Wednesday, 5 October 2011

River Ayr Way

It has been nearly 16 weeks since i last blogged the reason is simple, my motivation had completely gone after the whw race. i cannot start to explain what caused it but everything i had done pre whw was not there, with the stride only two weeks later i sent Lee my apologies, which was great for someone else on the reserve list, there was still no sign of any improvement in my running through the whole of July which led me to withdraw from the Devils the night before the race, by now i wondered if i could get back to anything decent, i managed to get in a couple of longish runs the first few weeks in Septrember and decided to send in my form for the Raw just 2 weeks prior to the race. i turned up that morning at the car park not knowing what to expect. i met Gavin Harvie at the start line and we both settled in to a steady pace working together sitting in 5th spot, i was not sure how long i would last or if i would finish as the conditions where not the greatest and i did not know how my mind would react to not doing much over the time period.

Around the 14 mile mark things started to stretch out and i never saw Gavin after that, i had settled into 4th place and this continued for some time when eventually i had moved to 3rd spot after leaving Sorn village. At around 20 miles when at a water station i was told that i was now in 2nd place, i had wondered what had happened to Paul Giblin, the marshalls said that he had pulled out and i was now 2nd,but i didn't see him at any point to indicate otherwise, this gave me a bit of motivaton as i felt if i could continue to the end i might be able to secure enough points to move me from 35th spot in the SUMS Series in to a vets placing.

It was around the 28 mile mark i took a wrong turn at a fork in the road and by the time i got back on track Paul appeared again, i think he had done the same, going off course, he quickly moved past me putting me back into 3rd place, before i knew it i was starting to struggle badly as the most i had done in recent weeks was 28 miles, i was not sure if i could hold on but before i knew it i got a 2nd wind after a brief stop for water i was over the bridge and heading towards the track as i came round the track i got a cheer from Gavin, only to find out that he pulled out at 25 with an injury so i knew i had secured 3rd place.

I later found out from Ada Stewart who was staying for the prize giving that that i had moved 29 places in to 6th overall and taking the 3rd vets spot, this was just the motivation to get my entry off for the GO33.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My First West Highland Way Race

Pre Race

I had arranged with my support crew to pick me up at 11pm, so when the text came in at 10:50 say that they were on time.the nerves were starting to kick in, i had all my kit in one box and supplies in another so when the guys arrived we fitted everything in to the car and headed for Milngavie. as we entered the railway station car park the place was jumping, i was surprised when we even managed to get a parking space, myself and Sam then went over to the registration, picked up my number and i got weighed in before heading back to the car park i met Thomas and Silke for the first time. After saying hello to JK, it was time for the race brief, then before i knew it we were counting down to the start of the race.

Milngavie to Drymen

As we left Milngavie, the fast group had dissapeared and i was sitting in a group consisting of Sharon Law,Ross Moreland,John Kynaston And Richard Galbraith, as we continued along Jamie Aarons joined and immediately went to the front with Sharon, John joked that the girls were holding the gates open for the men. as we moved along the group started to thin out on the road section approaching drymen. i managed to see my crew in amongst the many people standing there.

Drymen to Balmaha 

After leaving Drymen the group remained spread out again until i was with Mark Caldwell as we came over Conic Hill into the carpark at Balmaha. As i came down the hill i started to slide causing me to fall over lucky for me it was only my arm that took the knock. i decided that once i had stopped for a quick bite i would dry my feet and get a fresh pair of socks on. my five minues flew in and i was soon on my way.

Balmaha to Rowardennan

As i started to climb out of Balmaha i could see Sharon climbing up the path ahead little did i know then that we would be running together until Glencoe.this section went passed very quickly as we came into Rowardennan the first faces i saw there where John McLaughlin and John Bell (part of Marcos support) who gave us a welcome cheer, i saw my crew and headed over to change my footwear for the lochside, when i asked for my other shoes the guys said they could not find them, it then came back to me that they were lying outside the house at the door, so it was a case of drying the feet and more fresh socks.

Rowerdennan to Inversnaid

I spent most of this section just behind Sharon running with Craig Stewart, one of my friends, Paul was going to drive up in the morning and run down with my drop bag, as i arrived at Inversnaid, Paul was waiting with my refuel for the next section, i felt this was an important section to get a bit of moral support, then me and Craig were off as paul went to Tyndrum.

Inversnaid to Bienglass

Craig started to drop back on this section as we went over the goat path and again i wasn't far behind Sharon as we came into Beinglas the crew were sitting in the seated area as you cross the footbridge again taking another five minutes to get a rice and to refuel my race belt.

Bienglass to Auchentyre

This section seemed much easier than it did at the Fling,as i came through the big gate at Boggle Glen i got the news that Marco had withdrawn from the race. i stopped and borrowed a change of shoes as i remebered the last time i ran this section i felt every bloody stone under my feet just then Sharon came through the gate with another runner Adam Versteeg, we all ran together to the checkpoint as we arrived we saw Marco walking towards us, he was changed, he gave Sharon a quick hug as we continued in to the checkpoint. This was the first weigh in point, i had a lost some weight, then took the usual five minutes to grab a bite.

Auchertyre to Bridge of Orchy

Myself and Adam left around the same time as we came through lower Tyndrum Neil Gibson gave us cheer, then appraoching high Tyndrum Paul was waiting for me, at this point i walked up the small climb with another runner called Mark  Leggett then got myself started again. I could see Sharon in the distance, it wasn't long before Mark caught me, at this point Adam had fallen back. Mark and i both eventually caught up with Sharon as we all came through the checkpoint. i took a few minutes as Shaun wanted to see my mandatory kit.

