Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Conic Hill Training Run

As I have done little hill work in the last 7 month which was highlighted during the Brecon Ultra in November. I decided that for the next 6 weeks all runs will be short and hill work will take first place in the training plan for next years races...
Training for next years races will start on the 29th January 2012...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

West Highland Way Race 95miles 2012

Happy Days.... Just got confirmation I have a place in WHW 2012 Race.

Great to see Ada Stewart, Terry Addison, Linda Dewar, Dave Gardner from our running club also taken part in this one..

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Winter Ultra 2011 Race Report

It was an early start for this one having to be in Kinlochleven for 8.30am..
Weather forecast was shown that it was going to be wild, -3 at 900ft and winds gusting 70-80mph making it feel -21... Happy Days..... also running today were Ada Stewart, Susan Addison and Terry Addison from Kirky Olympians.

The route was on the West Highland Way from Kinlochleven heading south to Tyndrum
The start is very mind numbing with 5mile climb up the Devils Staircase and with 30 hardy ultra runners taken to the start line we were soon off...

As normal I took my place at the back of the pack and headed off up the hill, this is a slow climb 1hrs 5mins seen me through the CP at the top of Devils Staircase with a quick hello to the very very nice marshal I headed off downhill to the next CP at the roadside of the A82..

Feeling not to bad, I had worked hard in the climb and passed a few including Ada Stewart who was suffering with tight calfs and on the fast downhill I was surprised to pass Susan Addison but there was no sign of Terry he had legged it a left Susan to get on with it... but I know Susan is quick over the flatter ground I was keen to try and make good gap between us.. But my plan would come back to haunt me later on..

As I thought Susan came rolling by on the tarmac on the way to Kingshouse with the weather staying calm we all made good time and were soon heading out onto Rannoch Moor which sits at 1100ft and can have very harsh weather and today was one of these days wind was strong and sleet and snow showers would blow through with stunning views of the Blackmount...

Still feeling heavy legged from the Brecons Ultra 2weeks previous I was having a low point as I crossed Rannoch Moor and Adrian Stott who I passed on the climb of The Devil Staircase came rolling up and passed me halfway across the Moor and in the distance I could Susan still running well...

On coming off the Moor snow clouds were building above Bridge of Orchy and with that there was a hill to be climbed to take you over to Bridge of Orchy and just then the snow and wind picks up and the climb becomes very hard work with my legs chilling and my sense of humour failing I dug deep to top the hill and another quick descent was made in to Bridge of Orchy to the next CP were Dave Scott and Julie Clark were marshaling.

Been cold and wet I wasted no time and head off for the last 7mile to Tyndrum walking and eating my mash tattie sandwich all washed down with some coke..
On heading out on to the track above Bridge of Orchy Train Station I could see that Adrain and Susan had got a wiggle on and were now about 15/20min in front but I just kept putting one foot in front of another and caught up with a young guy Chris who was struggling with cramp as it was his first Ultra I stuck with him and encouraged him to run and walk with me to get him over the finish line and with 3mile to go he was starting to recover and was offering to do more running...

As we crested the top of the last climb we would run the last mile down hill and in to the finish just out sub 6hrs (6hr 10mins).

It was a tough old day weather wise but I stuck at it to finish my second ultra in as many weeks... Great way to end the year after all thats happened..

Friday, 2 December 2011

Winter Ultra 2011

Took part in this last year when it was part of Andrew Murrays S2S run.

Weather forecast -3 at 900ft feels like -21 in the wind 50mph gusting 70-80mph
So should be a fun day out..

Monday, 21 November 2011

Brecon Beacon 2011

19th November 2011 saw the running of the 4th Brecon Ultra (46miles).

It has been 7 months since helicopter Saturday when I was airlifted from The Highland Fling Race (53miles)with an M.I (Heart Attack). Its been a very frustrating time watching friends taking part in races throughout the summer and not been able to joining in the fun..

My main race for 2011 was to be the West Highland Way Race again having come up short the year before but as it was only 7 weeks after my M.I it would have been very silly to even think about doing a race of that distance.

My longest run on the lead up to the Brecons Ultra was 25 miles so on entering the race I know I was good for 1 loop of the route.

This was my 3rd Brecons Ultra with a PB 11Hrs.59mins 2009.. 2010 seen my do 1 loop in 6hrs.16mins due to strained knee.. So 2011 Brecons Ultra was going to be my come back race.

