Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Our crew met us at the first stop at the Beechtree Inn, 11.8km. We refilled our water and headed out. Next stop was Drymen at 20km. The midges were starting to appear. I had heard about midges many times over the years but this was my first real experience. They are smaller than mosquitoes, and nip away at you at every angle and skin exposure. I was swallowing them by the mouthful at one point and thought oh my this may break me!!
After this we climbed up Conic Hill to be greeted by the beautiful views of Loch Lommond below us. I think this is one of the most spectacular views I have ever experienced on a run. It gave me an appreciation of the vastness of Loch Lommond and yes we were going to be going all the way along it's shore. We then joined the trail along the shores of Loch Lommond for some spectacular and varied trail running. We ran with a guy who has done the event several times and figured we were doing well and heading as predicted for a 28 hour finish. From Rowardennan to Carmyle was the longest section without seeing our crew. There was a section near the north end of Loch Lommond that was very slow due to the terrain of boulders and continual ups and downs. We reached Carmyle feeling good (70 km now completed) and were greeted by our crew with chants of "Go Team Canada Go"! We also met some familiar faces from the Carnethy Running Club and Murdo McEwan who had provided some valuable support earlier in the week. We were glad to finally get to Carmyle as we thought that somehow we had missed the meeting place for our crew and were feeling the need for more fluid and food. I had been eating and drinking well along the way. I was running with 2 bottles, one with coke (ultra runners favourite fuel!) one with water.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Hi Carolyn and Neil,
I know this is Irish but what the hey....
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Have fun !
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Beautiful sighting! I hear there are some wild cats in Scotland too!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Dario the race director has arranged for a test of some transponders on the course this year. Neil and I get to have one of the 5! So this means all you Canadians out there can follow our progress along the way on Google Earth. The race number is #105 and on June 19th (BC Time) @ 5pm we will be starting 1AM (Scottish time). The details can be found at www.westhighlandwayrace.org Enjoy!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
On Friday afternoon the fun car with Neil, Andy and myself set off for Kelowna to participate in the Sorched Sole Ultras. Neil and I were signed up for the 50km event and Andy the 50 miler. The journey went well with a stop for Frapuccino's for the boys and a Latte for me. We arrived in Kelowna around 6pm, found the hotel and headed out for dinner downtown. It was a beautiful summer evening in Kelowna and we found an excellent outdoor patio on a roof top with a fabulous view. Dinner was good and what a treat for us - dining over looking Okanagan Lake!Back to the hotel and lights out by 9pm. Alarm went at 4AM and we were on our way to the start by 5AM. The sun was up and feeling warm already - high of 25 degrees forecasted. Andy left with the 50 mile pack at 6AM and we started at 7AM. The route headed straight up hill and climbed for most of the first 25km. We came out into Myra Canyon and ran the trestle bridges for 10km. We were on this exact same stretch last year so I was glad that we were familiar with this section. I came upon 3 runners on this section and passed them all! Back onto the rough trails and after a couple of kms we both realized that we had not seen a course marker for awhile. We pull out a map and try to figure it out. I think we missed a turn further back, Neil thinks we should carry on down the unmarked trail. Oh my...we are feeling lost! We make the decision to go back up the 2km we have just come down, we wasted time looking at the map, going back and we come upon one of the runners I had passed. She too is noticing no markers and feels unsure of our location. At that moment Andy appears and he is on his final decent of his 50 mile event and reassures us yes we are on the route, it just isn't marked! Down we continue and then Neil and I realize Andy is winning the 50 mile event!! Awesome!! Although I had really hoped we would have been done before him considering we were doing the 50km distance and he had an hour start on us. Near the finish we come upon Reg from Chilliwack. Reg is hurting and walking now. I almost catch him but with me on his butt he started running again! He finished less than a minute ahead. Once we were done we were looking for Andy to congratulate him. No Andy at the finish line. No Andy at the car. No Andy in the toilet. Oh no...the guy who was in 2nd place appears to have won. 20 minutes later Andy appears he made a wrong turn a couple of km's from the finish and lost his first place standing. I felt his pain! Getting lost is a bad scenario when it happens but when you are winning it must really hurt! I was so impressed with Andy's response to the scenario...it is what it is, I can't do anything about it now! He was gracious to the winner, although he knows he can take him :)! That is the great thing about Ultra running. Every outing is character building. We can never take anything for granted out there. Stuff happens...some times when we least expect it. Great training for life!
Well today was the last long run (6:49...pleased with my time!) prior to West Highland Way. Of course my mind is full of concerns...can I do it? Are we ready? Should we have done more? Should we have done less? The new medication for the asthma, is it working? Etc...Etc...All part of the mental preparation!