Plan Z: I had a blast. Best day out since the Namibian and Genghis Khan marathons in January.
For the first time ever, I was smiling in every photo taken during a race: unheard of. There is a lot to be said for just rocking up, not pushing it, hanging at the back of the party, chilling and taking it easy.
The third instalment of my 2015 West Highland Way Race experience.
Sarah was supporting me for this last section. I knew as we set out that she would definitely be taking the lead and that her quiet strength and determination would get me through it. During the decent to Kinlochleven and whilst I was in the centre I had been mentally adjusting my expectations and frustrations. Pace had slowed dramatically and time at checkpoint was longer than I had planned.
The second instalment of my 2015 West Highland Way Race.
It took a few minutes to get going as my sore arse and elbow realised that they were not getting any sympathy or respite. More steady progress and passing a few people. Through the sheep tunnel and up the hill and just as I was approaching cow poo alley I caught my toe and down I went sliding along the track: ooft.
The first instalment of my 2015 West Highland Way Race experience.
The West Highland Way Race (WHWR) is the jewel in the crown of the Scottish ultra marathons. It is that pinnacle that many of us aspire to. For me, rightly or wrongly, it was something that I felt I had to do to truly become a full card carrying member of the Scottish Ultra family.
My journey to the West Highland Way Race has been a long one, and there have been quite a few races, many miles and a few life changing experiences since I first considered it as a possibility back in 2012. But I am finally here.
No one ever really knows how a race will go for them. They will have hopes, expectations and confidence from knowing that they have trained and prepared. There will probably be a certain amount of nervousness and there will almost certainly have been the nagging doubts resulting from ‘taperitis’.
Saturday 21st June was the longest day in so many ways; and be warned this is going to be a long post. It was of course West Highland Race day meaning that a not insignificant number of people were set to have a very long day either running, crewing for a runner, or supporting the infrastructure of the event. I have to say at this point that the event was a logistical tour-de-force.
There were demons to be slain at this year’s Hoka Highland Fling. I have been open and frank about my experience last year and the wake -up call that it gave me in terms of my preparations for Antarctica, especially in terms of managing hydration and food; knowing how much I need and what I can take and what my body will tolerate. A very different runner toed the start line this year: more experienced; leaner, fitter, stronger, apparently faster based upon my recent D33 time and with nutrition sorted (or so I thought).