65k: Ascent: 1574m/5164′
Nature of Terrain km %
Trail: 44 68
Multi-User Trail: 11 17
Tarmac: 10 15
After spending 6 months of training and using my day off to run 20-28 miles I did begin to wonder what I had let myself in for. I enjoy the long runs of around 20 miles and hoped that I wasn’t kidding myself by thinking of The Tweed Valley Ultra as just two long runs in one!!! In my mind I was doing a 20 mile run with another 21 mile run straight afterwards. I never really let myself contemplate the full 41 miles, it was always divided in to sections, for example the check points were at 10K, 11 miles, 21miles and 31 miles, so on the day I was ticking them off and once passed check point 4 at 31 miles I then began counting down the miles 10,9,8,7 etc and not thinking how far I’d come just that it was only a few miles to go……. my Garmin went flat at 35.5 miles so I never saw the numbers go up ward from there although I did get the tracker on the phone on at that point and got the final section recorded, I never got to see the evidence of 41 miles on my watch. But hey that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!!
I had guestimated I’d not take less than 8 hours and the official time recorded is 8hours 40mins, which taking in to account I had a cup of tea at a check point and faffed about topping up water bottles and taking photo’s, used the loo twice (and went alfresco once!) I think that time is justifiable. I took a little walk on a cycle path around 35 miles as the switch from trail to tarmac caused my left knee joint some issues but after a brisk walk it sorted itself out and I was able to run round the final trails no problem.
The race started in minus three frosty darkness. I had not planned to wear the hat which was on the mandatory list however ended up not taking it off! The frosty weather never really went away and I was thankful I had my hand warmers inside my gloves! The plus side of such cold weather was a beautiful frosty view. The sun shone all day and the weather really was perfect. Had it not been so cold the trails would have been a mud bath and underfoot would have been much less enjoyable. As it was everything was frozen and feet remained dry throughout!
I’d not had much chance to properly think about the distance until I measured it out on a drive home from work this week…..that 41mile drive seemed to take forever! I’m planning a good bit of resting up in December and enjoying some shorter runs! However I have my eye on The Highland Fling (54miles) for 2019, (this requires entering a Ballot next year first) and Glencoe Trail Running Challenge in June 2018, and also hope to get to the Cause Way Coast to run in October. I’ve entered Stirling Marathon and Hull 20 is on the agenda too with the ever present Mok Run and local events of course as well. All of this is dependent on injuries and the kids busy calendar of events with Brass Band, Swimming Club and Highland Dancing…… oh and of course running! (I am slowly brain washing my children in to enjoying running!!! They will thank me when they are adults I’m sure!!).