Bridge of Orchy to Glencoe Ski Centre

Leaving BoO i had a kit change, myself Mark and Sharon all came through Victoria Bridge, again i stopped for a quick refuel, just then Adam caught up, heading over Rannoch Moor, the rain was coming down and by now i could feel myself starting to struggle, Another Runner whom i ran with over  Conic earlier, Mark Caldwell had caught up with us and passed looking quite strong. Adam dropped back as the three of us tried to see this section out, with a mile to go to the Ski Centre Sharon was away on her own followed by Mark Then Me.

Glencoe Ski Centre to Devils Staicase

I got out of the wet clothes, had another snack and headed down to the Kingshouse with Adam at this point Mark was behind us. my crew had agreed to meet at the bottom ot the Devils Staircase. again i did not enjoy this small section, as i arrived i changed in to my Skins but by now Adam was well on his way to the top, part of the way up i met Mark again but he looked like he was in a worse place than me at this point, just then i was caught up by another runner who seemed to appear from nowhere called Graham Strachan who was being supported by George Cairns, he had been running with Debs who he said was just behind us, once at the top i seemed to get a second wind and ran with Graham into the Kinlochleven checkpoint.

Kinlochleven to Lundavra

I went inside the centre to weigh in when saw John Mclauglin, John Bell and Marco in the seated area, i weighed in and told Marco that Debs was close behind. i had went to get another change of top from Sam before heading over the Larig Moor,as i did so Debs was off like a shot heading up the Larig climb. i could see her and Adam drifting further and further away from me. As i headed towards Lundavra another runner came pat, Marc Casey , after that the only people were the wilderness response team offering Juice and by now it was getting harder to keep the momentum up, eventually as i approached Lundavra just before the checkpoint Tam came down try and lift my spirits by saying that the last group were not far in front.

Lundavra to Fort William

As i left the checkpoint i was really starting to struggle i found it difficult to pick myself up, i could still see Debs and Adam at stages then they dissapeared. just then my watch went dead, this was the final straw, i had no idea what distance i was covering and i had no sense of time and the forrest trail just seemed to go on and on for ever. As i came up the final part of the trail, i had felt a sense of being lost, the footpath had a large tree covering it and there was a road to the left, i stood for a few minutes as my directoin was gone and i did not want to take a wrong turn, just then three cyclists came up towards me, i shouted to them for directions, wich they pointed to the path with the tree over it so i climbed through it only to find the other end coming out onto the road. i headed down the road where the cyclists came tearing past me, as i came  around a bend someone was taking photos and shouted well done, was i glad to see someone. as i continued down the road for a bit Sam appeared and said it was only three miles to go, i was struggling badly and found even going dowhill difficult. i happened to look back and i could see two runners behind me, one passed me and that made me try and find something to get to the main road, as i looked back i could  not see anyone else, on the main road my support shouted out of the car that it was about 500 yards to go to the roundabout, this felt like an eternity as the road just seemed to go on and on ,still struggling i walked and ran until i could see the roundabout then i could see my crew at the entrance of the Centre. I had just crossed the line when i found out the runner behind me was mark who i had spent most of the race with.

Position 16th  - Time 19 Hours 47 Minutes 17 seconds

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Early Bird

As I was working today and don't finish to 3pm and knowing that Angela and Abby were due home from the Brownie camp around 4ish, there was no way that i was going to get a reasonable run in so it was up early this morning and out the door bang on 4:30 as this would get me a 2 hour run before starting work, because i had taken Saturday off i decided to do a similar distance to what i ran on Friday evening. It was a fantastic morning, the sun was out in full and it was just perfect for a run, as i was running i was thinking about the conditions for next week, checkpoints, food and so on. now i know from reading Silke's blog what Thomas means about now it is all by, all that remains in a small run on Tuesday and Thursday to keep the legs ticking over.

Total Distance 15:17   Time 1h 57 min 18 sec

Friday, 10 June 2011

can't get you out of my Head

It's friday, i have one week to go and like the rest of the runners taking part in the WHW it should be time to wind down. now i don't usually run on a Friday as this is one of my rest days but this is no normal weekend , my wife Angela and Abby are away to a Brownie camp all weekend so i couldn't sit on my arse and not do something so i decided to head out for a run, takes your mind of things or so i had hoped but as Kylie says, cant get you out of my head and thats exactly what is happening in relation to next week.for someone attempting to run their first 95 Miles in a weeks time its hard to think of anything else. so back to the run, the night turned out well the sun was out and it was pretty warm so i decided to run a loop at the house which took in 13 miles, i was trying out a new pair of shoes for their second run, what a spring in your step they give any way after checking the garmin at the end i found that i had run 2 sub 7.30, 8 sub 7.15 and 2 sub 7 and 1 sub 6.50, i hope next Friday is as Good.

Total distance 13.08 time 1h 33m

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Tomtain and Garrel Hills

Today was going to be my last long run before the WHW, I set of this morning at 05:10 am and headed out 10 miles along the Forth & Clyde Canal until i reached Kilsyth, once there i decided to head up what i believe to be one of the steepest road sections in central Scotland, Tak Ma Doon Road, once at the car park at the top where you can take in fantastic views which include Grangemouth, I then cut off through the green barrier to the left and head up to Tomtain Hill (trig Point 6518) and on to Garrel Hill. At one point i thought the cloud cover was going to spoil my view but it quickly moved making my final long run all worth while. after a few minutes i started to head back down from my climb back in to Kilsyth and back on to the canal heading for home.

