I thought I would post to let everyone know that I've decided to do the Cateran Trail race on 16 May, a 55 mile circular jaunt starting and finishing at Spittal of Glenshee. I'm very aware that this is only 5 weeks before the WHW race, but I'm hoping 5 weeks will be enough time to recover fully, particularly if I take the Cateran race at a steady pace and don't do anything daft. I'll know whether or not it was a good idea on 20 June :)
Yesterday Phil, Dario (who is organising the race) and I went up to recce the section from Alyth to Blairgowrie. This section isn't part of the official, main route and therefore isn't signposted, so I wanted to make sure I could find my way. The thought of getting lost 25 miles into a 55 mile race isn't hugely appealing.
It's a nice route, not too difficult to follow the course, and I think I'll be fine with the navigation. I was on holiday the week before last and used the chance to do a recce of another section, from Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally. That bit was very well signposted, as is the rest of the trail, so I'm hoping that I won't have any problems finding my way round. On both occasions I hardly saw another soul. It is a lot quieter than the WHW, which in many ways adds to its appeal, although I suspect it will become more popular in the years ahead as more people hear about it.
Before the Cateran Trail I have another ultra: the Montane Highland Fling, which takes place this coming Saturday. This is a 53 mile race over the first section of the WHW, from Milngavie to Tyndrum. It's the 4th year of the race and I've done them all so far. In 2006, the first year, there were only 17 of us, but it has grown dramatically and there are more than 300 entries for this year's race. I would be interested to know how many people have done all of the races - there must only be a handful of us. The event is superbly organised by Murdo and Ellen but it will be interesting to see how it copes with a field of this size, particularly the associated traffic and parking on some of the narrow roads. I'm really looking forward to it and also to the post race ceilidh in Tyndrum - although whether I'll feel like dancing after running 53 miles remains to be seen.
See you all on Saturday.