Saturday, 7 November 2009

Brecon Beacons Ultra 45miles

In Decemeber I will be taking part in the Brecons Ultra a 45mile foot race round the Brecon Beacon Mountains. This race is arranged by Likeys Adventure Racing Company who also arrange the 6633 Ice Ultra Marathon in Canada. The Brecons Ultra is sold out with a 140 athletes taking to the start line in the last Ultra race of the year. In 2008 the race weather was cold and dry with tempretures at the start of -8c so lets hope for more of the same this year...

Gobi Challenge 2009

Well better bring this up to date having completed this years main event the Gobi Challenge.

On completing the Gobi Challenge I travelled 140miles in 6 days throught Mountains, Ice Gorges, Desert Plains and the Highest Sand Dunes in Asia in tempertures of +42 in the shade.

Me sitting at last checkpoint on day 6.

Andrew climbing the high Sand Dune on day 6.

A full race report will appear here shortly..

Monday, 15 June 2009

Well thought I would bring things up to date after the Highland Fling. After a weeks rest and a week in Las Vegas enjoying the sun it was back to training. Things were kept light with a couple of 5K runs at the Glasgow park runs on a Saturday morning and slowly worked the mileage up, at the time of write I have just completed a 55mile week. With only 6 weeks to the Gobi Challenge I plan to do some tough traning weekends with hill runs and back to back 20 milers, recently ran up and down Ben Lomond 1hr 50min (9 miles and 3250ft of ascent) thought I was doing ok until I checked this year race results and found that the winning time up and down was 1hr 12 mins my time would have placed me 90th over all (room for improvement). Well its off to the gym now to keep up the good work.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Highland Fling 2009

On Saturday the Highland Fling took place up the lower part of the West Highland Way form Milngavie to Tyndrum, with a new format of individuals, teams and relay teams in all categories it seen numbers boost from 70 the year previous to around 400 this year. Female, Female Vets, Female Super Vets and Male Super Vets all had a 6am start given them a 15hr cut off time.
Next up was Male and Male Vets starting at 7am given a 14hr cut off time with the relay teams starting at 8am. Taking the next step I was heading into the unknown having only raced 43miles in the Devil O the Highlands the year previous, the extra 10 miles would be a real challenge. My game plan was to cover a steady 5mph which seem to work well in the early stage as I past Drymen at 12miles in 2hrs.12mins. The next section would see runners climb over Conic Hill

to Balmaha with the route to Rowardennan thrown up some cheeky hills, I arrived at Rowardennan in 5hrs.40mins. Taken a 20min rest and to take on food and a change of clothes the weather had turned into a fine warm day which seem to affect some runners. In leaving Rowardennan on the 6hr mark, I had allowed 4hrs to reach Beinn Glas some 13miles away, along what can only be described as “Hell on Earth” and was only fit for mountain goats.
Feeling low at this point I managed to pass about a dozen runners all struggling to cope with the condition under foot and press on to Beinn Glas in 9hrs.52mins. Stopping for some much need food I pushed on given myself 4hrs to complete the last 12 miles. At 44miles the good old Scottish weather did its best to hamper me further with a hail and rain storm which enforced a rescue call to my support team for dry clothes. After a quick change at the side of the A82 and with only 8 miles to go, I gave one last effort to complete the race before the cut off time of 14hrs but as is the norm in these races the route is never the most direct one and with a couple of more hills and bends I was greeted by a well wisher “500 to go” and the finish line was in sight and completing the race in 13hrs.25mins. “This race is not for the faint hearted but its a great race all the same. Its the hardest Ultra I have done to date and will be back to do it again. Just for the records the winner was Jez Bragg setting a new course record 7hrs.19mins.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Training All Done.


Well I think its about six weeks since my last post, so I will bring you up to date. Training has gone well with 3 weekend of 35miles over two days with my longest run been between 22 & 25 miles my continued trips to the gym & running with the club on Tuesdays and Thursdays make my week very full. My last reccie up the WHW was from Rowardennan to Inversnaid and back, the funny things you find in the middle of no where.(Like the bike below).