To say I was nervous was an under statement.. Martin and Sue Likey who run the race know my position but still allowed me to run in their race some other may not have allowed it..

I took to the start line at 7.25am with the other 140 runners and the field drew some high calibre runners with Mark Palmer returning to defend his crown and with Daz Carter also taking part 3 weeks after completing and winning a 100 mile race things at the sharp end looked interesting.. for the rest it would be PBs or just finishing in some cases..

7.30am and we were off, I took my normal position at the back with Mike Adams and a couple of other guys doing the distance for the first time.. I would normally run/walk 15/5.. but decided to run the first 4 miles to the bottom of "Tor-y-foel" which is the start of a 45 min climb. Known what was ahead I took the climb easy and was surprised to see so many people still on the climb which give me a real lift..

Staying focused I began to pass folk and had passed about six before going through the CP and then on to the quick but slippy downhill section.. I had lost Mike at this point and pressed on known the wheels could come off later on.. I reached the next CP to see Sue who gave us Scots the normal warm welcome and continued on down to the fire road in the forest..

This section can be a real drag... long and steady climb which I ran/walked(Its the first time I had done this... on this part of the route)and passed about another 6 runners. Keeping steady I was surprised to come across Jeff Lapman as we headed out on to the open hillside towards the GAP.. Jeff and I walk together to the GAP and then enjoyed the long run down the hill to the next CP... We carried on together for another couple of miles where we passed Steve Evens... who was taking part in his first event this year and was just out to see what he could do... I pressed on and left Jeff and Steve chatting and catching up with each other...

I had reached the canal again a know from talking to Jeff I was 2 mile from completing the first loop... I put on my Ipod and it gave me the lift I was needing and arrived at the CP in 5hrs.5mins.. 6mins up on my previous best.. feel good I pressed on for the second loop with Sue shouting " you loonie your not doing another loop" my response was "you try and stop me" and off I went...

It was always my plan to cover 4 mph no matter if it was up hill.. and found myself 30mins up on my target.. I now found myself back at the bottom of Tor-y-foel and was not looking forward to the pending climb. I set off trying to keep the same pace as the first time up the climb, I now had 27 miles in my legs and know the climb could wreck my race and with 600m to the CP at the top of the hill I could feel my hamstring in my right leg begin to knot and had to stop... It eased off and got to the CP before it cramped up and need some help from the team at the CP which only caused my right quad to cramp and thought "Race Over" after about 5 mins everything eased off and set off again to try and reach the CP at 30 miles.

On moving down the hill I stopped to removed my left shoe which sent my left calf into a cramp and feel to the ground... I know my race was over now if it wouldnt loosen off and just as I lay on the ground another runner came by to check I was ok.. I was a mile away from the 30mile CP.. The cramp faded and I managed to get my trainer back on and set off again with the thought that I would withdraw at 30 mile CP.. Getting there my legs where feeling ok and know I had only 16 mile to and the next CP was at 40 miles..(Whats the worse that could happen)..

The runner that stopped to see if I was ok was Simon who I caught up with on the fire road for the second time and we would walk and talk all the way to the GAP which help take our minds off the pain that was starting to set in.. Simon was having problems with his knees on the downhill section and told me to push on.. Light was now fading fast and the plan is always to get off the GAP before it is completely dark which I just managed.... passing the last CP I put on my head torch and had 6 mile to go..

Out on to the country lanes , over the fields and back on to the canal bank I had 2 miles to go with the time at 10hrs 45mins I know Sub 11hrs was tight... but pressed on all the same. Along the Canal bank was point to point running(run to the tunnel/walk to the bridge/run to the tunnel) which got me to the finish at the town hall of Talybont in 11hrs.10mins.

I was met at the finish by Martin, Sue, Mike Adams and Alan Crawford how handed me a beer which went down a treat..

It was difficult day with toys been thrown out the pram at 30 mile due to cramp.. but more importantly to know that I can get back to running ultras..

I know the last 7 months have been hard for my family but I would like to thank my wife and kids for there continued support in the this mad sport of ultra running..


Note to self

Dont run 46 mile with wet feet...

