Wednesday, 30 December 2015


It is that time of year when I reflect on the years running and say thanks to all involved in making it happen. I will die a happy man if in any way I can replicate this years results any time in the future.
Below are a few photos and my Power of 10 table for reference :

2015 V45 Victoria Park City of Glasgow
2KMT9:5929KirkintillochLenzie Jog2 Jan 15
4KXCL15:3033L45HamiltonScottish West District Relay Championships11 Oct 15
4KXCL15:317L33CumbernauldScottish National Relay Championships24 Oct 15
parkrun18:517StrathclydeStrathclyde parkrun # 2381 Jan 15
3.8ML22:0514L3MotherwellSVHC Open Masters' Relay Championships25 Jan 15
12.5K48:34162KirkintillochKirkintilloch 12.5K15 Feb 15
HM80:2742KirkintillochNeil McCover Memorial Half Marathon (Inc Scottish Vets Champs)4 Oct 15
HM81:3082DumfriesDumfries Half Marathon (inc West District Championships)20 Sep 15
HM81:3481:3431Coatbridgeclubsportnl Half Marathon17 May 15
26KMT1:42:1654GlasgowSouthside Six 26K1 Nov 15
Mar2:51:012:50:57515EdinburghEdinburgh Marathon Festival Marathon31 May 15
Mar2:56:012:55:57699Dubai, UAEStandard Chartered Dubai Marathon23 Jan 15
Mar3:31:393:30:086117837LondonVirgin London Marathon26 Apr 15
50M6:38:001StrathavenJohn Lucas 5016 Aug 15
95MMT19:37:40116Milngavie - Fort WilliamWest Highland Way 9520 Jun 15

Missing results are winning the Loch Katrine Marathon in the 2nd best time on the course so far and Glen Ogle 33 at the end of the ultra season .

It has been a great year with lots of fun shared with Rob and James who have both excelled this year and have given me more challenges for next year. I have been asked back to provide pacemaking at the London Marathon again so looking forward to that and do have a couple of other challenges in the pipeline.

Many thanks to all of the race directors for laying on such great events, to my ever patient wife and son for allowing me to disappear so often and Miss Self for support for all the crew at Glenmore.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


On the wind down for the year after many ultra running exploits I have been racing shorter distances to see if the burst legs could regain a little sharpness with the view of a good workout at The Southside 6. Late September to race day had consisted of two half marathons and several legs of x-country relays and I was beginning to feel a little sharper although the PF in my left foot still niggling away but almost cured.

This race is relatively low key with an entry limit of 400 which sold out in 30 minutes so securing a place at all is an achievement. The 6 in the title does not refer to how many miles long the race is ( yes a few have entered thinking it was a 10k) but refers to how many of the Glasgow southside parks you will have the joy of running through in a 16 mile loop. One thing that does become rather apparent is that park designers love to include stairways in their designs.


Photo courtesy of Sarah Self (guess who forgot his club vest)
I ran this race last year but it was 24 hours after the Glen Ogle 33 and my legs were hurting a little to put it mildly so with GO33 being a week later an ideal tune up race if I went about it sensibly. Well sense is something which gets thrown to the side when the starter shouts go and you have a downhill start in a race. Mile 1 in under 6 minutes set the tone of the race and I shared the first 3-4 miles alongside my brother Michael but started to pull away from him nearing Rouken Glen Park. Pacing was all quite even given the varying nature of the course from trail to tarmac and the odd muddy section. I had pulled up to 5th place by the time I left Pollock Park but had to stop at the traffic lights above the M77 as they just changed and the slip road traffic was constant. This allowed Michael and another runner to pull a little bit of time back on me but I got across before they could catch up.

The second last climb of the day is a flight of stairs in Bellahouston Park and as I neared the top glanced back and caught the ominous figure of the man in black chasing me down.

A downhill section to the exit of the park lets you draw breath after the climb with about 4km to go to the finish. At this point I must apologise to the marshalls at the park exit road junction as I came out the gates the lady shouted ok to cross but just at that moment the lights changed and the gent marshall shouted to stop. It was a catch 22 as I was half way across by then and just put the boot down and went for it . Sorry if I annoyed you guys. My pursuant was not as lucky though and had to wait while the traffic cleared. I did pick the pace up a bit with the last 2 miles being 6:15 each which only left the final climb to the flagpole. Well that climb does finish you off and I was glad to be done. 5th place in 1:42:16 with Michael in 6th 1:43:02.




