Running the Volcano Marathon; a race in two parts. First Instalment. It was all going so well.
(Title photo copyright Alasdair McIntosh)
I was Chile-bound once again. This year it was my final destination as opposed to a stop-over and I was heading for the North rather than the South. It was also ‘Team Audrey’ this year as I was accompanied by Alasdair.
Hmm, I seem to have been here before?
It is early November and there is a bed with a pile of kit laid out; a pile assorted electronics; a folder with itineraries; insurance docs passport and currency out and a large empty holdall on the floor. The intended destination: Chile.
Since I will be running at high altitude in the Volcano Marathon, and have never been at altitude, let alone run at altitude, I jumped at the opportunity to do some hypoxic training. It is not about performance or improving performance, it is simply for me to get a feel for how my body will react, and set my expectations based on how I respond.
I have run Baxter’s Loch Ness Marathon on 7 occasions now, and it is the marathon that I have run most frequently. Bearing in mind that this is my most frequented marathon and the law of averages, this event has provided me with my 3 best times and my worst time, and been the scene of some major highs and major lows.
The Glenmore 24, is as it says on the tin, a 24 hour trail race that is run on a 4 mile forest trail at Glenmore near Aviemore. There is also a 12 hour event. It is a superbly organised event by team BaM who are also responsible for the GO33 and Great Glen Ultra. Having previously done the other events, I knew that this would a relaxed, fun and well supported event, and I was not disappointed.
Here we go again, another first for the McIntosh ultra-team: my first 24 hour event.
A few minutes past 9 am on the 22nd of July the Queen’s Commonwealth Baton was passed to me and I ran my section of the baton relay. The next day saw its journey complete as it was carried into Celtic Park stadium to be handed back to the queen, and to mark the start of the XX Commonwealth Games
It has been a while since D (of Conversations with the Uninitiated fame) has commented upon my running, but true to form he felt compelled to ensure that I remain grounded and understood some basic ground rules before attempting the Great Glen Ultra, my longest race to date.