Distance 30 Miles - Total Time 4:05 - Elavation Gain 2118 ft

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Looking back at April And May

Time certainly flies when you have a a few races planned, April came and went before i got a chance to look back and blog it , now May has gone and we are into June, so i thought i should record what i have done. we are now 16  days from the biggest event in the race calendar and the longest distance in my 30 years of running. so looking back firstly at April, the stats are as follows:

329.17 miles logged  in 17 days of running which included 8 runs with a minimum of 20 miles inc the Fling

218.63 miles 15 days of runnig which included 5 runs over 20 miles.

547.80 miles combined

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


This week saw my mileage reach the First thousand miles of the year,last year i had recorded a total mileage of just under two thousand  miles so with only five months in everything is going well. Now that the Cateran has passed and with just over 3 weeks to go the focus for everyone has now moved on to the WHW ,I can never imagine what it is going to be like until race day is upon us , it is always good to practice over the course but until the race starts my mind will have all sorts of things going through it. As this is the holiday weekend my plans are to get in some long back to back runs. i enjoy doing these as i feel that they help convince the mind that you have simulated the time on legs,the feeling of running tired and  of course covering the distance +. On Friday evening the plan is to meet up at Sams house with my support crew and go through the finer details. Sam will be away on holiday the following week, then i will be working the weekend before the race so this is the ideal oportunity to discuss everything.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Back to normal

It's been a few weeks now since the fling. i managed to get some light training in from the Wednesday after the race but had to work that weekend so my first long run took place yesterday morning, i was up and out for 5:30 as i had to attend a party in the afternoon, i decided to head out towards Kirkintilloch and follow the cycle path out to the Kirkhouse at Strathblane. the forecast was for rain all day but when i set off it was cool and overcast lucky enough it stayed like that for the whole run.
  I reached the halfway point i was feeling fine but by the time i went thriugh marathon distance (3:17) i  could not believe how stiff my legs were . i though that after running 53 miles on the WHW a 30 miler on the flat would be fine, how wrong i was but at least i now have the first one under the belt in preparartion for the biggest event ever in my running career which is just now just over 4 weeks away. i know that JK's group have the double  run this weekend but unfortunately i cannot make it as my daughter makes her first communion on Sunday and i have too much to do over the weekend, so it will just be a long run on Saturday with a couple of hours on Sunday. good luck to everyone taking part over the WHW.

Distance 30.51 Miles Time 3h 53m

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Highland Fling

Last night i prepared my kit and drop bags for the early start today, i went to bed at 10pm but found it difficult to sleep, my head was full of the things you get when you have never raced at this distance, what pace to run, what to eat, could i complete the distance, whats the conditions like,( very warm).

I woke up at 4:30 and packed everything into the car that i was taking, I arrived at Milngave at 5:20 and walked down to the start,there was plenty of people mulling about waiting for the start, i chatted to Ross and JK briefly before putting my drop bags in to the cars.
My pre race plan was to try and run as close to 9 hours as i believed this was achievable, after Murdo had done the pre race brief we moved to the start for the off i found my self in a small group, as we got chatting i found out that Simon Ellis came from Chester and Billy Foreman from North Yorkshire quickly followed by the ever reliable George Cairns. George and Simon were up Conic before us, but as we reached check point 1 (Balmaha), both were having a quick bite, i decided to allow myself a few minutes at each checkpoint to restock my pack and have a bite to eat.
As we moved on to check point 2 , both George and Simon had moved a couple of minutes ahead but again we caught up with them as they were refuelling in Rowardennan.George had kindly offered me some sun tan lotion, we all left together as we headed towards Checkpoint 3 (inversnaid), by the time we arrived the sun was very warm, whilst refuelling, George managed to get a few chips of the plate of a guy up from London.

George left before us and i never saw him again until i arrived at the finish,Simon drifted back as me and Billy continued on, at 36 miles suddenly Jezz came past us came past us so effortlessly, a few minutes later as my foot struck the ground i took cramp in my left calf and told billy to continue on and i would try to catch up before Beinglass Farm, at 38 miles, a short time later i was back with Billy, we continued on but by this stage we were wondering how far the checkpoint was as the trail seemed to go on for ever. a couple of my friends, Sam Green and Margaret Deas turned up to watch at Beinglass Farm. we refilled our water bottles and got on our way as we were still on for a 9 hour time,both of us were starting to struggle a few miles down the trail John McLaughlin gave me a shout, this seemed to help slightly as i caught up with John Kennedy, John passed on some words of encouragement and this seemed to work and before i knew it i had caught up with JK who was chatting to a girl called Claire who was a fellow Everton fan, i think by this time we were all struggling with the heat. i decided to continue doing a run/walk for as long as i could as i could not find any rhythm to run continually.

My feet were starting to feel everything rock, with 4 miles to go i saw Sam and Margaret again by this time i had ran out of water and asked if they could get me some, with a further mile gone Ritchie Cunningham passed me looking good as he motored up the hills.