Mark Palmer wins in 6hrs.16mins
Daz Carter 2nd

Thursday, 17 November 2011

BBC Scotland News

This is the link to the Scottish News on 15th November 2011

Monday, 14 November 2011

Marathon man’s race against time after heart attack airlift - Health - Scotsman.com

Marathon man’s race against time after heart attack airlift - Health - Scotsman.com

The Scotsman

I was asked to do a PR event for Scottish Ambulance Service last week here is the write up in the Scotsman Newspaper.. See the above..

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Glen Ogle 33

The 5th November 2011 saw the 1st running of the Glen Ogle 33.

After the great success of the Glenmore 24, Mike and I pressed on with our plans to hold a one day event, we had reccied the route many weeks before and decided the race was a goer. Now all the hard work would begin, notify the Police, arrange sponsors, get locals on side etc.

We had thought at this time of year we would get maybe 30 to 50 hardy ultra runners to come out and brave what could be a cold Scottish day.. But never did we expect 150 entries. The route was to follow the National Cycle Route No7,starting at Strathyre following the road round to Balquidder and on to Kinghouse before going off road before following the old railway line up Glen Ogle and over the famous Glen Ogle Viaduct which can be seen as you travel along the A85.

Crossing the road at the top of the glen before taking in a loop of the forest and then the return trip back down the glen and back to Strathyre to the finish...With numbers growing to 100 a new start would be need on safety grounds as having a 100 runners on the B class road was not an option.. And with that another reccie was required to find a new safer start for the race.. The new start would take place on part of the Rob Roy Way a 5min walk from the original start in the picnic area, not long after numbers would peak at 150,which Mike and I were flattered by.. All that was left was to put on a race for all to enjoy..

The new start was confirmed but would affect our overall distance but safety comes first...
An early start was needed (4.30am) on race day to set up registration and put out last of the signs at 6.30am registration opened and runners began to arrive and Strathyre was busy with runners getting ready, Many who we know from Glenmore24 and from races Mike and I had taken part in but no time to chat...With a quick briefing to each of the checkpoint teams they set off for their station with a spring in their steps.. It was still only 7am.

At 7.45am runners began to move across the road and up the hill to the new start, with everyone gathered I carried out the uncomfortable task of race briefing(am not a big public speaker) and with all the gray stuff said we were under starters orders and with a blow of the whistle we were off...

The first 1.5mile was uphill and with the chilly start and mist rolling over the hills the runners would warm up quickly... Paul Raistrick and Gareth Mayze setting the early pace with Lucy Colquhon also shown strong running in the early stages, it wouldn’t be long till they would reach the first checkpoint/water station.... Over the next 50mins all runners would be all off road and heading up the glen and over the viaduct. The sun was now out and warming up the early morning air with runners now approaching checkpoint 2 with a group of 6 or 7 forcing the pace but Paul and Gareth still out front. There was also steady running from Rebecca Johnson taking part in her first ultra as second women at the top of the glen and round the forest.

Now most runners were reaching the top of glen for their loop of the forest only to find that Paul, Gareth, Lucy making the return trip down the glen... Some confusion with a sign in the forest caused 12 runners to go the wrong way.. But most.. that had any doubt checked their race map and carried on..(We accept the sign could cause confusion and will ensure all signage is double checked for next year race..)

With all runners heading back down the glen to checkpoint 4 word filters through that Paul Raistrick finishes in 1st place 3hr.21mins with Gareth Mayze in 2nd place and Lucy Colquhon takes 1st place in the women’s race with Rebecca Johnson 2nd. Checkpoint 2/3 is cleared and we move down to Checkpoint 4 to see Ray MaCurdy, Fiona Rennie and Karen Donoghue all come through, with a few runners still to pass through the last checkpoint we head to the finish area.

The sweeper calls in to say that the last 2 runners have past the last checkpoint and Jim Drummond and Jim McIntyre(Jim been our oldest runner at 74?) are running in together and just after 3pm the 2 Jims cross the bouncy bridge and finish in the picnic area in 7hrs.25mins.

Well done to everyone who took part in the Glen Ogle 33. Thank you for given the race all your support, Congratulations to Lucy Colquhon, Rebecca Johnson, Kathy Henly, Paul Raistrick, Gareth Mayze and Craig Reid our prize winners on the day..

Thank to our sponsor Sweatshop, The Inn, 9Bar and Elet Water.

