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Seems the wind and storms have followed me down from Durness !
Brain still confuddled and can't think straight to write .
FFB - I saw Sarah a few times, as she finished the hill run a few mins ahead of me and was waiting at the finish line . Tuesdays run was the only one where the weather was relatively calm and people could actually stand outside and cheer other people on, all the rest you had to go straight indoors, so it was hard to get a grasp of who was there apart from at the social evenings, and I found it very different from the atmosphere of previous years. After the runs everyone was wet and freezing and knackered from the winds and just wanted to be indoors I think. The full marathon had the best atmosphere, as it was such an epic and everyone found it tough. A sub-3hr guy I met was ecstatic to finish it in 3.24.
57.5 - you probably have a good point about the club runners .
Well done Edinburgh marathoners. You all did brilliant in that wind. Shame about the organisation. Come to Cape Wrath instead .
Sounds like we have some hardy souls if they lasted the marathon distance at the weekend!Elspeth - well done, that's impressive running in these conditions.IanJames - 4:23 is a great effort, well done. Gillian - hope the sniffle goes away! Congratulations on the run.RB - good time again, you must be pleased with that. Not too far off your PB in terrible conditions.TP, glad you enjoyed yourself! Ally Mac - good to hear you are back.
Makes my Sunday/Monday sound bit dull, rested Sunday and supervised gym this morning. Still got battered to bits walking there and back though.
"We need your help to make the races even better so if there is something that you thought was really good or something that you think we could do better, please click on the runner’s questionnaire link and tell us all about it."
Can anyone find this link it said the same after the kilomathon and I couldn't find it then. I might be being a diddy but I can't see it TIA
Cape Wrath Challenge Week 2011
Packed 3 pairs of road shoes and an abundance of socks and kit changes and set off for the long drive to Durness early on Saturday morning. Figured a 'good pair' of shoes for road marathon and half, a slightly more worn pair for the two cross country runs, and a trashed old pair I would sacrifice on the beach run. So far so good.
Arrived at Durness Sat dinner time to rain, sun and strong winds. Took a walk to the glorious beach in the village which was a sun-trap with huge crashing waves, dipped paw in freezing cold crystal clear water to mark return and then scurried back up the cliffs just as the tide was coming in .
Sunday wet and windy again, went up the mountain track which is the first part of the hill run to check the surface. Very wet and eroded from the winter, loose rocks everywhere, trickly burns of last year now raging torrents, with stepping stone crossings nearly over-flowed . Oh dear, maybe I should have packed trail shoes ...too late now. Sunday night registration kinda low key, quite a few people there, but as the week went on, quite a lot of them not doing the runs they put in for or not running at all.
Noted the new route for Wednesday......fine.......then went back to look again with another guy who had been before ......WTF??? It was now 10miles and involved a big section across rough wet peat bog which we hadnt done before !!!!! Sh!te, really cursing not having trail shoes, and a bit mad no info had been updated on the website to tell us all this before hand so we could make appropriate decisions.
Monday - Half marathon
Horrific conditions, strong winds and pouring down. All gathered in village hall for start, with a much reduced Half field as lots had decided on 10k (or nothing/pub) instead and didnt have to arrive until later. Hussled out of hall and onto buses by organisers - Are we really going running in this???? . Sat next to a guy I knew from last year - We dont have to do this do we, cos we've done it before, was our general conversation as we got taken 13.1m out down Loch Eribol road . Noted bus driver had a selection of number plates to choose from lodged above his cab......a bit like that film, Transporter .
Evicted from bus onto bleak single track road, pishing it down, all kept waterproofs on except a few hardy (crazy) speedy folks. Set off into wind and lashing rain, wind tearing the snot from your nose and the spit from your mouth, feet getting lifted off ground by sudden cross wind, then wind on the front again and its like someones harnessed a tractor tyre to your waist and forcing you to pull it. CAMPER VAN.........Sh!t....that one nearly had me....why do they aim for your legs?
Round the bend of the Loch and the wind was behind.....Wooooosh......I can barely stay on my feet. Sun comes out....I'm suddenly BOILING....jacket off and round waist. Blown for about 6m up a gradual climb. Now I remember the mega-climb at 10m, rather similar to those Alpine hair-pin bend type climbs, and overhanging a spectacular cliff with incredible beach below. Push up the hill, really quite knackered now, I get to the top and instead of a wee downhill rest, get hit by wind so strong I could hardly make any forward progression. Aaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!! I shout and curse at the wind, but theres not much point as all I'm doing is suceeding in covering myself with a crust of saliva and snot . KEEP GOING!!!!!!!!
