The Glasgow-Edinburgh Ultramarathon (G2E), sometimes referred to as the Glasgow-Edinburgh Double Marathon, (although it was already longer than 2 marathons for its first running in 2009 and an additional 2 miles were added in 2010), is a 56 mile foot race along the Forth & Clyde and Union canals, starting at Ruchill Park, Glasgow and finishing at Edinburgh Quay. Used to more humply terrain, ERN’s SuperUltraMan, Phil Humphries, laced up his plimsoles and tried the flat stuff for a change!
Phil said : Half asleep I hopped on the 7am train from Waverley to Glasgow and spent most of the journey stuffing myself with food & drink for the exertions ahead. From Glasgow Queen St I took a taxi to Ruchill Park where about 100 other crazy ultra runners were starting to amass for a 9am start. I met up with Michael Nowicki who I know from Carnethy HRC. At the end of April he is planning to run from London to Edinburgh in 15 days for charity, so this was just a training run for him!
The late March heat-wave was on the way out leaving perfect running conditions: dry and sunny, but not too warm with a refreshing light breeze. The first 20 miles felt ok and I managed not to go out too fast, but by the time I arrived at the Falkirk wheel (23 miles) I started to feel tired and the legs heavy (and not even half way !), so I got some food down and tried not to think about the distance ahead of me. The next 17 miles were a real grind and my pace dropped significantly, but I kept going forwards only stopping briefly at Linlithgow to refuel on bananas and chocolate coated coffee beans. Running all day along a flat canal path is tougher that I thought both physically and psychologically – it is difficult to break the route down mentally into manageable sections and the same muscles are being used all the time (I was wishing for a few hills). However after reaching the 40 mile point I could see the bridges and the Pentland hills in the distance, and the running started to feel easier. My energy came back and I was able to pick up the pace and enjoy the journey again. Once I was over the bypass I covered the last few miles strongly with no problems.
There was great support from ERN members on the home stretch: Wendy and Steve cheering me from a mile out, and then a whole crowd at the finish including Elly, Ellie, Fiona, Gillian, Murdo, Mike and Ram. It was a surprise, but meant a lot to me to have such fine support and be able to enjoy a celebratory drink with friends after completing such a big race.