I arrived at the wigwams where Sam and Margaret filled my bottles with water, what a welcome relief, they gave me a morale boosting chat as i continued along the final stretch, again i met John McLaughlin who shouted out only 800m to go, as i came around the bend, Sam and Margaret gave a final cheer, suddenly the pipers started playing, i knew it was nearly over, i crossed the finish line in 9hrs 3 Min finishing 21st.

Well done to everyone who took part today and to Murdo,Ellen,Tim and the Marshalls for making it a splendid day.


Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter Weekend

I knew that in my plans i wanted to use the Easter weekend as my last training schedule in preparation for my first Fling, its not easy when you have never raced more than 41 miles before, the unknown teritory of running another half marathon on top is going to bring a new experience both physically and menatally, since Wednesday i have run consecutive up to the Holiday Monday, i knew that it was going to be my final back to back runs that would be the test. My plan was to run the 7 days consecutive with the emphasis on my longer weekend runs. I managed to complete them with 3 x 20 miles at a steady pace along with getting in the distance and time. all i can do now is relax the rest of the week and wait and see what i learn from Saturday, Best wishes to all who are running on Saturday.

Wednesday - Total Mileage 9.11 - Total Time 1:08:25 - Ave Moving Pace 7:27
Thursday -     Total Mileage 8.04 - Total Time 1:01:59 - Ave Moving Pace 7:40
Friday -         Total Mileage 9.03 - Total Time 1:08:30 - Ave Moving Pace 7:31
Saturday -     Total Mileage 20.17 - Total Time 2:32:10 - Ave Moving Pace 7:29
Sunday -       Total Mileage 20.03 - Total Time 2:38:47 - Ave Moving Pace 7:47
Monday -     Total Mileage 20.01 - Total Time 2:30:08 - Ave Moving Pace  7:27

Total Mileage 86.39 - Total Time 11:00:02

Monday, 18 April 2011

Pre Fling Training Weekend 1

Today i completed my 1st back to back training weekend in preparation for the Fling . I decided to run from Kirkintilloch towards Glasgow on the canal, my aim was to get in a second 4 hour run in two days, the day started well as i left the house at 6:15, it was a fantastic morning with the sun out in full, as i got on to the canal it was great as it was so peaceful, i continued along at a steady pace into Glasgow until i got to Anniesland before i about turned, on the way back it was steadily getting warmer and the tow path was starting to fill up with cyclists, when i arrived back in Kirkintilloch i headed for Lenzie and followed the old railway line back to Chryston where i met the guys heading out for their usual run at 9:30, we had a quick chat before i headed home over the last 2 miles to try and catch some of the London Marathon.

 Sun Totals -Total Mileage 28.28 Total Time 3:43:33 Ave Moving Pace 7:54
 Sat Totals - Total Mileage 30:16 Total Time 4:04:33 Ave Moving Pace 8:02

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Two Weeks Today

My plan today was to get up early and get on to the canal for a 5 hour run but when i woke at 5:30 i decided to change my plans by driving to Milngavie. i parked at the usual spot in the town as you never get any hassle regarding parking.
I set off from the start point at 6:15 with a revised plan of doing 4 hours so off i went, the conditions to start with were overcast skys and it was quite cool, i arrived at the 10 mile point in 1:20 and continued through in to Drymen as i hit the car park at Garadhban, the signs were out saying that it was closed along with the trail due to the forrestry commision carrying out some tree felling however all was quite so i continued through doing a loop in the forrest at 15 miles. as i was heading back i met some runners on their way out.
I was feeling reasonably good today and came through the 20 mile mark in 2:22 as i arrived back in Drymen the sun was out in full force which felt good as i was now on the tarmac section, by the time i reached Carbeth lots of walkers and runners were out in force which made the next few miles fly by, i went through marathon distance in 3:32 which was perfect as i did not want to do anything silly with two weeks to the Fling as i continued back into Milngavie i completed the 30 miles in 4:04.

Total Time 4:04:33 Total Distance 31.16 Average Moving Pace 8:02

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Following the GEDM

My plan today was to meet up with Marco and some of the guys to get in a 25 miler but during the week came the news that Marco had injured himself so i decided to fit in a longer run on the canal and watch the Glasgow To Edinburgh Double Marathon.
I left the house at 6:30 and new that i could get to the Falkirk Wheel and be nearly back before the runners would come through checkpoint 1,which is at Auchenstary Loch. on the way back i had a quick chat with the Marshall's who confirmed that the first runner was not far away so i decided to keep moving as i did not want my legs to seize, as i continued along the canal for a few minutes more , i could see Grant Jeans coming towards me after giving Grant a cheer i continued on into Tweechar, a further ten minutes had passed before the next runner came through followed closely by a steady stream of runners who were at this point all within 5 minutes of each other.i gave every one a cheer as they passed and even stopped to try and get some pictures, as i was approaching Kirkintilloch the last 3 runners came through, it was going to be a long day as the weather was starting to get warmer.
As i left Kirkie heading into Lenzie with 4 Miles still to go my legs were getting heavier and my juice all been used, it was a bit of a struggle to the finish as this was going to be my longest run since January, finally i arrived home in just over 5 hours with 37.20 miles in the legs so now i will sit out and enjoy what looks like the warmest day of the year, Good luck to everyone who took part today, some photos are available from my website for anyone to help themselves, just follow the tabs, sorry if the quality of some is not great.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