3 miles to finish, its all b******d uphill and its all B******d into the wind . Finish finally in 2hr 10m, my slowest ever Half, exhausted, ready to throw up, sit in hall for 10mins trying to recover. Feel shaky and cannot eat for next couple of hours. Friend decides we should go for drive and 3m walk at Old Shore More beach in afternoon - okay, I am on holiday I remind myself .
Tuesday - long hill run
This turns out to be the nicest day of the week. Its still windy of course, but not as bad as Monday. Hill run goes well, I even manage to pass a few of the club runners who beat me on this route last year . This garmins at 5.05m, I chat to Sarah-Louise at end who had it at 5.02m, so race director (Tony) is happy to agree its 5miles on his route notes . Enjoyed the run and road shoes prove fine. I manage to avoid falling off the wet stepping stones . Just as I was thinking what a lovely day it had been, friend is chatting to English runner saying if he had known it was going to be as bad as this he wouldnt have come up! I do another 5m cross country walk that afternoon with my friend to check out Wednesdays route.
Wednesday - (even) long (er than usual) round Durness run
Only slight rain showers on this run, but OMG the wind is even stronger than on Monday . Many of us doubt our ability to make any forward progress whatsoever, but off we set regardless. Tony walks us all down 200m to a track I hadnt really paid much attention to before. It comes out near the stepping stones from Tuesdays hill run. Then we have the wind behind, this is great, it pushes us across the peat bog, I quickly become resigned to wet feet as I bog hop and have a fabulous time jumping from humock to humock. This is great, I'm loving it , but part of me is forgetting we still have another 7m of rough terrain to go .
We finally meet a track which emerges opposite the Keoldale pier road, we run down the road, then across grassland, up and down, through a forest (okay, a very small forest ), and onto the golf course. I nearly fall over a few times with the wind gusting. Across Balnakeil beach and up another huge climb, this starts to get tougher, the track is very rutted and the wind is now in front again. Top of the hill and the guy I had been chasing for about 4m goes the wrong way!!!! I shout after him and a marshall catches him just as he heads for the cliff . I lose what little ground I had gained on him by having to slow down over ankle turning grassy humocks. Catch up and overtake 3 folks on the short route who are now walking into the wind. Push on through the village, up the mahoosive hill and the finish calls .
10.2m ....that'll be a 'country' 10miler then .
By Wednesday I was starving but at least feeling strong and getting used to the windy conditions. We <ahem> might have gone to the Smoo Cave hotel and had an enormous portion of fish and chips and lots of Guiness. That <ahem> might have been me . Good calorie boost .
Thursday - fancy dress beach run
A fun run with about 80+ kids from the local schools. We hand in our estimated time and its whoever gets nearest. The route is 'anything' from 2 to 3m, so it really is down to luck who wins, no watches allowed, and its quite amusing to see how het up people get when they keep asking how far it is and Tony won't tell them . Its for FUN, its not meant to be a serious race.
I opt to dress as a runner, and one or two others do the same . The winner of the fancy dress turns out to be Don, who I sat next to on Mondays bus trip....not that anyone recognised him, as he had gone down to the beach and covered himself head to foot in stinky seaweed . Worth a prize for suffering definitely.
The beach run is totally amazing, I plod along in my oldest road shoes and socks, across the first beach, up the hill, get sand blasted going down the dunes to the second beach, then back to a half side half front wind. The tide was of course still in , but reasonably shallow. A bunch of us opt for the through the sea route rather than back over the dunes. In the distance I can see a number of people aborting the attempt half way and coming back out ! Oh dear, oh dearie me, this looks like it could be deep. What the heck, I roll my shorts up and plough through regardless, staying away from the cliff edge, where the big deep holes are . Have to stop a couple of times as big waves come in so I dont get knocked over.
A couple of kids had followed the adults on the longer route and I hear a girl yelp from behind me. She is only tiny and has been clutching the cliff edge and is now up to her neck in water down a hole in the sand. Two runners go straight past her . She is holding her arms out for help. I shout 'here, hang on', and run back to her, lifting her out of the water. She is fine, I stay with her to make sure she gets out, we are hit sideways by big waves, sploosh, she's straight down another hole!!! I tell her to hold my hand until we are out and walk her out of the sea away from the cliff edge. We are both soaked, her from head to foot, me from waist down . I tell her to run as fast as she can back to the finish, her older brothers are waiting for her on the beach, so she is fine.
