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