March Review 2011

Well now that March has come to an end, looking back it has been another low mileage month of 186, similar to February, over the past week it has been easy to see why its so low, i just couldn't be arsed getting my backside out the door, reasons, who knows, i thought after training well in January i would take that in to the race season but it just has not happened. even after the D33 again i thought that should kick start things, so now April is here and it is only 5 weeks today till the Fling. I was out today at 5am for a 4 hour run giving me 28 miles, so it gives me a good starting point for April.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Anglo Celtic Plate

This weekend sees the best in Scotland take part in the Anglo Celtic plate some names heading the mens race will include Grant Jeans and  Thomas Loehndorf, whilst in the female section we will have Gail Murdoch and Debs Martin-Consani. I would like to wish all the competitors taking part in Perth on Sunday 27th March at the Inches the best of luck.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

D33 Review

I travelled up on the lunchtime train on Friday to Aberdeen in preparation for the race so after checking in to the Travelodge which is right outside the station i decided to jog down the mile to Duthie Park as a recce for Saturday morning. Once in the park i jogged round anti clockwise as i got to the far end i saw the painted line with D33 on the ground, at least i had found the Registration point and the start point the only thing missing was where it went, as this was my first time on the course i continued around the park until i noticed a cyclist heading out by a post with a sign on it so off i went to check it out, this was the route,so i continued along for a while as it it was a great night for a run, before i knew it i was out 4 miles so i about turned and headed back.
On Saturday morning i was up sharp and feeling good so i again jogged down to registration, i was first there, George and the guys were just setting things up, so i introduced myself, got my number and headed back to the hotel. the only downside with the travelodge is you have to be out by 12 noon and they don't have anywhere to store your gear so i headed round to the railway sation and booked my bag in before heading down to the race, i had only realised on the road down that i had built up 15 miles since my arrival, anyway on the start line most of the usual faces where there and the weather was turning out just nice. George gave out the details before we set off, Grant as usual was away from the start followed by the rest of us,at 15.5 miles i could feel that i had put on the wrong shoe, i thought i could have got away with a racer as the course was flat and as it had been sunny the route would be dry but by 15.5 when i moved into 3rd place as Scott Bradley from carnegie passed me,i knew by now that it was going to be a long day, by 19 miles Marco passed, moving me in to fourth and from there it just got worse, my right hip was in pain and i was still being passed, i continued along and as you were passing runners we were all exchanging "well dones", it helped you along at 25 miles i managed to get some ibuprofen gel at the water station which i applied, it certainly helped in the later stages but before this i found myself having to walk in some parts while i tried to loose the pain from my hip, with 31 miles in the pain started to ease and i knew it wasn't far to the finish, my main aim before the race was to get in under 4 hours, thanfully i did this with seconds to spare.
 Looking back i felt in shape for sub 4 and got it but overall i am dissapointed that i went off  too fast in the first half , this combined with the wrong shoe,which i felt caused my hip pain, i paid the price for including a couple of black toe nails and affected how i should have ran, overall It was a great day, and well done to everyone who took part. Well organised George and Karen, i'll be back

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Yak Trax Back

We were all warned that it was going to be a crap week in terms of the weather, they said rain, then strong winds followed by snow, well it all arrived, i don't mind running in the rain, you can get dried off, i hate the wind as you are fighting a losing battle, so i don't fight it, i just don't run and for the snow well it's fine as long as you get a half decent footing in the white stuff, so it was back on with the Yak Trax today for a 14 mile run and boy do they make a difference, i hope that that is the last of it as i would not fancy the d33 weekend being plagued with something similar, the 10 day forcast for Aberdeen is showers lets hope they stay off until the race is finished.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Meikle Bin

Meikle Bin (courtesy of the Gazetteer of Scotland)

A hill surrounded the commercial plantation of the Carron Valley Forest in the S of Stirling Council Area, Meikle Bin rises to 570m (1886 feet) 3 miles (5 km northeast of Lennoxtown and 4 miles (6.5 km) northwest of Kilsyth. The lower summits of Little Bin (443m / 1453 feet) and Bin Bairn (reaching 400m / 1312 feet) lie to the north. The Carron Valley Reservoir is located 2 miles (3 km) to the northeast [Link]

Sam,Paul and Tam at Trig Point 4753 Miekle Bin
Today I met up with the guys for a final training run with them before the D33, I ran over the 2 miles to the Nicholson Centre just before;Tam arrived in his car, followed by Sam a few minutes later. We waited for another five minutes to see if anyone else would be joining before setting off. the guys had been planning to get back on to the Meikle Bin for some time as you can see from the above text, this will explain to anyone not sure where exactly it is. we parked in the car park at the Carron Valley Reservoir where Paul was waiting. we headed off along the undulatiing trails as they started to climb towards then MB, just before the final push to the top you leave the trail and cut through an opening which is a bit muddy then back on to open field for the final stretch up to the top. We stopped for a quick picture at the trig point (4753) and some juice before heading back down, as we left the guys showed me a piece of  the wing from an aircraft that had crashed many years ago killing both occupants [Link]. we continued to head back down to the car park completing the 13.08 mile in 2 hours and 7 minutes where we said goodbye to Paul as we headed back to the Centre where i got dropped off for my final 2 miles back home.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

February 2011 Review and blogger page changes

My February mileage turned out to be lower than i had planned to do coming in at 191.95 which a lot lower than January by nearly 100 miles,the plus points are i will treat it as a recovery month, (sounds good) and i managed to get my long weekends as follows;