Thanks to all the marshals who gave up there day to help out.

We accept we have somethings to improve on for next year and we will ensure this happens.

Once again Thanks

Bill and Mike.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Brecon Beacon 2011

On the 19th November 2011 I will take part in my first Ultra since my helicopter ride at this years Highland Fling Race... Training hard in hope I complete the 46 mile... This will be my 3rd Brecons Race and it will be great to meet up with some old friends.

Glen Ogle 33

Just over a week to Glen Ogle 33 and we have 142 entries.... Over the moon with the level of interest in this wee race...

Friday, 9 September 2011

Glen Ogle 33

On the 5th November 2011 will see the first running of GO33 starting at Strathyre and heading to Killin and back taken in the Glen Ogle Viaduct..

Glenmore 24

On the 3rd September 2011 the first running of the Glenmore 24 took place at Glenmore, Nr Aviemore.
The race concept is to complete as many laps of a 4mile loops in 12 & 24hrs.
The race was limited to 80 runners so to allow any problems to be ironed out.

In the end 48 entered, 9 postponed to 2012, 12 DNS left us 27 starters...
The race started at 12 lunch on the Saturday with some very able ultra runners
Mimi Anderson, Ross Morefoot and Jerone Remes from Holland.. in the 24hr class
and Bob Steel, Colin Hutt, Antonia Johnson from New Zealand in the 12hrs class

All of the above set a good early pace all completing 20mile in under 4hrs. All other runners were going well all with there own goals or targets.

The weather was mixed to start but turned in to a warm sunny day with 8.30hrs on the clock we had our first drop out with Bob Steel finding the mental battle of going round the same route to much.. he drop out clocking up 44mile...

Next to drop out was Colin Hutt who was having a storming race with 56mile on the clock pulled up with cramp which is a sign mismanagement of food and fluids. Colin was assessed by lead medic Dr Andrew Murray and sent to hospital as precaution.

The race was continuing with all this drama and with sun setting the temperature began to drop as the night set in. The sky cleared and the stars shawn bright.

At midnight the 12hr race finished with 3 women taking the 1st 3 spots with Antonia Johnson taken 1st place having raked up 72miles.

The temperature continued to drop and its believed it fell to -1 runners had now dawned gloves/hats and full body cover due to the cold..
But they still managed to keep their spirits high and churn out the laps... with tired lags and tired minds.. Some runners took time out for a sleep and around 4am only 12 runners remained on the course....

As the sun came up runners began to filter back on to the course and overnight Paul Houston drop out... not returning from his comfy tent... With less than 6hrs to go in
the 24hrs class some runners had gone through the 100mile mark and were still going strong... In the end we would have 7 runners getting over the magic 100mile marker and some impressive individual battles including that of Graham Bristowe who on 2 or 3 occasion's looked down and out.

But it was still all going on at the sharp end with Jerone, Ross and Mimi all pushing hard... In the end Jerone took the honours completing 124mile, Ross 116mile, Mimi 112miles

In its first year the Glenmore24 has provide to be a very well received race with all runners saying they really enjoyed the event and would most differently return next year...

I would just like to thank all the marshals, med team, Redcross without them the event wouldnt have been held...

For further info on the race check out Glenmore24.com
See you all 2012.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Broadwood 5K

Took part in the Broadwood 5K on Thursday night and had great fun. First race since heart attack... breezed around the course in 23.51.

Roll on the 29th August as I am hopeful of been signed off by Cardio dude which will allow me to plan for the Brecon Ultra in November.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Glenmore 24 & Glen Ogle 33

In the pass year myself and Mike Adams have arranged 2 new races, The Glenmore 24 and The Glen Ogle 33.

The first running of the Glenmore 24 will take place on the 3rd September and the first run of the Glen Ogle 33 will be the 5th November.. both races are shown good entry levels and should become a great yearly event.

Cardio Rehab

Having had my MI during this year Highland Fling Race I was enrolled in a 12 week Cardio Rehab programme at Stobhill Cardio Department.

The first 6 weeks are very low key and are designed to get people fit who would other wise just go home and back to their old habits.
As a fit person before my MI it became clear the I was going to be a challenge for the staff as I was keen to push on.
It was with this attitude that I was moved up to the big boys class after 4 weeks and that allowed me the chance to run, bike, x train and some normal weight training.

