9 hour goal, but was happy to finish in 9:03. Maybe that's just the incentive I need to give the distance another bash.
Highland Fling 53 miles: I wasn't holding out much hope for this race, as it was only a matter of weeks after the 100K. Plus, I hadn't really done that much hill and trail training, as I was predominately focusing on road. I was fairly relaxed about the race and went out with the suck-it-and-see attitude. I followed splits (devised by Sonic) that had me running 10 minutes slower in the first section than the previous year. It started rusty, came together in middle and fell apart at the end. I was delighted to finish second female in 9.39. As the event doubled as the UK Ultra trail championship, I also went home with that silver medal. And the bronze team medal. One event, four medals and a new PB. Not bad for a day's work. Sonic is now my official split co-ordinator :-)
West Highland Way Race: This was my key race for the year and I was ecstatic to achieve my dream sub:20 hour goal. 19:39 to be exact. I finished third female and 13th overall. After three WHW races, I vowed not to sign up for next year's. Not because I didn't enjoy it, because I did. OK, maybe enjoy isn't the right word, but you get the gist. I just want to try something new. I'll always be happy with my time, but I know I'll go back and try it again some day.
Clyde Stride 40: Probably not my wisest move just four weeks after the WHW, but I signed up with a view to completing four of the races in the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series (SUMS). It was a bit up and down. Some parts I felt great and in others I was burst. All in all a good race and I finished second behind Lucy Colquhoun in 5:56. My main goal was sub:6 so no grumbles from me.
Devil o' the Highlands (43 miles): This was my first ultra back in 2007, so it's always been quite special. Although, to be honest, this year I was only in it for the SUMS point. As it turned out, it was by far my best race of the year. You know when people talk about how some races just "click" or "come together on the day"? Well, this one did. I finished second behind Lucy (who incidentally smashed the course record by over an hour!) in 6:56. Again, my ultimate goal was sub:7.
SUMS award: Guess what? I finished second behind Lucy :-) Julie once hit the nail on the head when she said "if she wasn't so nice, you'd hate her". Wise Julie also said, "finishing second to Lucy is a win", so I'll take it.
Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Running Championships: I guess you'll know I ran on the Scotland team at the 24 hour race, because I haven't shut up about it. I finished 4th female. 1st for Scotland (overall). Broke the Scottish 200k record and was part of the team that took bronze. It was worth the destruction.
Sponsorship: After the Highland Fling I was contacted by Montane, as they wanted to give me some shiny new gear as a way of saying congratulations for being 2nd in their sponsored race. Result! Then a few months later they asked me to come on board as their first ultra-running female sponsored athlete.
Garscube Harriers' Meritorious Award: I won the award a few years ago and I was honoured enough to receive it again. As far as I can see by the listing on the trophy, I'm the only member to have won the award twice.
International Association of Ultra Runners Athlete of the Year nomination: It's a pretty safe bet that the uber-awesome Miss Hawker will walk away with this one, but I'm still in shock about making the shortlist.
Marcothon: Well tomorrow's the last day. And there will be nearly 1000 nutters (including those who haven't fessed up to bowing out) celebrating their last run. It will be a fabulous end to an amazing year. Although I have to do a 5k first. Yikes.
Happy New Year everyone.