Race day arrived sooner than expected, the Forfar contingent had decreased to only 5 runners for various reasons (injury, under training) so Angie, Hugh, Roz and I set off up to Aberdeen early for the 9am race start with the hope of catching up with Brian Bonnyman beforehand.
The 3 Ultra Virgins ( Roz, Hugh and I) were kept calm before the race by Angie’s words of wisdom and also the friendly and relaxed atmosphere pre race. My only moan was the lack of porta loos and bushes!!! Only 4 cubicles and queues right from the off there was only going to be time to have one visit!!
Race briefing was a quick affair but I must admit we were slightly distracted with the discovery that Hugh had suffered a wardrobe malfunction and didn’t have any spare shorts/ leggings with him-PANIC! Angie’s quick thinking saved his modesty but how much fun would it be to run 33 miles with some safety pins holding everything in?? Yikes
9am and we were on our way, I didn’t have a set finish time in mind I decided I would just run and see how things felt. Soon settling into things I kept an eye on my pace and realised that keeping under 8 min/ mile would be ” comfortable” – ha ha.
The route is pretty non descript, some nice houses along the way but it’s mainly a tarmac path varying to a stony/muddy path then a bit of road, nothing much to distract your mind.
At about mile 14 I started running with an Aberdeen lad who stayed at similar pace until the halfway point where he refuelled his bag and managed to set off again much quicker than me. Oh well back to the lonely struggle!! Good to see Hugh, Angie then Roz ( in that order) as I was heading back. Brian Bonnyman had passed me miles earlier in 3rd position and was looking strong. I would say the race didn’t really start to hurt until about mile 23, things started to hurt and the mind wandered a bit. How do you mentally break down 33 miles?? – 3 X 11 mile runs? A marathon then 7 miles added?? Don’t think anyway helps really.
At about 25 miles I caught up with the Aberdeen lad ( David Scott) and we ran together for a bit but he was feeling the dreaded stomach churning from too many gels so at 29Miles he dropped off a bit, great, on my own again for the hardest section. The path seemed never ending and the miles took an age to tick off. Passing various runners in various states didn’t help things. Where is the end of this path I kept asking myself??? Finally I could see Duthie park and the sharp right turn and downhill into the gates of the park but that’s not all I saw!! David Scott had managed to catch me back up and was running strongly, time to speed things up a bit. Somehow I managed a sprint to the end and received my well deserved bottle of beer and finishers medal.
An emotional Roz came in next then a rather sore,but still being held together by safety pins,Hugh then a cheery Angie who managed a fantastic PB even with some speed walking due to groin pain. Brian Bonnyman was showered, changed and home by the time any of us came in!!! He struggled in the last 10 miles ( does that mean he was running 6 min/mile pace) lol.
Well done to everyone who ran the event and a big thank you to the marshals who did a great job.
Results: Brian Bonnyman – 6th overall 3:53,Lynn Henderson – 1st FV 4:21, Rosalind Shanks – 5:09,Hugh “safety pin ” Mackenzie- 5:30, Angie Mackenzie – 5:38 PB