Phil said: “Despite Met Office earlier in the week issuing a weather warning for Saturday of “strong winds and heavy rain for the Moray coast” the weather people were exactly one day out and it turned out to be a perfect day for running – overcast, cool with a light breeze!
I set off rather quick –reaching the first check point at 12.5 miles in about 1:35, but my pace soon dropped with the long climb and traverse across the 407m Ben Aigan. From near the summit you get a wonderful view of the river Spey all the way to the sea, but no time to stop and enjoy it. After descending Ben Aigan the route is undulating with the last significant hill at 24 miles just before the second checkpoint. From there the route is a gentle down hill to Spey Bay and then flat all the way to Buckie. I had to dig in over the last few miles which seemed to take forever, but managed to squeeze over the line in less than 5hr 30 min and shave 12 minutes off my time last year.
This was my 4th race in this year’s SUMS (Scottish Ultra-marathon Series) and gave me 400 points. If you complete 4 or more races the points in your 4 best races are added together to find the series winners. My total points score for the 4 races is 1537 points which leaves me in 9th position in the overall men’s competition and 6th in the male vet class. There is one more race to go (41 mile River Ayr Way), but I’m well adrift of the top 3 male vets, so I’ll probably give it a miss and save myself for the Dublin marathon at the end of October.”