Beinglas to Kingshouse 31.65 miles (Sun 27th feb)
Kilpatricks 19.24 Miles (Sun 20th Feb)
Forth and Clyde Canal 25 miles (Sat 19th feb)
Local Sunday Run 18.29 miles (Sun 6th feb)
D33 training Run 32.70 miles (Sat 5th Feb)

I have decided to move away from the traditional blogger template and use something that reflects a modern image, i have also added a favicon of the WHW marker as my logo and on my new page i have used some of JKs photos (courtesy of) from our weekend run for my launch.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday 27th February - Beinglas Farm to Kingshouse

We had agreed that we would all park at the Drovers for just after 9am and JK would meet us there after  he and Ross dropped of the bus at the Kingshouse. I had arrived earlier as i though i would be good just take in the views, beats waiting in Glasgow, the weather was perfect Just after 9 everyone arrived, JK, Ross, Neal, Ritchie and Gavin with Marco just arriving in time for the photo shoot. We set off and very soon after  we  had split into two groups, Ritchie,Marco and Me then the rest of the guys, we were travelling along at a fair pace going through 10 Miles in just over 1h30m, and continued this through Tyndrum, we arrived at BoO in 2h 50m throwing in some sub 7 minute miles along the way( mile 16 and 19), by now Marco and Me had opened a small gap on Ritchie but to be fair he had a long run from yesterday in his legs, i stopped for a toilet break  at BoO and was just heading back onto the last section when Ritchie came through he continued running up the hills towards Marco,we knew he would get a second wind on the last part over Rannoch Moor. as i continued towards Victoria Bridge Both Marco and Ritchie were out of site, around 25 Miles i was starting to struggle but i could see Marco in the distance but no sign of Ritchie, i guessed he was well away. i continued on knowing that it was only a further 6 miles to go, my legs were paying the price for going to fast in the middle section, as i reached the top of the last hill i could see the Kingshouse in the distance, only two miles to go and all down hill, i arrived to see Marco and Richie waiting for me, we discussed times and it turned out there was only 10 minutes between us, i ran 4:47 (average speed 9:04 pace) with Marco 5 minutes less and Ritchie 5 minutes over Marco. we went inside to sit in and have a hot drink whilst we waited for the rest of the Guys, next in was Neale  followed by JK and Ross then Gavin, we had a chat and some food before JK ran us back to the Drovers. All in a great day out.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Week ending 20th February

Photo Courtesy of John Kynaston
On Saturday Morning i was out at 7am, back on the Forth and Clyde Canal, the underfoot conditions were bad with surface water in many stretches, on the  way out towards Bonnybridge i met a new runner to the ultra distance, David Allan, David a local from Bonnybridge who owns a furniture restoration business has entered the GEDM, a nice introduction to the distance, I wish David every success in his ultra running career, we had a chat on route what our plans were for the season ahead. i stopped my watch when i went for a toilet stop and forgot to restart it, only realising  just over 4 miles later. i about turned at the sign for High Banton and headed back home, i managed to get in 25 miles in just over 3.5 hours.
   I recieved a text from Sam organising a 2 hour run from the Nicholson at 9.30 on Sunday morning but i had to be back early, i met John and Marco for a run over the Kilpatricks as they were setting off at 7, this was ideal as we all had other things to do, John arrived first on his motorbike followed by myself then Marco, we waited 10 minutes in case anybody else arrived, when nobody turned up we got on our way, this was my first time over the one of many courses that Marco has, weather conditions were great but  the underfoot in sections was a bog with still a lot of snow lying, we were going along at a steady pace stopping for John's Customary picture at one of the trig points then we continued on. we had a good chat and i managed to pick up some points for the WHW and how to get other information on my watch  we completed the route,just over 19 miles in 3.5 hours then we had a final photo shoot at the car park before we left.
  It has been a good weekend with 7 hours of mixed running totaling 45 miles, so now i can look forward to my next run on the WHW next weekend, it looks like we have a bus load turning up for the run from Beinglas farm to the Kingshouse.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Does your watch ever decide that it does not want to play, well mine has did this the last two mornings, yesterday, it had me running in Hogganfield Loch during my 11 mile run and today, i went through my first mile in just over five minutes, i hear you say thats not bad at 5am but i know the mile marker is still a bit off. tonight when i downloaded today's route it has me starting nowhere near my house and again had me running in the Loch, i hope the satellites sort themselves out for tomorrow. map provided

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Easy or Lazy

This week was my one in six weekends that i have to work so it means that it will be twelve days before i have a day off , for the first time in a while apart from having the cold have i had such an easy week of training, some might say lazy more than easy but i have enjoyed doing only 3 runs of wait for it just over five miles each giving me the dizzy heights total of 16.10 miles, i decided to do a time trial of five miles,my first 5 on Wednesday was very easy with the second on Friday clocking in at 30.15 followed by my third today in 30.02. hopefully in the coming weeks i will take it well below the 30 min mark.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Race plan complete

For some time i had it in my head that i would like to compete in 7 SUMS events, on reflection this has been a bit ambitious possibly in my first full season however i have taken stock of what i want from the season and so i have opted for 6 events, i will use the D33 and Fling along with some training weekends for my build up to the WHW, the Stride because i ran the inaugural one and would like to see how many in succession i can do, the Devils to complete the triple crown and the RAW because i thought this in my opinion is a course that i enjoyed. The main aim is to try and run well in all events without feeling fatigued, i know that i should have ample recovery time between the first 3 events of six weeks each, this then reduces to four weeks for the stride followed by three weeks for the devils and then back up to six for the RAW. I have set myself a season target of 55 hours, only time will tell how realistic i have been so i will wait to see how this compares after the final race.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Week ending 6th feb 2011 update