I now have 3 weeks left of the Cardio classes before a final visit to see the Cardio Dude to be signed off.

I have now started training for this year Brecon Beacons Ultra in November.. which would be a great boast to the end of the year and make this positive for next year.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Highland Fling 2011

Hi All

Thanks for all the Get Well messages...

The story goes something like this.....

Having completed the D33 I was so looking forward to the Fling with the WHW Race 7 weeks later...

Went to the start and meet up with Sharky, Al C and others from my club. At 7am we were off and we headed off on our journey to Tyndrum.
Sticking to my game plan I rolled in to Drymen in 2.07(12mile) feeling good, drinking my perinon and off I headed for Balmaha.. 5mins into the forest above Drymen I begin to feel the effects of heart burn which I put down to some re-flux from the perinon which is not unknown depending how you mix it (strong or weak).

The weather was getting hotter as the sun got high in the sky I arrived at Conic Hill and was still on time to reach Balmaha in 3.40 which I duly did... I get some food on from my drop bag and say a few hellos and set off for Rowardennan to meet my wife and kids.
Known this section can be a real drag I set a target of 4mph along here which should get me into Rowardennan in around 5hrs.30mins.

The heat was now causing problems for most and I was no different. I arrived in Rowardennan in 5hrs.43mins.. and was still pleased at that due to the conditions.

On sitting down for some food in the shade and a nice cold lager shandy the heart burn became a tight pain in my central chest and was getting worse.... 15mins passed and I then know that things were not right and ask my wife to speak to the Doctor...

My wife is a Sister in ITU and quickly called for an ambulance which duly arrived in the form of a helicopter.... After some great work by the crew I was air lifted to the Royal Jubilee Hospital and fitted with a stent to clear the blocked right artery..

I have been told that I was very unlucky but also very luck as it could have been worse... I will make a full recovery and should be back running in 8wks but no ultra till next year....

so on the whole Ive got to be pleased...

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Race Calender 2011

On the turn of the New Year I set out my race calender for 2011. First up was D33 a race in its second year arranged by a good friend George Reid.
The race starts in Duthie Park Aberdeen and heads out the Deeside Way an old railway line to Banchory and back...
Two other runners for my club were making the step up to ultra distance and this race is ideal for them. For me it was the distance as part of my training for the main event this year was the WHW Race again after last years DNF.
Known the course was flat I went eye balls out and turned at 16.5mile in 2hrs40 with Ada and Terry about 15mins in front. As I reach 19miles the wheels came off a bit due to a tight hamstring which was to plague me to the end of the race and put a spanner in the works as far as my time was concerned finishing in 6hrs22..

But on the whole was happy with getting the race under my belt with Highland Fling up next in 6weeks.

Xmas 2010

After Brecons Ultra I took 8weeks off to allow my knee to rest which worked wonders.
As a family we arrange to visit friends in New York and also Ski for a week at Killington Vermont...
Great holiday apart from my wife popping ACL on day one and is now waiting on knee re-construction...


20th November 2010 seen the running of the 3rd Brecon Beacons Ultra arranged by Likeys..
Still recovering from the cold and knee injury I went to the start line with the intention of doing one lap if not 2 if my knee would hold up..

Weather was good overcast but cool... A number of us ran the race in our new sport kilts which are a great piece of kite.

Still feeling the effects of the cold Mike and I became sweepers for the race and completed one lap before heading to the pub..

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Hi All

Cant believe Ive not been on here for so long... Loads to bring you up to date with....
Training had been going well after the Eagle Isle but picked up a knee injury which just wouldnt clear up and with the S2S and Brecon 2010 coming up it was not great preparation for these two races.

S2S was a charity event from Kinlochleven to Tyndrum down the West Highland Way as part of Dr Andrew Murrays challenge to run 2860 mile in 80days from John O Grouts to Sahara Desert.

On the 14th November 2010 70 runners started from Kinlochleven and headed up over the Devils Staircase and out on to Rannoch Moor the weather condition were perfect for the time of year with clear blue skys and snow on the hills.

On crossing Rannoch Moor I could sense I was not running well and stopped and withdrew at Bridge O Orchy.. I woke the next morning with a very bad head cold and sore throat...

I had a beer with Andrew and wished him all the best with the rest of his challenge...