Friday, 25 November 2011


A wonderful thing the athletics site The Power of 10. I had a look to see what records they had for me this year and it brought back a few painful memories I had forgotten about.

2011 V40 Victoria Park City of Glasgow
12.5K48:34:0010KirkintillochKirkintilloch Olympians 12.5K20-Feb-11
33MMT03:54:0010StrathyreGlen Ogle 3305-Nov-11
40MMT05:39:557PartickClyde Stride 4016-Jul-11
43MMT06:51:0410TyndrumDevil O The Highlands 4306-Aug-11
SHORT5K16:1311BroadwoodBroadwood 5K (Short)18-Aug-11
10K36:55:0027JamestownVale of Leven 10K12-Jun-11
10K37:17:009GlasgowSVHC Open Veterans 10K14-Aug-11
HM80:23:0034Loch LomondBalloch to Clydebank Half Marathon13-Mar-11
HM80:41:0084GlasgowBank Of Scotland Great Scottish Run Half Marathon04-Sep-11
HM82:28:006CoatbridgeMonklands Half Marathon15-May-11
HM84:18:0024KirkintillochNeil Mccover Memorial Half Marathon09-Oct-11
Mar02:52:2413InvernessBaxters Loch Ness Marathon02-Oct-11
Mar02:58:25860LondonVirgin London Marathon17-Apr-11
50K03:37:373PerthScottish 50K Championships27-Mar-11
ZXC37:29:0089IrvineScottish West District Championships16-Jan-11
ZXC49:03:00172FalkirkScottish National Championships19-Feb-11
ZXCL15:01GlasgowScottish West District Relay Championships08-Oct-11
ZXCL15:386HelensburghDunbartonshire AAA Relay Championships15-Oct-11
ZXCL16:1058CumbernauldScottish National Relay Championships22-Oct-11

I have ran most distances this year but the two races which I have enjoyed most are the Devil O the Highlands and the Scottish 50k road race championship. Setting a new PB for the 50k was the aim for the year and I was delighted to do this in March and then move on to longer distances for the rest of the year with a view to possibly attempting the West Highland Way race in 2013. I am fully aware the severity of that challenge and in no rush to sicken myself before I think I am fully prepared.


The step up to ultras has been gradual over the last couple of years, firstly moving onto 50k on the road has broken me in gently and now onto multi terrain longer distances. The first ultra this year was the Clyde Stride. a local race for me but on a route which I had not discovered. A great race organised by Lee Maclean and and already on next years list.
Next up was the Devils O the Highlands and maybe in hindsight the stride 4 weeks previous was maybe a little too soon but I thoroughly enjoyed this although suffered badly on the final stretch between Kinlochleven and Fort William. (see August posts for full report)  It is on longer races like this where a support team is required and my two brothers, Michael and Chris, helped out and encouraged me all the way and although both runners I don't think they will be following my lead and entering ultras just yet and I may have my work cut out persuading them to support me on the WHW.

The Loch Ness Marathon was the next long race and I ran my fastest time here in 4 attempts so the long running is obviously paying dividends. (October posts for report)
Glen Ogle 33 to finish off the years ultra running and another great race and day out. (November posts for report)

So to summarise a really enjoyable year where I have met a great group of runners, race organisers,marshalls and support teams with encouragement all the way. Thank you all.

 Now time to think about next years goals. I am entered for the Highland Fling and am going to concentrate on that so will defer my entry to the London Marathon which will stop my nine in a row attempt at eight. Still waiting for a date for the 50k road championship and that will definetely be on the list and another which I am going for is the Glenmore 24 as long as I secure an entry. This one might sound a bit strange but I reckon it will be a great challenge to try and keep going for so long and it is laps of about 4 miles on trail so support on hand regularly and another step towards the WHW race. Just need to sort a support team for this now.

December brings the Marcothon and the challenge of running 3 miles or 25 minutes every day for the month. Should be accomplished although Christmas day could be the tricky one with the little 6 year old dude expressing his opinion now and wanting dad on hand for present building. Maybe I will stick  a pair of asics runners on his santa list!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011


 The inaugural GO33 and what a race it is. Stunning Scottish scenery and glorious sunshine into the bargain what more could we ask for.

A bit of a shocker early on Saturday morning as I had to scrape the ice from the car windows but this meant no wind and no rain and sunshine on the way.
Picked up Anne Marie and then Chris who were both stewarding at the event and off to Strathyre via Callander through thick fog. Just as we were leaving Callander I had to swerve to avoid a deer lying in the middle of the road, poor guy obviously wasn't expecting a convoy of runners cars coming through that early on a Saturday morning.

Car parked and race number collected from race registration the next decision would be what to wear and how many layers would be required. Easy decision really as gloves and hat could easily be disposed of as there were checkpoints about every 6 miles.

The location of start of the race had been changed due to the unexpected high number of entries for the race and I think this was a harder route than the original as it involved a couple of miles of uphill straight from the off. 
Straight from the start a lead group pulled away containing 5 or 6 runners and I settled into a steady rythmn with the next group unsure of what lay ahead in terms of up and downhills. After a couple of miles a steep descent down past the Kings House Hotel and through checkpoint 1 onto the cycle path and on uphill. This stretch was a constant climb to 10 miles through some stunning scenery.
After checkpoint 2 we crossed the road and a short tarmac section before starting a loop of the forest which thankfully was downhill for a few miles, but  that joy was to be a short relief as the climb back up was a belter.

Climb in forest back up from Killin

At the top of this climb a bit of confusion as there was no sign but a discussion with  a few other runners and a right turn taken. Thankfully the correct route and this was mostly downhill back to the checkpoint and head back to Strathyre. Back down the old railway line for a few miles to the final checkpoint and as the early morning mist was clearing some stunning views which we couldn't see on the way up.

At the last checkpoint I ditched my camelbak thinking I had drank enough juice to see me to the finish, big mistake. The last section is about 6 miles on winding country roads and every turn seemed to bring another climb and I could feel a few twinges in my hamstring, a sure sign I needed water, but dafty had jettisoned it.

A few more great views and the end was in sight although the wobbly bridge just before the finish line
just about finished me off. 

Finishing time was 3hrs 54mins in 10th position.

Fellow VP-Glasgow runner Mark Ashby had also had a great run and finished in 4 hrs 17 mins.

 Off to the Inn for a bowl of soup and a couple of beers to rehydrate where a happy group of runners were sharing tales about a great race.

Congratulations to Mike and Bill and their group of helpers this is a superb race which will definetely be on the list to do next year.