At the moment I can't face a 55 mile race so soon after the traumas of the Fling, so I've pulled out of next week's Cateran Trail Ultra. However I really enjoy the route and the area, so decided to do the 'baby' 23 mile version which took place today. And what a cracking run it was. There were about 30 of us at the start, including Scott, Lucy and Richie, 3 of Scotland's top ultra runners, so a more quality field would be hard to find anywhere. The weather was ideal for running; sunny, but not too warm. There was also a 3 leg relay which started half an hour later. Although the race was only 23 miles (how ridiculous does that sound - 'only' 23 miles) it was a tough old day out, especially the 5 mile climb just before the finish. I finally made it to the top - an ascent that my calves certainly felt, particularly when I tried to run hard again down the last steep hill to the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel - but I was delighted to cross the line a few minutes quicker than 4 hours, in 3.57.10. I think I ended up in 7th place, but a couple of people who were in front of me went off route at one point (including Bobby) which definitely made my finishing position a bit more flattering.
All in all a great day out. Well done to the organisers and to the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel, who put on a barbeque and generally made us all feel very welcome.