Today was going to be an easy run after yesterday's 33 miles so i got my self out at 8:30 and headed for Gartcosh,as i came into the village i met Andy heading over for our run, he was walking over after his 20 miler yesterday, so we had a quick chat then i said that i would see him back at the centre and continued with my loop which was going to give me 5.5 miles. I arrived at the centre for the usual start time of 9:30, all the crew were there,Sam, Andy, Tam, Marie and Tom, only a couple of the guys missing so we set of on the trail at the back of the centre heading for the marshland around Lenzie Moss, we left Marie and Tom as they were going for a long run before they fly out for a week to Tenerife, we headed back to the centre where i said farewell to the guys and headed home in just over 18 miles. So with my usual 2 days rest (Mon and Fri) and 2 days off with the crap weather, i only managed 3 days training, so my diary for week ending 6.2.11 is:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - DNR
Wednesday - 14.01
Thursday - DNR
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 32.70
Sunday - 18.29

Total for week 65.00

Saturday, 5 February 2011

D33 training run 3

What a week it has been, everyone has been talking about the weather, well i took Tuesday off due to the  weather,i tried a run on Wednesday morning at 5am, during my 14 mile run i was soaked and blown about, i knew that after yesterday it wasn't going to get better over so i took Thursday off rather try and run in the strong winds, what the heck it won't harm your training but does reduce the mileage.
   I Knew the Glee club were setting off from Drymen car park today at 08:45 but unfortunately i could not make it as i had to be back for 10am, so i was out at 5 o'clock heading for my long run round darkest Lanarkshire, the day started fine, it was quite mild then as i left Airdire the rain came bouncing down, i was soaked within minutes, nothing else to do except continue on, i came through Newhouse,Holytown, New Stevenson and into Motherwell heading for Strathclyde Park, i continued along the loch side coming out the far side into bothwell then Uddingston, by this time i was dry again, by the time i hit Bargeddie i went through Marathon distance in 3:23, not bad for an early morning run, so it was up the hill past Drumpellier Park back into Gartcosh then Muirhead and home. i finished just short of 33Miles (32.70) in 4:15 so i know that i am in good shape for the D33 in 6 weeks

Monday, 31 January 2011

D33 training run 2

I finished off my my midweek run on Thursday with another 12 Miles again at 5am followed by my rest day on Friday. My wife, Angela was taking me out for a meal and drinks on Friday evening to celebrate my birthday in midweek so because i knew it would be a late night back from town, i planned to run in the afternoon. I was back out for my second training run in preparation for the D33, i decided that i would head onto the country roads to give me a decent workout over an undulating course. the run went very well i covered 20 miles in 2:12 with even splits of 1:06   I managed to get a further 20 miles at an easier pace on Sunday morning very early as we were having Angela's mum up because it was her birthday so hence the reason i could not hook up with JKs group but i hope to tag along on their next outing.

Total weekly Mileage 82.24
January Total Mileage 280.74

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bye Bye 45 welcome 46

PhotobucketAfter my morning  run yesterday of 12 miles i decided that i would go out and do a second run since it was my last day of being 45, so off i went on a 5 mile loop into Muirhead, my legs were still feeling fine and before i knew it my splits were looking pretty good: 6:15, 6:03, 6:04,6:10, 6:14 giving me a total time of  30.47. Today i was back out again just before 5am running another 12.5 miles in 1h :30 giving me 29.5 for two days, so i can be pleased with my efforts and enjoy being 46.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The morning run

I had enjoyed my rest day yesterday after a good weekend of training, today i was back out just before 5am on one of my regular morning routes, I felt that i had lost the heaviness from the legs as i had a good run completing 12 miles inside 1h 30m with a sub 7 for mile 11 and 6:40 for mile 12 .

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Easy Sunday Run

I got back from bridge of Orchy at 7:30 last night with a view that i would get an easy Sunday run in the following day, well i was up at 7:40 and out the door just after,the pavements were icy and it felt cold, it was great just to get the tighness of yesterday's run out of my legs, i met up with Andy,Sam and Paul and managed to get in 12 miles with just over 1h 35m of running before they returned to the Centre to meet the rest of the guys. I will have my days rest tomorrow and start to build up for next weekend.

