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So then been a few
years since I last did this one, 2015 was last time cos I looked. The
route is more or less the same and the entire canal path is tarmac
(with a few short bits of shingly crap) albeit can still be muddy
under the tree lined bits. New company running it so start and finish
are different to old lot adding a bit more distance 56 not 54 miles
You do get 14 hours to
do it now but with a 6am start making the usual policy of stay in
Edinburgh and get the train over on race day totally non viable. They
will however transport your bag to the finish for you which is what I
As it's a new lot the
start was at the Riverside museum which isn't much difference in
distance to the start for me. Normally it's a few miles from the
station this time a few miles from hotel at Charring Cross station.
Did go explore the day before fastest route and found it on the
return. Mostly did this as room wasn't ready so had time to kill.
Handily when I went down stairs for the walk to the start there was a
cabbie waiting for a guest who never showed up so I er stole their
ride to the start
Got to the start
registered and then just waited for the off. The new route was around
the museum then alongside the River Kelvin up to the canal to
Edinburgh but from the other side this time. The first 4 miles odd
were in the dark, well ok semi headtorch lit by others, paths weaving
around Glasgow. Then you head up the locks and get onto the canal
before heading into the dawn towards Falkirk.
Seemed hot and sweaty
early on despite not going overly fast but was happy with my progress
and merrily carried on on my way. Approaching the first check point
gained a walking friend namely a ginger chat who decided to follow me
along the canal path for a while. I assume was out and about hunting
for brekkie that time of the morning.
Started raining not
much after checkpoint 1 and didn't really stop for another 4.5 hours.
Wasn't heavy rain mind just light stuff and with the warm weather was
pointless bothering with rain jacket as i'd just be too hot under it.
Reaching Falkirk wheel aka checkpoint 2 things were nicely on track
still and the checkpoint is now halfway up the hill.
Moving onwards I as per
usual forgot how far along the tunnel was so walked further than I
should have being I was eating and walking out of the checkpoint as
per normal. Amusingly the tunnel doesn't exist according to my Garmin
as instead of playing join up the gps points as I thought it did it
went with the ignore everything approach thus the tunnel was a mere
0.1 miles or so long by watch where as its a good half mile or so in
reality. Oh well.
Checkpoint 3 saw me get
confused and take until the following day to actually realise who had
randomly appeared to cheer me on. Yes really. Sorry Rhino Things
from here on were much more walk than run which was fine there were a
few of us in a group and were moving at a good rapid walking pace. On
the way to checkpoint 4 my walking speed was slowly a bit and I
assumed the heel aches in my left foot were achilles related as had a
on off issue most of the summer. It wasn't but we'll get to that
later on. Attempting the run a bit to close the gap failed as knee
was now in a walk if you must run if you can handle the pain mode. So
yes walking to the finish it was then.
Checkpoint 4 said that
it seems the distance is a bit out what with it being nigh on 50
miles when I got there and there were 7 or so to go still. A minimal
stop then off on my way again. Probably walked further than I should
have but the canal path has cats eye style lights along it and I was
not interested in stopping whilst having a good spell of walking.
Waited to a under road section with better lighting and got out the
bike light to use when I needed it. Mostly when bikes or people were
approaching from opposite direction as I have no trouble seeing where
to go in this sort of minimal light.
Not much before the
point where you go over another aqueduct and drop down onto the Water
of Leith for the last few miles to the finish a group emerged from
higher up going the other way. Stopped and pointed out this was the
way you were meant to go but one said they'd rang someone and there
way was right. Two followed me the rest disappeared the other way.
Quarter of a mile
further on other the aqueduct and then down some highly dodgy steep
steps on to the Leith then walking to the finish with one of the two
who came with me. Walking cos we knew we'd be over the 14 hour cut
off but as it seemed a good mile longer than expected and still being
under 15 min miling I assumed this would be fine. Got to a bit where
you cross a road with a staggered access point bit and saw no
markings so we briefly went down the road until I fired up maps on
the phone again having already done this not much earlier to show I
was indeed going the correct way. Quick reverse course onto the last
bit then into the stadium finish. I did not run around the lap as sod
that It also hurt too much.
Got my medal, had pic
taken. No not sticking that anywhere you can find it on the race FB
page. I look a tad grumpy shall we say. Collected my other bag then
as it was a Sat night and taxis were long waits set off on the 2 mile
walk down to Haymarket and my hotel. Ambled/hobbled into the hotel
checked in then cleaned off the mud before collapsing on bed to sleep
Morning was a tad slow
moving but having sorted out my stuff and dumped pretty much all my
left over food I set of on the slow walk down to Waverly for the
train home intending to get pasties but alas that one wasn't open.
Progress was slow as on more awake inspection my right foot had a bit
of a rubbed through blister on the hell and the left foot was er way
way worse. That one was a good inch long or more plus some other bits
of rubbing and hurt somewhat. I'd also forgotten to pack spare socks
somehow so was having to wear the manky ones from the race too.
Slow walk back to
mothers to collect car then a drive home to a large pizza and a D&D
session. Oddly I wasn't that into my food and was at best half awake
thru the D&D session. Monday I walked slowly to work and we went
and raided the first aid kit to see what they had. Amusingly nothing
suitable to deal with it so got stuff in Tesco's after work and
tapped the plasters on. Mostly did the job but the left one is still
a tad sore now shall we say and I upgraded to Compeed ones Sunday.
Took until the Friday
afterwards to stop feeling tired randomly and to properly get back to
eating which for those who know me know that means it took quite a
bit out of me. Also took that long for my shoulders to stop aching
Wasn't overly helpful
being I had a job interview on the Tuesday morning and I do shit at
interviews at the best of times let alone still tired from a ultra.
Did find out Friday morning I got the job mind which was pleasing and
I didn't over celebrate whilst down in London. Which is why this is
late to appear mostly, didn't have time busy doing stuff down there.