Finish, freezing, exhillerated, alive, totally pissed off that some runners ignored a wee girl in danger, feeling stronger than ever and ready for Saturdays marathon.
Back at holiday cottage and trainers and socks go straight in bin.
Wow TP - sounds even tougher than the marathon! Good job you were there for that little girl
Well done to all those who ran Edinburgh, esp RBs great time - agree with TP you should all come to Cape Wrath for a properly organised marathon!
wow TP amazing!!!! that sounds like such a fantastic week, and as said above, in AWFUL conditions!!! Im so impressed at even attempting some of those runs.
I have ended up having an unintended rest day. Couldnt cycle to work as the wind was atrocious this morning... then trains were cancelled so had to walk back to work to the other end of the hospital take out a tenner, buy a bottle of juice for change and get a bus home. Too late for gym and wind is still horrendous out. Oh well, there is always tomorrow
Lots to catch up on
RB: Well done on Edinburgh yesterday.
TP: Will read your epic reports soon
Tigerspaw great reports you could do this for a living !Makes Edinburgh seem like a walk in the park. Which the first 18 miles was. Went through the half way point in 2.16. Whoo all going well. But the wheels came of my wagon at mile 18 and there was a lot of the "shuffle walk jog repeat" stratagy from then on. 5.03 my slowest ever but hey hoe my sister and I made over a grand for our chosen charity
AndHomebrew quite agree about the end. Pretty shambolic. Long walk from the race finish to stand in a que for 15 mins then another long walk to the re union field. (Not massively long but too long after a marathon). They never get it 100% But at least plent water / lucozade available.
Having run the 2009 Edinburgh half with a pretty stiff headwind for the last 3 miles (and thinking at the time how tough the Full course would be in those conditions) I'm impressed with everyone's efforts.
TP - sounds like a normal training week in Hoy
ewan w - my wedding day was June 5th. Fabulous day for the wedding, but awful weather on the next seven anniversaries. Good luck!
I've felt my weekend was pretty lazy hearing all these epic tales, but I did get a full introduction to the weather today near Elgin, firstly being battered by the wind then poured on. Still thawing out.
ah well done LB on being 1st on this morning
hope you get your flight ok, I have a friend who is off to Mallorca today and has been told to turn up for 530 at the airport and "see whats happening". Makes you want to run away permanently somewhere warm
Today should be an ok day, that is assuming I dont get blown away. There is no way Im getting the train after the palava of yesterday.
Have a good day everyone and hope all EMF/CW runners arent feeling too bad today
What, 3rd today !
Well done LB
Pup is at my feet . Did a wee run to test my calves and hamstrings. Not bad I think. Plenty of leaves , branches etc down.
Oops, longbow not going anywhere today Scottish flights all cancelled.
TP your race reports are fab. You are such a trooper.
Well done Gillian. I clocked up several marathon PBs last year, but the main achievement is the fact that you did it and you finished
I took a sneaky wee extra rest day yesterday, bad bunny. My DOMS and stiffness from Saturday were still quite bad, plus the weather did not really help although I saw a few intrepid runners out. I had an interesting journey home: a lorry on the point of shedding its load on the M74, a tree coming down in Rutherglen .........
FFB, you would think that following the news etc but FlyBe got me to Southampton no problem. a little late but i'll forgive them that considering everyone else was cancelling their flights. Never seen Glasgow airport so quiet. they only had two scanners working going into departures. loads of people around dressed for their holidays but looking a little disgruntled to say the least.
anyways down south for a few days so stuck trying to conquer my inability to run for an hour on the treadmill. Running Bhoy, as our resident treadmill expert, any tips?
Thanks all, thats 3 years in a row now, and this year was by far the hardest weather-wise, but its still a spectacular (bleak, remote, empty of people) place to visit, even when its pouring down .
My next race is in the Lake District, which I have a feeling will be anything but 'empty of people' , Saturday afternoon in Sauchiehall Street springs to mind ......
Good luck Longbow and anyone else travelling today. Doesnt seem as windy in Glasgow at least, but there is a thick layer of grime on the windows and cars this morning, I suspect its volcanic ash come down already .
Gillian - well done on your fund raising, I think that part of it must be harder than the running sometimes.
Birkmyre - hope new pup is behaving .
Will write 'something' about the marathon later.....seems it sent a lot of peoples garmins doolally !!
TP - sent my garmin dolally but I was blaming the wrist strap having broken at 2 miles and it flapping around in the breeze so I just stopped looking at it! Lost 1.5 miles somewhere. Off to get it fixed this morning when I can be bothered to get out of the house, grey and wet and uninviting so might be never! Looking forward to your next instalment!
