Seriously – do you have to do your own publicity these days? Where’s Shane when you need him?
Two club runners (and one ex-club runner) ran the Ochils last Saturday. Dave Godfree and Andy Kitchin finished in 3 hours 4 minutes and 3 hours twenty minutes respectively on a day where conditions were favourable and the two year old course record was broken. I’d love to write about their race, but sadly I was a few miles away (though still running in the same event).
My day started with a bit of a scramble to locate all my gear, Eventually I managed to pull it together but couldn’t find any gels. There is no way that I could complete the Ochils without food so I managed to find a few cereal bars which I stuffed in my backpack. Moral – organise your stuff together the night before an event.
I hadn’t trained for distance much so I started off slowly – in fact I started the race in absolutely last pace and stayed there for the first quarter of a mile, then slowly began to move up through the field (from absolutely last to quite near the back). I was enjoying myself, chatting to everyone along the way, ticking off the easy hills at the beginning of the race. Innerdownie, Whitewisp, Tarmangie, Kings Seat etc etc. It was only on the approach to the Law that I decided to go for the first cereal bar – It was like eating chipboard – I wouldn’t recommend it as a race fuel. I was gaining places coming off Ben Ever and doing OK to Blairdennon but after about three hours of running I was beginning to tire. I planned to go for another cereal bar going up Dumyat, but was too busy chatting to a runner from Central. Just coming to the top of Dumyat I suddenly deteriorated and stumbled pathetically down to the finish. From the top of Dumyat it took 30 minutes – compare that with Iain Donnans Dumyat hill race record (up and down the hill via the same route) of 33 minutes! A further cereal bar had begun to revive me for the last few hundred yards, but too late to make much of a difference! Moral – on long runs make sure you take food that agrees with you and eat well before you feel you need it.
My next planned race is the Two Breweries. Andy Kitchin has warned me that it is a very different race with much more climb, and Jim Alexander once told me that it nearly killed him, so I’m looking forward to it. I must admit in my darkest hour on Dumyat I thought that I might not bother but I think if I can take something edible with me I might just survive the hill runners graveyard that Trahenna is reputed to be. Be assured I’ll let you know.
Apologies to everyone in attendance at the Beecraigs training session, by the way (you may have noticed my inability to count or remember names) – I don’t think I had fully recovered from it.