Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lairig Mor race

Yesterday was the annual Lairig Mor race, a low key event organised by Lochaber Athletic Club. The route starts at Mamore Lodge above Kinlochleven, joins the West Highland Way path after about a mile, then follows the WHW route all the way into Fort William Leisure Centre. The total distance is 14 miles.

I did this race last year for the first time and really enjoyed it. It's a good chance to have a fast run on the last section of the WHW - by the time I get to this bit during the race I've already run 80 miles or so, and am normally starting to feel a bit tired. To add to the excitement John K was running as well, so it was a 'counter' in our own race series. The pressure was on - although before giving you the result I should point out a few small things. I had run a hard half marathon at Inverness last week. I have a full marathon next week. I was suffering from a stinking cold. I had been away on business for a few nights during the week. I had also been out at a number of dinners. I had eaten a bacon roll just 3 hours before the race. The weather was too sunny and made it hard to see. I didn't do a proper warm up. The path was too stony. I was wearing new shorts which I wasn't used to. I hadn't drunk enough water before the race. Apart from that I felt fine, and wouldn't want anyone to think I was making excuses.

As you may have guessed already, John hammered me. To be honest I was pleased enough with my time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 8 seconds, which was about half a minute faster than last year and included a 2 minute stop in the middle of nowhere to deal with an urgent 'call of nature'. (Incidentally I just hope it rains heavily in the next few days and washes it all away. I wouldn't want any WHW walker to come across it by mistake). I ran with John for the first mile before watching him pull off into the distance. No problem, I thought: plenty of time to pick things up in the middle and later sections of the race. The gap between us got wider and wider, and after 4 miles or so he was completely out of sight, never to be seen again. At the finish I discovered he had finished in the superb time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 7 seconds, a full 6 minutes in front of me. The man is on fire at the moment. Thomas was even quicker, finishing very high up the field in 1 hour 38 minutes. So now it's back to 2-1 in my series with John, with the next event being the Highland Fling on 26th April.


Brian Mc said...

Well played Iain, but gosh what a lot of excuses. ;-)

David Waterman said...

Hey mate, not sure hammered is the right expression. Your performance is still one to be aspired to. Nice one.
Look forward to seeing you soon, either at WHW or before.

Marco Consani said...

Hi Ian,

Good luck this weekend. I look forward to reading your blog on it. Do you have any times in mind?