Many thanks to the wonderful Southside 6 committee and team of helpers for such a great race . It is no easy task organizing such a long distance event along a busy route as many of our other road races are discovering. The food supplied at the end in the glasshouse was excellent and I imagine a few people had to go for another run to burn of some calories after the cake and soupfest. Keep your eyes open for entry for next year and be quick as it will sell out even faster.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


So finally I find time to pen a few words regarding my last three races. After the West Highland Way Race I had been feeling extremely lethargic in my running and my mojo had most definitely done a runner. Every run was a chore and even getting over 10 miles in a single run felt like a real effort. By chance I was driving home from work and spotted the familiar stride of Rob Soutar ahead on a road in Gartcosh. I pulled up beside him and we had a catch up blether and he enquired if I had space on my relay team for the Clyde Stride as he fancied a race but not the whole thing and luckily for him we had had a withdrawal so straight in he went. I submitted my final team line up to Mrs Mac a few days later as requested and received a knowing nod and and a wink as she clocked my team of 'ringers'. Team JGS was made up me , Duncan Thomson, Alison Kerr and Rob all customers of ours so genuinely part of the family.

Duncan at checkpoint 2

A nervous Alison at the start.

Alison ran the 1st leg before heading home on little guy duties as Duncan pursued the leading Sweatshop team who had a racing snake on their 1st leg. He duly brought us in in the lead at Strathclyde Park where Robert took over with only two runners ahead, James Stewart and Robert Turner who were pushing along at course record speed in the individual race. Robert arrived at Mauldslie Bridge still leading and I headed off on the glory leg with one instruction ringing in my ear 'go on and win it' . Not wanting to let the team down I didn't let up and put in an even faster last leg than last year when I had been pulling in all the teams in front, but until you see the finish line you still think a speed demon is chasing you down. I think we got to New Lanark well ahead of expectations as Rob had been sent out to put up direction signs and was still putting them in place as I came down the hill into the village for the final mile loop. Managed to hold on to the lead on win in 4:24:09 with the next team coming home in 4:31:05.

Gavin presenting our prize.
The individual race record was meanwhile being smashed by good friend James Stewart in an incredible 4:39:40 , an amazing time on a tough course.

My brother Michael having dropped out of the relay team in favour of a full race slot had a great run considering only JETTING in to the country 24 hours previously and loosing his emergency fiver which he had needed to purchase a bottle of coke at the wee shop in Kirkfieldbank.

Race sponsor present winning prize to training partner.

Congratulations again to Lee Maclean on a magnificently executed race, from start to finish everything ran like clockwork and it is a beautiful finish location with some stunning scenery.

New Lanark

Onto Sunday 16th August and the longest tarmac roadrace in the UK, the 50 mile John Lucas Memorial Round Strathaven Race. This had been a target for the year as I really do prefer tarmac to trail and with a growing race entry and relay race too it is proving to be a popular feature. Rob Soutar had entered late on and I knew I would have to put a shift in to challenge him never mind who else turned up. Perfect conditions welcomed us in Strathaven and it was surprisingly totally calm on the wind front as we set off. Myself and Rob settled in just behind Grant Jeans for the first leg discussing how we felt our day may pan out. As we reached the checkpoint I changed my drink bottle from a dropbag and as I crossed the road noticed Rob up his pace and start pulling away from Grant. Now I know it was a race but at mile 10 I just didn't think it wise to stick a sub 7 mile in so let him go off in the distance thinking I would see him at the finish. I sat behind Grant for a couple of miles but felt he was slowing so pushed ahead at mile 13 and put a 7:05 and 7:09 mile in and never saw him again till the end where I learned he had pulled out at 30 miles. At checkpoint 2 Helen Munro advised me I was about 5 minutes behind Rob and as I got to checkpoint 3 I was told it was 13 minutes. The first of the relay runners passed me here and it was great to finally have a bit of talk with someone after a few lonely miles. By this point too the cycle sportive which starts a couple of hours later started to catch up and the route became a lot busier.

Checkpoint 4 is where the race and catchup began as on reaching here I stopped and replaced my drink bottle and downed a bottle of coke to see me through the final 10 mile section. Davie Mooney asked how I was to which I replied fine although maybe slwoing a little no real fatigue. I enquired as to Robs whereabouts and he answered 'about 2 minutes ahead just around the corner and struggling' . So off I went and sure enough saw him as he made the climb towards the Whitelees Windfarm. I caught him at 42 miles and we had a talk and discussed how our legs were feeling and what was left in the tank. Now if this had been any other runner a quick hello would have sufficed and I would have put the boot down but as I train with him I just felt we should maybe run a bit together and help each other along. For the next 8 miles we pushed each other to our limits going from 8:40 per mile down to 7:42 and 7:33 in the last couple of miles. As we approached the finish line we were both spent and crossed the line together in 6hrs 38 minutes both posting PBs for the course. We did draw a bit of criticism for not racing to the line but after such a long distance it did seem a little irrelevant.