Total Weekly Mileage: 80.77

Saturday, 22 January 2011

22nd January Run - BoO to Fort William

Jamie,Me,Ian and Neal after a warm bowl of soup in  Kinlochleven
Thanks to Ian King for arranging the 22nd of January run from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William. we met in the Carpark at BoO at 8:20 Ian  had Arrived just before me and Jamie Aarons, then Caroline and Neal arrived from Paisley, just after we set off at 8:40 and headed north, Ians wife headed to Fort William and Caroline was going to Kinlochleven and running back to meet us,i had checked the 10 day forecast prior to the run and it said that it would be part cloudy with highs of 4 C.
We set of at an easy pace heading for the Kingshouse, coming over Glencoe we met George Cairns heading in the opposite direction, he and his colleague set off at 6:30 from Fort William heading to Bridge of Orchy, we said a quick hello then headed down to the Kigshouse  we arrived in 2h10m and stopped for a refuel, we were heading for the Devils Staircase when we met Caroline (Neals wife) coming towards  us, Neal presuaded her to about turn and head back with us.
It was an unbelievable day the sun was spliiting the skys and it felt so warm, what a contrast to the last eight weeks, we could not believe how lucky we had been, the only problem at the other side of the Devils was the underfoot conditions where still icy, so Me, Neal,Carol and Ian put on our Yaktrax and Jamie her kathoolas, what a difference this made to get us to Kinlochleven.
Kinlochleven took a further 2h 10 m, we headed for the pub for a warm bowl of soup, then left about 30 minutes later to finish off the last leg of the course, by this time the sky was overcast and it was starting to feel cold, so we continued on until we reached Lundavra ,this section was closed for forrestry work ,we were diverted on to the road for a further five miles.
We arrived in Fort William just before it was starting to get dark, just as well the Lundavra section was closed because if this had been open this would have added an extra two miles and we had left our head torches back at BoO.
We arrived at the Morrisons car park where Neal was meeting Caroline, we had a quick chat before Neal drove us back to BoO, this saved Me and Jamie waiting for the train an hour later (thanks).

total time on legs 7.5  hours, total mileage 34.11, av speed 12.23 (and a good day by all)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

A Well Earnt Rest

After my long run on Sunday 35 miles, it was back to business as usual, now i dont like to plan things incase they go pear shaped so i basically run as i feel, the only rule i will stick to is that i rest on a Monday and Friday as i did last year due the the longer mileage at the weekends in preparation for my races. On Tuesday i was out just before 5am and managed 12 miles in 1 hour and 30  minutes before starting work, Wednesday  i ran 10 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes later in  in the evening as i wanted to pick up my pre paid ticket from my local station for my return journey from Fort William on Saturday.
Today i was back out again just before 5am doing the same 12 mile route from Tuesday but 3 minutes faster, this was to allow me 48 hours rest before meeting up on the WHW this Saturday, so overall just under 35 miles mid-week with over 4 hours and 20 minutes of running. now i can enjoy my rest.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

D33 training run 1

I decided that the time was right to start getting in the longer mileage, now that my cold had cleared up and  my running was back to normal, i wanted to start aiming for my first race of the year, the D33, sure i have training runs planned on the WHW over the coming weeks and months but i know from last year that i want to do more of the same in terms of training.
 I have entered 5 SUMS events so far but i do not want to get carried away, i will concentrate on one race at a time so back to my run today, I got word from the guys on Saturday night that they were planning to get a run in at 8:30 before meeting everybody else back at the centre for the ususal Sunday run an hour later. I decided that i would get some mileage in before meeting them, so off i went just before 5am, i had ideas in my head to run round the football grounds in North Lanarkshire,Starting with Hamilton then Motherwell and on the road back Airdrie and Albion Rovers, i like to try something different from time to time so anyway i continued through Uddingston and into Bothwell and then Hamilton but as i got further out this became unrealistic because i would need to be back in Muirhead for 8:30, so i about turned at New Douglas Park(Hamilton Accies) with only a couple of miles along the A723 from Fir Park and headed back with a slight detour up the A725 to get me there for 8:30, it seemed to work out fine because i was only back minutes when Paul,Andy and Sam arrived.

  I had managed to get in 25 Miles at this point in just under 3:30 so i was pleased, we new we had a hour before the rest arrived so we headed along one of our well used paths at the back of the centre and looped back again just in perfect time for the rest of the crew, by this time i had run 33 Miles and could feel my legs starting to get tired so the group decided that they would head out in my direction allowing me some company for the last two miles, it was much appreciated.

 So now that i have finished, although with tired legs i can log my longest run since mid Octber into the diary, what a feeling, this should give me the much needed boost over the next few weeks knowing that at least 35 miles and just under 5 hours of running is not a problem.

Total Weekly Mileage: 63.54

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Steady Run

It was a great  feeling, the temperature was in double figures allowing me to stick the shorts on, so off i went, i headed for Gartcosh onto a loop that is a distance of 8 miles, my first mile went by in  6:31 so i thought i would try and keep the tempo as steady as possible and before i new it i had put in a 6:25,6:14,6:15,6:15,6:21,6:28 and a final mile of 6:12.
I just hope that the mild weather continues allowing us all to get in some decent training

Total Distance 8.08 Miles Time 51:26

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

January so far

January started off fine, i met  the guys at the Nicholson centre for a New Years Day run and we managed to get in 11 Miles.On Sunday i  had family coming over for dinner and new it would have to be a short run, so i did 10 miles, by the end of the run i new i was coming down with a cold as all the symptoms were there but i didn't want to stop training and thought i could run it off so on the Monday i ran 19 miles to make up for my easier run on the sunday and followed this up with a 14 the following day. Wednesday arrived but i was in no shape to run as my cold was getting worse and i did not want to ruin things by continuing until it had cleared up.
I  lost the next six days but i am glad to say that it was the right decision to rest as i now feel back to normal. i started back training on Tuesday morning at 5am and boy did i feel good i ran 10 miles inside 70 minutes, with 7 of the miles all between 6.35 and  7 pace i think the decent underfoot conditions helped along with the rest. this all changed on Wednesday when the sleet arrived, this did not stop me i still managed to get in another reasonable 10 miler again at 5am all be it 7 minutes slower than the previous day, but i put this down to the underfoot conditions.
After 12 days i have managed to get in 75 miles still with a couple of days to the mid way point so i can finish the first half with reasonable mileage knowing that the second half of January i will get some serious miles in on the WHW.