|Position (1272)||Gender Position||Category||Category Position||Time|
|Fiona Mackenzie||1139||571||Super Vet||96||02:26:39|
|Ann Rautenbach||1263||675||Super Vet||119||03:06:18|
I signed up for this last year, but came down with a virus the week before and DNS.
I must have been super keen to go for it this year ago as I signed up in January – and then forgot all about it. When my summer races were over I thought I could take it easy with nothing upcoming on my race calendar. Then a niggling memory got me checking and I discovered with shock that I needed to up my distance training to cope with a HM
I did get up to distance and more with run walk training, but nothing much speed related, but I’d been told it’s mostly downhill so I thought I’d survive.
I stayed in Glenmore for the long weekend, so race morning involved a quick breakfast and driving down to Aviemore to drop car off where the shuttle buses take you to the start at Badaguish. Plenty of coaches getting lots and lots of runners up there.
Didn’t bother queuing up for free cup of tea or the toilets, but met up with Fiona, Krista and Louise for a pre-race chat.
Then it was time to line up in our separate lines for the 10k and HM. I walked and walked past the signs for sub 1:30, sub 2:00 etc. until finding a select few standing between the (vast) area designated for sub 2:45 and over 3:00 markers, where we chatted about finishing being the important thing.
To start with it was rough tracks through the forest. I seemed sluggish, but reassured myself that the “last 5 miles are downhill ” would be my saving grace.
They had miles to go counters which made a change. I had been warned of a hilly bit at 3ish miles, and was pleased to keep running up this, although not much faster than the walkers.
I was very slow over the humply bits but still thinking I’d make it up on the “last 5 miles are all downhill “. I did get very disturbed between 9 to go and 8 to go markers as I saw no runners, marshalls or yellow arrows just a couple of hikers. Thought of asking if they’d passed other runners and then didn’t dare incase they said no! It really got me quite anxious. Never been so glad to see an 8 mile marker and had a gel to celebrate.
Eventually I was onto the road section for that famed “last five miles is all downhill”. This was indeed a true statement, but by this time my legs didn’t care and I could see the sub 3 I’d hoped for was in doubt.
This just turned into a let’s get this done with any and every tactic brought out. “Only 4 miles to go” (plus another gel), “only 3 miles to go”. “One man went to mow”. I don’t know what I looked like as the marshalls at this point started querying if I was ok. I was fine, just in the zone and slow, slow, slow.
Finally it was “less than 1 mile to go” and then 1k.
Got cheered by Gillian which was great. Made me realise this route for all it is stunningly beautiful has next to nothing in the way of supporters enroute. And then at last I was there listening to the announcer call out my name and number.
A medal, shortbread and water. Then a HUGE climb up to the centre to use the loo (definitely drinking too much), collect my baggage, share congrats with some of the other 6 from the start and try to find my car (which thankfully wasn’t too hard).
Report written in the pub with a pint of cider to help me.
Photos courtesy of Ann Rautenbach, Louise Turner, Gillian Grant