Race director David Meldrum has grown this event so much in the last few years and will be badly missed after stepping down with Rosie Bell taking over the reigns for next year. Many thanks to all the marshalls and time keepers for your generous support it is warmly appreciated.

The lovely Angela Barron sent an revised copy of the finish line photo which I have been instructed to use :    

Next up was the Glenmore 12 hour race, part of the G24 running festival which is part of the BaM series of races. Based at Loch Morlich just outside Aviemore you have the choice of 12 or 24 hours of running a 4 mile loop around a forest full of midgies  and for this year the addition of a 24 hour 4 person relay team.

This year again we had the dream team support crew of Sarah Self  and Andy Stewart, who would be supporting myself and James with the addition of 3 other runners including my brother  Michael who had JETTED in again for some more ultra pain infliction. Sarah and Andy kindly arrived in Glenmore 24 hours early to set up base camp and pitched at the same spot as last year. I picked up Michael and James early Saturday morning and headed to Loch Morlich stopping off enroute in God knows where for coffee and bacon rolls. On late arrival we were seconded by Sarah who was stressing a little with the pressure of 5 runners and not one registered by 11am. We had also decided it would be a laugh if we left the filling in of our medical forms till registering just to see the look on Adas face, what a f##king hoot!!! Great to see so many friends again at the main tent and briefly catch up before the serious stuff began.

The race started with ideal running conditions and I settled in to my race plan straight away although amazed Mike Rattan had shot off ahead as he was running the 24 hour race and me the 12. I caught up with him on the 3rd or 4th lap and he explained he had hurt his back on the bucking bronco the previous evening so was rattling the miles in before the inevitable pain stopped his race. Michael had been having toilet breaks and James was cruising along like a well maintained running machine on a mission and after a few hours we were all churning out laps with ease. Around about 6pm I had a lethargic feeling creeping in and the reality of catching the 12 hour course record was not going to happen I readjusted my plan to just keep in the lead and try and grind out a win. Probably a 50 mile race 3 weeks previously would explain the lethargic feeling. Michael had decided to pull out about 8pm and went for a lip while James powered on and passed me while I just wanted to finish. I still do not know if Sarah was telling me porkies about 10pm when she said a runner was catching me and was on the same lap only 2 miles behind, but it was enough to make me up the pace and do another 3 laps before the short loops began. The horn went at midnight and I planted my peg with between 75-76 miles completed (results awaited). Lots of hugging and hand shaking and then a sit down. Andy confirmed I had won the race and I headed to my tent for a change of clothes for the homeward journey, sadly we had to go straight back down to Glasgow due to commitments on Sunday morning. James meanwhile continued on relentlessly and motored to victory in the 24 hour race logging a new course record of 144 miles hotly pursued by Neil McNicol with 143 miles, remarkable endurance from both guys.

Sarah and Andy went above and beyond for us and I think it only fitting we both at least won for them to say thanks.

To the Glenmore 24 and BAM team my utmost thanks for yet another outstanding superbly organised event. To all the other runners and support crew I offer the same, sometimes when running endurance events like this the mind wanders and you (probably just me) don't always acknowledge words of encouragement but please be assured they do sink in and are all appreciated just not always at the point of contact.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


To say I had an ideal run up to the race would be lying. Training and racing in the previous few months had been as good as I could have done with the time available and the only niggling doubt in my mind was the lack of hill training but I managed to convince myself it was only a gentle climb towards Fort William, all 95 miles of it. Sunday prior to the race I met James Stewart for an easy trail run which somehow managed to derail my fitness in one tumble. I tripped on a tree root and landed side on in a muddy heap with my right hand side taking a battering from shoulder to ankle. At first it didn't feel too bad but as the days towards race start approached it was still niggling away. A bit of massage eased most of the problem but my hip was still a little bruised but not too bad to prevent a race start.

