As I had been on the reserve list for a while this was not the main focus of the training recently but about 3 weeks ago I received an email offering a place which was quickly snapped up thus changing the plans a bit for racing the Clyde Stride changing that to a more 99.5% effort rather than 100%. So back up crew organised and a very miffed wife told that a 3am wake up call was the order of the day. When the midge net/hat arrived the comment was "no way am I wearing that", prompt reply from me "honestly you will thank me".
|Two ladies and a strange looking fella.|
On the approach to the staircase Chris was waiting at a gate and explained the had parked at Glencoe ski centre and were walking down the hill to the checkpoint as I had went through so after confirming this with the marshalls had to hot foot it back up the hill, miss out Kingshouse and head straight for the staircase. Linda handed me 2 s caps a gel and 500ml of water with a nuun tab added all of which were downed rapid, requests for Kinlochleven given and off I went up the Devils staircase. Decided the best option for this was walk most of it as it really is of no benefit to run it. As I neared the top elite runner Gareth passed me and he was actually running it at quite a pace, quick pleasantries and off he went into the distance, I was impressed how fast he disappeared into the distance, although unsure why he was actually behind me. Right at the top I got cramp in both calfs and hamstrings, I think due to not getting my juice at the correct time but I knew it would ease once the salt tablets kicked in so just carried on and hoped for the best.
|View from near the top.|
On to Lundavra and still feeling good but glad to see Chris and Linda who offered a can of red bull which did not even touch the sides. Last stretch through the invisible forest to the top of the hill and unlike last year legs that could actually run downhill, what a relief I had actually paced myself for once. Downhill for 2 miles and 1 mile flat along the road to finish. 5th place in 6hours 33mins, a PB by 18 minutes and feeling tired but not the wreck I was previously.
|Pics courtesy of Chris Craig.|
To my back up crew many thanks for a day out of your lives, I will willingly return the favour if you wish to enter. One question though : Was the delay at Glencoe due to waiting for 2 rolls with links sausage????
Many thanks and best wishes to the Devils crew for such a superb event, organised to perfection.
Results : http://www.devilothehighlandsfootrace.co.uk/
Garmin : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/206936285#