Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Glen Ogle 33

Alarm set for 4.15 am, must be a race day! Porridge, banana and honey with a big mug of coffee enjoyed, I started the car about ten minutes before I left so it warmed up and I didn’t have to scrape the ice of the windscreen. Pauline and Morna were picked on time and we were on our way to Strathyre.  We weren’t liking the lumpy rain we saw in the headlights or being cleared away by the wipers.  Luckily it had stopped by the time we got to registration with a cheery Julie on duty. We picked up our numbers, lurked in the toilets for a bit of a heat then moved the car round to the finish (shorter walk to the pub from there).  Then we got ourselves ready for the walk back to the start.

Brrrrrr! I couldn’t look at Morna without shuddering, although she was wearing Buff, hat, gloves and kilt she had bare legs and just her vest!  I was wearing a long-sleeved thermal, t-shirt, vest, long tights, kilt, Buff, peaked Buff pulled down as far as it could go and still just about see where I was going. My only attempt at being a tough runner was fingerless gloves (so much easier to open a funsize packet of Maltesers)

A  wee race briefing from Mike, then a walk over the road to the start which was a bit different to last year adding on a bit more, by this time my shoulders were up to my ears,  my jaw was aching holding it tight so it didn’t chitter, I felt a brief warmth brush my calf, Mason dog! Hi Lee, hi Dave, how are…  No preamble (if there was one I missed it) we’re off.

I lower my shoulders, loosened my jaw and hope to warm up some time soon.  It was a long up hill at the start and I chose to run it, even though I wasn’t going much faster than those walking, I decided I’d run all the way until the hairpin hill with the view of Loch Earn then after that I’d see how I felt whether to walk or run the hills. 

I took my camera and whipped it out quite a few times as I trotted along but always looped the strap round a finger in case my clumsy frozen paws dropped it.  photos

In the loop of the forest I did a bit of walking and running on the hills, I felt my left hip and hamstrings tight when I walked and more comfortable when I ran but I wanted to stretch out the legs.  I was enjoying the chat with old friends and new, there were quite a few running their first ultra and what a cracker to pick for a first. 

After coming down out of the forest and before crossing the road again there was a troop of Scouts coming towards us, big cheers and high fives from them, a couple of walkers were just behind them, I wasn’t sure if they were with the Scouts or not but I high fived them anyway.  

On the way back along the old railway line with around twenty miles down and roughly thirteen miles to go I did a body check, everything felt fine, legs supple and strong with plenty life left, compared to last year, I remembered my legs being tight and sore.  In my reflection I smiled to myself, this year has been a good injury and illness free one and I felt quite bouncy with the bonus of that thought.  The weather had improved although still cold there were patches of blue sky, and when the sun shone on me I soaked up the warmth.  Folk were well spread out now and I didn’t see so many runners, so it was lovely to see some of my club friends appear just to offer some support Fabienne’s cheery face near the viaduct and Ken and Bill a few miles from the end. 

I didn’t feel the need to push hard but worked on maintaining my pace, but once off the cycle path and on the road it was time to haul into the finish, that’s where the beer and soup would be, also looking at the time if I didn’t slow down I’d finish within six hours.  I was wearing a Garmin, so had a bit of a clue how much further I had to go, I could vaguely remember where I was from last year, this year’s route was further than last year but I still wasn’t sure of the finish until I saw the marshal just before the shoogly bridge, I love how it jumps up and surprises you into the giggles! Round the tight bend and the finish!  Yaay, 5.46.19hrs, well under the six hours, last year I finished in 6.11hrs and it was a mile longer this year!  Although my Garmin showed the distance as 31.65 miles, still a wee bit short of thirty-three but no matter, it was quality not quantity. 
                           (photo from Glen Ogle facebook page)

A quick change of clothes and the luxury of a wet wipe round my face standing at the back of the car, then over to the pub for some well-deserved soup, beer and a blether.  The GO33 is a lovely race winding up the ultra-season for the year, a Bill and Mike Production, directed by Ada with a cast of brilliant marshals and helpers.  Thank you all for make this a day of happy running memories.