Thursday, 1 May 2014
HOKA HIGHLAND FLING 26TH APRIL 2014
If Carlsberg did ultras then this is the one they would claim as possibly the best one in the world. Now if you have not ran an ultra in Scotland before and you have just ran the Fling you will be thinking to yourself that you could not match a race like that again and I have to agree the atmosphere at the finish was something else and all along the route from start to finish we were treated to first class service from the Fling Race Crew which I am told numbered in excess of 100 VOLUNTEERS giving up most of their weekend so we runners could stroll along the 53 mile route at our leisure and pick up food and drink along the way. My reason in not overstating the excellence of this event is so I can draw a bit of attention to the larger Scottish ultra race scene as those of you not from these parts may not have been aware that most if not all the race directors/organisers of the races in the SUMS (Scottish Ultra Marathon Series) were present on Saturday in some capacity be it running, stewarding or general dogsbody. So many thanks to John and all you guys and keep up the great work.
All of the races in the SUMS series have the same great feel to them with the Fling having the largest cast of all.
SUMS website here :http://www.scottishultramarathonseries.org/
So briefly on to my race and I had set myself the target of breaking 9 hours, having previously ran 9:35 in 2012 and 9:15 in 2013. I was hoping that another years experience would have educated me further in pacing and also with a few more ultras completed my legs would be getting a bit more used to the rough terrain. Sadly I failed in my quest by 4 minutes and 39 seconds crossing the line in 9:04:39 in 29th place. I think that having concentrated a little too much of my training on my pacing duties at the London Marathon and not doing enough off road took its toll as I lost what I think was valuable time between Inversnaid and Beinglas although from memory I think only 2 or 3 runners passed me. Still it was a PB by more than 10 minutes and I felt fine at the finish so all good signs on the build up to the Great Glen Way Race.
I have been trying out the Hoka shoes in my training (Hoka rapa nui trail) and this was the longest distance so far in them and I can now vouch for their comfort during a race of this distance and the after results where I had no pain at all in my calfs on the Sunday morning and was even back running on Monday night with a 10km jog albeit rather sluggishly.
Race results here : Fling Website
Strava details to here : Race up to 45 miles (watched packed in)