Did a little run last night but my blisters didn't like it
Glad I'm not travelling this week.
Gillian - that's a lot of money raised, well done.
Now where is Ianjames with his marathon report?
Cape Wrath Marathon 2011
(aka, The Day of the Big Wind, aka, 'Dont be daft, nobody would go out in this')
Thursday had turned out to be not a bad day, I estimated the beach run at about 2.5m, which proved a nice gentle taper toward Saturdays marathon , and probably about enough distance wise when added to the runs earlier in the week.
Thursday evenings BBQ on the beach organised as a fundraiser by the Scourie schools, was, needless to say, cancelled and held in the Community Hall instead. A good turn out of runners and supporters came to that. I managed to avoid food poisoning by not eating my two cold undercooked venison burgers, took them back and got a venison sausage instead. Seriously wishing I had eaten before coming out, as one sausage all evening was not cutting it and there was nothing else left .
As the evening wore on I was becoming more and more obsessed with food, to the point at which my fellow runners at the table had transformed into two chicken drumsticks and a side order of Carte Dor vanilla and macadamia nut ice cream. I decided it was time to go home and eat .
Friday registration for the marathon had been moved to Friday afternoon to allow a 'Final' decision to be made on whether the conditions would be good enough to get the boat over to the Cape. As the ferry man had been in the Smoo Cave Hotel bar every night since Wednesday, I somehow doubted we would be going anywhere . It was so windy on Friday it was a massive effort just to open the car door and walk across to the Hall entrance.........Can we run in this?
Organisers were informing everyone of details, we weren't going to the Cape . Disappointing but highly understandable, it was far too dangerous. I nodded sagely as Ronnie told me we would be running 13.1miles out into a 16knot Southerly wind, with occasional cross winds (I have no idea how fast 16knts is, just assumed it was BAD), but the good news was it would blow us all the way back to Durness . Okay..........
Many thoughts through the night of just going home, listening to wind and rain lashing the windows, and not much sleep at all. Imagining 5hr marathons, 6hr marathons, walking etc. Remembering I had done Lewis marathon in 4hr 45m in 25mph winds on 7wks training after illness, so could do this surely?
Saturday morning, lashing wind and rain. Head to hall for 7.15 where meet Elsepth and prepare ourselves for what lies ahead. Elspeth reassures me that its okay because they have winds like this in Orkney all the time .....then adds 'Oh but we dont go running in it' .
Race briefing, there are 86 individual entrants and 100 relay runners. In the end we dont see much of the relay runners as they all start in the same place and do the same bit !!! Some must have not turned up, as we only have 80 full marathon finishers. Someone asks Tony if it will be busy with camper vans etc as we are running on the main road, will the marshalls hold them back etc, to which he answers 'Dont be daft, nobody would go out in this' !!!
We are set off without much fuss at 8am. Everyone in waterproof jackets, most people in longs. I opt for long ron hills, gloves, long sleeved top, short sleeved top with number on it and jacket. Basically, its like the winter, we are running up the side of a mountain in a gale and I dont want hypothermia!!!
The wind was against us out of the village and then we turned onto the main road to Rhiconich, where it got much worse . It was blowing along the Kyles of Durness and bringing the seaweed up out of the water onto the road. The first few miles have some steep downhills which you have to climb on the way back, from about 4m to 7m it was not too bad, a flatish gentle climb. The field was getting really quite spread out by now and I was soaked to the skin. I tried to avoid running through the worst of the puddles on the road, but it felt like the wind was blowing the rain into my shoes, it was really all rather unpleasant, and there was a real chill from the wind. Feet absolutely sodden by 7m, like running through a river.
At 7m you cross a bridge and from here the real climb begins. The wind felt worse the higher we climbed, it was back to Mondays tyre dragging efforts. I risked a look at my watch which unhelpfully informed me I was doing 14.29min miles!!! Great!! I can walk faster than that..... The single track road climbed up the side of a mountain, with spectacular views down across the glen to Foinaven, across wet peat bogs full of tiny lochans and shiny Lewisian gneiss outcrops shining in the rain. Remote, empty, slightly foreboding landscape.
After what seemed like an eternity of going up and up, I finally crested the summit at about 11.5m . Not long to go now, then its all downhill on the way back Woo Hoo!!!!
Saw Elspeth flying past in the opposite direction at about 12m. Last little push and that will be me coming back down .