I am looking forward to this race and would like to do it in around 10hrs. Dont let anybody tell you theres no wild life in Scotland as they must has there eyes closed, as you can see I meet some new friends on this run.
Mountain Goats at Loch Lomond.

Its now taper time and have reduced my mileage in readyness for Saturdays Race but this is very hard for someone whos been training 5 or 6 times a week. So its now time for the race so will up date again after Saturday with results.

Ben Vane at Inveruglas. White Falls at Inversnaid.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

30mile Training Weekend.

The weekend was a 22miles mixed raod and trail run along country roads and trail pathes. Having run this route a few times I forgot how hilly the middle section was with hill after hill for 3miles.

The return 10miles in the past was along good trail pathes but due to upgrading by the council large section will become tarmac. The object of the weekend was to train two day in a row to see the effect on my poor legs, completing the the 22mile in 3hr30mins I felt good with a day hillwalking to follow on Sunday.

Sunday brought a climb up Ben Donich a small corbert but a nice wee hill non the less with rain showers and snow at the top. The group involved in this wee walk was Dave, Simon, Tricia, Stewart and Jo all people who have completed the Marathon des Sables or are taken part in the coming years event. The week was about mileage and reaching 55miles which I have reached with no real problems this will be the mileage for the coming weeks.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Easy Week.

This was any easy week only 40miles so back up to 50+ this week. Completed a 12.5k road race with 12 hills today good way to end the week will post the photo when I get them downloaded. Back to trail running next week with long run next Saturday and a day in the hill next Sunday so busy time ahead.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Well its been a good weekend 13k road run with 12 good hills in 65mins followed by some swimming yesturday. Toady was an interest climb up Ben Vorlich at Loch Lomond varied snow cover misty summit, very windy but good fun, some scary moments on the forzen grass on the approach to the ridge. very good winter walk..

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Balmaha to Rowardennan

Well another reccie along the WHW from Balmaha to Rowardennan and back about 14miles. Bitting cold day with plenty of snow on Ben Lomond. This is a wee cheeky section of the WHW with some good flat sections and some cheeky hills on the approach to Rowardennan with snow and ice on the path care was needed to avoid injury. Trail food was made up of jelly babies and salty nuts with no ill effects. Next reccie will be the latter section of the Highland Fling from Benn Glas to Tyndrum which is the last 13mile of the race. A few small runs over the next couple of weeks with our clubs 12.5k road race with 12 hills on the way round my quickiest time to date 63 mins.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

West Highland Way Reccie

Well 22miles today. The reccie was to check out the course for the Highland Fling in April so I did an out and back route from Beechtree Inn to The Old Oak Inn at Balmaha and back. The first section was flat with couple of hills on the approach to Drymen. The route from Drymen was a bit of a test as it was rolling hills for about 3miles with a quick downhill section on the way to the climb over Conic Hill, which turn out to be very pleasent with great views from the top of Loch Lomond and as normal forgot to take a camera. On the return the route from bottom of Conic Hill to Drymen seemed to pass in no time, looking back on it I did gain some hight heading out of Drymen so all downhill back to Drymen.(Happy Days). I ran today with the rucksack I plan to take to the Gobi very good piece of kit no bouncing around, food and drink very easy to get at, should have take a bit more of each. Trail food worked well mixture of jelly beans and mixed nuts. So on the whole another good days traning.

Saturday, 24 January 2009


Some good news. Firstly training going well 14mile run last Sunday in 2hrs, 16miles tomorrow with good sessions throught the week at the gym and with the club. Further good news was that my employer Muirfield Contracts Ltd (Dundee) have agreed to sponsor me for the Gobi Challenge 09 the finer details still to be confirmed.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Lenzie Jog 09

The first race of the year took place on the 2nd of Jan 2009. A 180 runners took to the start line on this cold and crisp day. Distance varied from 2.5miles and 5miles races. I took part in the Big Lads race and completed the 5mile course in 39mins and finishing in 51st place, not to bad after the party season. So its now onwards and upwards with my training for the Highland Fling.