So to Friday and my plan was to go to work early, do a few hours and then head home and try and get a few afternoon hours of sleep. That didn't go too well as on the way to work my eyes started flickering and the first signs of a migraine had begun.Why today of all days? I managed 2 hours work and gave up and headed home and lay down for a few hours dozing in and out of sleep but feeling really sick. Fortunately come 6ish I was feeling almost human and managed my dinner and final race preparation and headed off to pick up Duncan and drive to Milngavie to register.

Registration only took a few minutes although maybe it took longer for some with Sarah on weighing duties trying to convince the guys it would be best stripping off to underpants to get a more accurate reading. We then headed up to Marks house for a final brief and coffee then down for race start at 1.00am Saturday morning. No matter how nervous you get at the start it all seems to disappear when you get caught up meeting and greeting friends who have all been planning this one night for months and months, it truly is a wonderful atmosphere and exciting event to be part of.

Listening to the race brief

The weather, of which there was some , could not have been kinder. I ran a relaxed easy first section through Drymen and on to Balmaha  making sure I didn't come a cropper coming down Conic Hill as a couple of others had unfortunately done by the looks of it. I won't bore you blow by blow stuff but through the next 20 odd miles to Beinglas I had what must have been my most pleasant time on the route and came in to Beinglas on schedule for sub 20hours. Conditions underfoot had been wet at a few points so I asked Mark and Duncan to prepare for a full pit stop at Auchtertyre. This all went fine after checking in and getting weighed (1kg down).

Celebrating reaching Bridge of Orchy in one piece

With fresh shoes and top I headed off on the section where I lost a lot of time two years ago but this year was a lot better with my legs still working away and my mind in a better place. I crossed Rannoch Moor in altogether better frame of mind and got to Glencoe checkpoint a lot quicker. Next up was the Devils Staircase and this hurt, it hurt a lot. My lack of hill running bit back big time here, although there were 3 other runners ahead of me on the climb and they didn't look to be moving much faster so a little consolation. It is only a short distance over to Kinlochleven but rather tricky underfoot and the descent gives the quads a hammering but it passed quickly and I reached the final checkpoint  still running. A quick weigh in and thumbs up as I was only 1kg down in weight from the start and I was out the leisure centre door and on my way again. Duncan decided he fancied a run and so decided to accompany me to Lundavra. His last run on this section was about 10 years ago on his WHW Race where he recollects rocks being sheep and just wanting to lie down and sleep. None of that today as sub 20 was still on and I just wanted to get the climb done and get running along the Lairig Moor.

Start of Devils climb

Photo by Patricia Carvalho Photography

After what seemed an eternity we finished the climb and managed a steady tempo towards Lundavra with a quick stop for a glass of Tizer at Jeffs mountain rescue oasis.

Mark met us at Lundavra and he ran the final section with me, me telling him it is 5 miles and him arguing it was 7 to go. Turns out he was correct. I aimed to get to the top of the fire road by any means and then run till the finish. In my mind we were 7 minute mailing but I think in reality it was 9 minutes, but nonetheless I ran it all and crossed the finish line in 19 hrs 37mins 40secs .

So a good day at the office and another PB for the year. Nutrition wise I still cannot eat any solid food on the run but the butternut squash/sweet potato soup Linda prepared for me and Muller rice seem to fuel me through the race. I did feel rather guilty with my checkpoint strategy of not stopping and just eating on the way through, utilising the rule of support crew being allowed to walk with you a quarter mile before and after but Mark and Duncan were great with this and can't thank them enough for their support throughout the race.

There are so many people involved in the organisation of the race I don't know where to begin with thanks so to all of the folk involved many many thanks, the support from entry in December to the prize giving at the end is unique and fully appreciated by this runner even though the odd grimace may not relay that sentiment entirely.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Well there are now only 4 days to go before my main race of the the year, the West Highland Way Race. All of the runs and races since the 1st of December last year have all been part of the grand training plan to get me as fit and ready as possible for this as I can be.After a fairly hectic April I had 3 races lined up for May which all went rather well.

First up was the Monklands Half Marathon on Sunday 17th. A blustery wet day and a fairly challenging route but all went well and I clocked my fastest time of 1:21:34 for this race on my umpteenth outing finishing in 3rd place. They also have a little dudes race which Andrew had fun racing whilst I was hammering the half.

