Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cateran Trail

Yesterday I took part in the Cateran Trail race, a 55 mile run starting and finishing at Spittal of Glenshee. I finished in 11 hours 34 minutes, right in the middle of the field in 10th position. The weather was awful for most of the day, but despite that it was a first class event, in some lovely countryside (when we were able to see it), and very well organised by Dario and his team.

I set out at a very cautious pace, aware that I had gone off too fast in the recent Highland Fling and that it was only 5 weeks until the WHW race. This proved to be a sensible strategy, as I felt really good for most of the run and seemed to get stronger as the race went on. The last couple of sections were without doubt the hardest of the whole course. It was quite tricky coming across the hill into Kirkmichael, partly because it was so muddy and slippy, and then the last section from Enockdhu to Spittal of Glenshee was a killer, incorporating a climb of around 1,400 feet to the highest point before dropping steeply down to the finish at the Spittal of Glenshee hotel. The weather on that section was terrible: a strong wind and really heavy rain, turning into sleet near the high point of the route. I was glad I had made the decision early on to put on my tracksters - my legs would have been absolutely frozen if I had been running in shorts.

Another difficulty was the number of stiles which needed to be climbed throughout the route. Some of these were huge, and although they did not present much of a problem in the early stages (apart from the fact they were very slippy), they were much more difficult to negotiate later on with my legs starting to tire and my muscles showing some signs of cramp. There was even a stile about half a mile from the finish. I was cursing race organiser Dario at that point, I have to admit.

So, another ultra completed - my 3rd of the year so far - and a very enjoyable one at that. Many thanks to Esther, who not only did my backup throughout the race but also provided me with accommodation in Alyth on Friday night. It was greatly appreciated.

9 comments:

Thomas said...

Well done Ian, good pacing. That run should pay off in five weeks. With a(nother) WHW Race Goblet that is!

And it sounded like a tough course and tough conditions and I am glad I withdrew. I was not ready for this.


See you in five weeks!
Thomas

Silke said...

Well done for having a good run at the Cateran Trail Race despite the weather. A shame we missed it.
Thanks by the way for your encouraging comment on my blog.
See you soon in Milngavie!
Silke

Davie Bell said...

Hi Ian
Well done on another good steady run,I know where you're coming from regarding starting too fast,I think that's the reason I pulled out the Fling at Beinglas lesson learned!

See You Soon

Davie

Subversive Runner said...

Hi Ian,

Great to see you at Blairgowrie, sorry I didn't see you at the end. Lee and I were in Alyth on Friday night too in the Alyth Hotel.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Ian - great running and a great time.. All the best for the next couple of weeks -Cheers Keith

Brian Mc said...

Well done on the run Ian. :-)

Debbie Martin-Consani said...

Great run, Ian. Well done. I hope your wife has got over the guilt of bowing out from supporting. I'm sure she was over it by the time you had your bags packed.

Raymond said...

Well done. I was about 90 mins behind you and finished 15th which as it was my first Ultra I was pleased about. I agree the stiles were very tricky. The very last few really got at me and I have never gone over one so slowly and with so much concentration just making sure I did not ruin 50 odd miles of running by slipping off the steps!! That last climb was a killer into the rain and the boggy ground hard work at times. Are all Ultra's as hard??

Rachel Jayne Stevenson/Rogers said...

Well done Ian