GLEN OGLE 33M ULTRA MARATHON 2016
TIME: 4 Hours 54 Minutes and 39 Seconds
Overall position 56th/349 finishers
Glen Ogle round 4. My last ultra/race of 2016 and a bee in my bonnet to finally push under 5 hours was the motivation I needed to get me round this race. I’d been ready for weeks, had felt good and confident when training and was ready for it until an almost race ending act of carelessness the weekend before race day. A round of Footgolf at Palacerigg with my friends had been a great experience, but as I’m the worst footballer in the world, 18 holes of toe punting the ball around lead to a ridiculously sore vastus medialis and lots of hobbling around in the lead up to race day. Not ideal, but I’m stubborn if not determined and nothing would see me pulling out of this race (within reason of course!).
It was very chilly but dry and looked like it could be a great day for racing. I drove up to Killin, registered and met up my fellow Wee County Harriers and ultra buddies for a catch up before the race started. After a quick race briefing we were off and up the main road and on to the trails. My leg felt good and I felt full of energy after a week of enforced rest, so I trotted off up the trails chatting to Lucja as we headed up the first climb in the forest. I tried to keep my breathing steady but my pace to a run and soon I was feeling the effects of wearing so many layers. Off came the gloves and the arm sleeves, my long sleeves were pushed up as I found myself at the top of the hill and on my way along through the top of the forest and down to the first check point.
Once over the main road I found myself trotting along the cycle path on my own as the pack of runners had spread out. The gradual decline of the slope helped me pick up my pace as I ran along to the pace of my music and I found myself banking a few 7:xx minute miles on the way down to the second check point. I was feeling strong and enjoying a play list Jemma had put together for a race a while back, smiling as I danced my way over the pine needles to Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September”. Good times.
The road section which leads you out towards Balquhidder and back round towards Strathyre is usually where I have started to find things a bit tough, but today I felt strong; both mentally and physically and I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I remembered to eat (not the most nutritious, but fizzy strawberry laces and babybel worked for me today) and drink plenty, pushed myself up the road climbs on the way back to Strathyre and gave a good go of the hills after Strathyre but conceded and power marched up to the top, hands on thighs and trying to remember how to breathe. Up, up and up. I forgot how long this hill went on for. I decided to push a bit more; run 30 steps and walk 20, up to the top and then over and down, down, down all the way back to Kingshouse where I could freewheel for a bit.
Once back on the cycle path after Kingshouse I had a quick watch check. I was coming up for 24 miles and I was still well under 4 hours, I was still on target and feeling not too bad. Back into the check point and over to pick up my bag helped by Amanda who gave me a telling off for still having snacks on me and not taking the contents of my drop bag. Whoops! Always guilty of not eating enough!! I forced another few jelly sweets in my mouth, glugged down the remains of my bottle of lucozade and then was into the last section of the race and back up the quad zapping zigzags to the cycle path.
This part of the route will never get easier and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to run it. I ran a zig and power marched a zag all the way to the top, gave myself a shake and then increased the pace trying to push myself all the way up to the check point at the top of the path. My legs were tiring and even though it’s not much of an incline, it’s a long and steady increase over 3 miles which at 28 miles into a race was quite a slog. I reached the check point, very briefly stopped for my cheese and had a quick chat with a few runners I had been leap frogging since the beginning of the race. Back over the road, up into the forest and then I grinned with delight as I knew what lay ahead; 3 miles of down and unlike last year no aches or pains that were going to slow me down.
I bolted down the last hill, made the sharp right turn and pushed along the flat path back towards Killin. This path is always longer that I remember it being, but before long I could see the bridge marking the end of the trail, I made the sharp left turn back onto the main road in Killin and back over the Falls of Dochart and towards Breadalbane Park and the finish line. I could hear the cheers and cow bells as I made my way around the perimeter of the park and towards the finish archway. Yeeeeesssssss!!! Sub 5!! Absolutely freaking delighted!!!!
Ruth was at the finish line handing out medals and her fantastic hugs. Jeni Rees-Jenkins had finished just ahead of me and it was so lovely to see her and congratulate her on her epic achievement of having ran 5000km (so far!) this year, all in aid of raising awareness and donations for MND (here’s a link to her justgiving site, the woman is incredible and made of strong stuff! Jeni’s Justgiving page.)
After a quick shower it was back to the village hall to congratulate everyone on an amazing run and season finisher (especially Jo who smashed it once again and finished 3rd lady!) and of course fill our faces with cake, courtesy of the ladies of Cancer Research UK. Delicious.
And with that, another racing year has come to an end and what a race to finish it with! Huge thanks again to Bill, Mike and Cat for all their hard work and to all the volunteers who helped on race day. I partied my socks off at the SUMS awards last weekend which was a great way to finish the season, let my hair down and have a great night out with some great friends.
Here’s to winter training!