Strava details here :

My wee coach being taught how not to lose the contents of your stomach

Wednesday the 20th and on to a new race on the calendar, the Antonine Trail 10km Race. James Stewart was helping with the organisation and had given me a shout about it and we had even had a recce run on route a week previously to see what lay ahead. So with tired legs a 10k sprint ensued, trying to keep up with mountain goats David Gow and Norry McNeill I was well and truly burst by the time I got to the top of the first climb on Croy Hill only a mile into the race. There was a bit of respite with slighly gentler climbs after descending Croy Hill but another climb of 1 mile up to the Antonine Fort site finished me off. It was just a case of getting to the finish back up another climb from Auchinstarry basin at which point half way up I passed a Shettleston runner bent double depositing the contents of his stomach to the side of the trail. I finished in a respectful position and time but it hammered home how little speed and hill work I have managed to fit in.

An excellent and tough race which will no doubt sell out quickly next year.

Strava details here:

Next up was the Edinburgh Marathon, a race which continues to divide opinion on whether it is overpriced, not even in Edinburgh, a logistical nightmare!!! I have ran several Edinburgh events and every one has had a different finishing point but I must say it is certainly an easier route than the first one I ran in 2003 which started with a climb from Meadowbank up over Arthurs Seat. I decided to drive through and park at Ingliston and have a ride on the most expensive single line of transport anywhere in the country, the Edinburgh tram.

A very efficient service straight into Princes Street and a short stroll down to London Road and I was good to go. The weather forecast had been for wind and rain but apart from being a bit overcast the conditions were ideal although a little blowy. The first couple of miles I ran with George Taylor and we had a good catch up but I was feeling fresh and pulled away with a target in my mind of 2:50. The miles flew by and as we neared the turnaround point the leaders were heading back towards the finish and they all looked to be putting a bit of effort in. Now I had not really noticed much of a wind till now and checking my watch I reckoned 2:48 was going to be on but that was soon dispelled as I turned back onto the road on exiting the grounds of Gosford House at 19 miles to head back to Musselburgh. A strong head wind for the next 7 miles made for one hell of a shift and it was all I could do to try and get close to 7 minute mileing. By the time I turned left into Pinkie Park for the final 100mtrs I was drained but noticed if I put a sprint on I could squeeze in under 2:51. Just made it in 2:50:57 to clock a new PB, slightly disappointed it was not a greater margin but a PB all the same.
Quick shower and change then strolled along Musselburgh High Street and caught a bus straight back to Princes Street and onto a tram back to Ingliston, easy peasy logistics.

Calling it the Edinburgh Marathon is maybe stretching it a bit but it is a really good event and seems to have ironed out many of its previous problems. There were loads of foreign runners so it obviously has a wide attraction value and great for tourism.

Strava details here :

51Gerry Craig (346)
Photos for 346 >
10k: 00:38:54
Half: 01:22:51
30k: 01:58:25
Marathon: 02:50:57

Photo courtesy of Sandra McDougall
Hard work done now so a few days relaxing the legs till they get a hammering on the West Highland Way, here's hoping for weather (of the glorious sunny type) and an enjoyable day or so outing!!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015


April was the month to see how all of the hard winter miles had paid off and first up was the Glasgow 2 Edinburgh Ultra, 55 miles flat following the Forth and Clyde Canal from Ruchill to the Falkirk Wheel and then the Union Canal in to the centre of Edinburgh. The weather was kind and it was ideal conditions as we started and I had Robert Soutar for company for the first 25 miles resisting the temptation to chase two early leaders who had shot off at a rapid rate. I knew the marathon two weeks previously would kick in at some point and just hoped I could maintain a steady pace throughout and Rob only really started pulling away from about 38 miles in.

Photo by Sandra McDougall
 A mostly uneventful race only livened up on reaching the second last checkpoint (Linlithgow I think) to be told I was currently in 3rd place as the first two runners had pulled out. I had Duncan Oakes in 2nd place in sight for the next 15 miles but could not pull him back in finishing 2 minutes behind in 7hrs 17 minutes, Rob had won in a superb 6hrs 53 mins. Huge thanks to Rob's mates Andy and Sam for providing support throughout the race and even taking us back to Gartcosh Social Club and ensuring we had enough beer to take the pain away from our legs.

Celebrating 3rd place

And so on to the London Marathon at the end of the month where I was pacing again for Runners World doing the 3:30 / 8 minute mileing from the blue start.

All the members of Team Craig were entered which must be a bit of a record for family members with Holly making her marathon debut and raising lots of dough for McMillan Team McKeown. Kate and myself were on the blue start and she decided after a while she had had enough of my celebrity status wearing the big flag brings and wandered off in the distance, next seen in the pub afterwards.

Team Craig reunited.
 The race itself was fun but there was hardly a point where I could relax due to the volume of people and it took all of my concentration to maintain even splits, I was constantly weaving in and out of bodies being in the part of the race with the largest volume of runners.

Here are my splits :

SplitTime Of DayTimeDiffmin/kmkm/hPlace

In the last 4 miles I passed 617 runners which would account for me running a longer distance with all the zig-zagging going on. A great feeling passing the 600mtr to go sign and urging the runners who had been tagging along to finish strong and reach their goals.

We all met up at our usual meeting point and it seemed we all had a good day although Kate had to pull out at halfway not wanting to risk further injury with a little niggle. I also met training partner James Stewart who had rattled a PB after months of hard work.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Sometimes in a roughly sketched training schedule a race sneaks its way in right slap bang where you needed it least but there is no option but to enter it because you know you will enjoy it. Having run the two previous LK marathons I wanted to carry on the sequence and stay ever-present but with Glasgow to Edinburgh following 12 days later a little restraint may be required.

Now with serial blogger Sarah Self posting an amazing time at the Alloa half the weekend before I felt I really had to give it a bit more effort or I would be letting the Daftie team down.

Up at 6am and the usual pre marathon breakfast of porage, coffee and toast with peanut butter I set off at 7 getting to Loch Katrine just after 8 in plenty of time to register and go on a short warm up run. Marathon start was 9am which was to be followed by the half and 10km. As I registered both Al Running Gannett and Julie Clark had a chuckle about my number being 21 and could I remember all those years back to being that age. Just before the start Audrey McIntosh asked if I was going to be first back today after a 2nd and a 3rd place previously but I remarked it was unlikely as there is always a whippet lurking in a starting field.

Scenic start

Just as the countdown to race start was about happen we had a flyover of a squadron of geese at which point I covered my head remembering the green muck I had washed off my wife's car the day before after a fly by at our house a few days ago.

We started bang on time and I was at the front from then till about 6 miles accompanied by a lad who told me he was really more of a fell runner which was rather apparent from his ease of climbing and descending the many undulations we were encountering. Now as I have explained to training mate James Stewart a simple look at my Strava run details and the GAP statistics tells you I speed up going uphill but slow down going back downhill and this was when a small gap developed and by half way I reckon I was about 1 minute adrift of the leader. I have now almost got my marathon nutrition correct in so much as I take one gel and 3 s-caps for the entire distance, allowing the heat to dictate the need or not to eat them. Today I held off till half way and took one cap with a mouthful of water and then 18 miles for the other 2 caps and the mixifuel viper gel, washed down a small cup of water from John and Helen Munro at their water station, safely depositing my waste in the wheelie bin to avoid any threatened time penalty for littering.

 Approaching half way turn, leader already heading home.
On the way back I received an almighty shout out of support from Angela (pictured below) another Ultra Daftie who was making her LK marathon debut and she went on to complete the race in a very respectable time.

The gel kicked in just in time for graveyard hill, a climb of about 1 mile which brought the lead cyclist out of his saddle and resulted in him pushing his bike up part of the slope. I had started to pull the leader back in and reckoned I would catch him by 22 miles. Mile 21 was 6:38 and as I caught the leader he remarked the hills were taking their toll I passed him and just tried to keep even splits till the finish. Mile 22, 6:19 mile 23, 6:39 mile 24, 6:38 and mile 25 6:46 and to finish 6:40. The mind does play tricks and you think someone is going to fly past you at some point and I even asked the lead bike if anyone was catching and he replied no one in sight. I had been passing half marathon runners for the last 6 miles and the support and encouragement from them was great which I duly reciprocated back to them although possibly and bit muted and short of breath.

Race support crew, priceless.

I crossed the line in 1st place in a time of 2:53:26 a full 7 minutes faster than last year. I think the extra morning runs and the February Run Till You Drop challenge have been beneficial although somewhat knackering. 2nd and 3rd place were not far behind and Les Cairney near collapsed over the line getting his sub 3. I texted Linda to tell her the result and she replied that my son Andrew had replied 'FINALLY'.

Nutrition wise I think I have it sorted now and by not forcing too much liquid in I can run a little more comfortably although I think today's approximate 300ml may be a little on the pushing it a bit side.

The Loch Katrine Festival of Running is a wonderful event with friendship and encouragement throughout and Audrey and all of the large family of helpers can't be congratulated enough for the superb organisation of these races.

Garmin details here - distance showing short of 26.2 but other watches do and the course is accurate.

Photos courtesy of Stuart McFarlane and Fiona Rennie and Jamieson Photos.