Grant MacDonald sent through this superb report after accompanying Andrew Murray on Sunday.
For those of you that don’t know Andrew Murray is a rather optimistic chap who has set himself the goal of running from Scotland to the Sahara desert. This is a total of over 2600 miles which he is planning to do running on 85 consecutive days. In doing this he hopes to raise £100000 for the Yamaa trust, a charity aiming to eliminate poverty in the Gobi region of Mongolia.
As part of his run he invited people to take part in an ultra-marathon race from Kinlochleven to Tyndrum. In a moment of madness myself and Elsie decided this might be a fun thing to do.
We arrived in Kinlochleven in the dark the night before the race to find Andrew Murray drinking beer, showing off his swollen Achilles and dishing out kilts for the race in an attempt to break the world record for the number of people racing in kilts (rather unlikely that there is one to be broken, but anyway…) Andrew shared some of his running tips, like eating 480grams of scotch eggs for breakfast in preparation for his fifth day of ultra marathon running. After a hearty lasagne and a pint, we retired to our luxurious (not) accommodation at the Blackwater hostel. Due to a minor administrative error on my part, we had failed to get our entry in on time, but Elsie charmed Andrew into giving us entry into the race.
On the start line there was much discussion about the unconventional kit list for the race, which included safety pins and a mirror, but had no mention of items such as gloves or maps. There were also an impressive number of runners sporting kilts and other fancy dress items. We set off at 8:30 on a clear and cold morning, surrounded by snow covered mountains and headed south along the west highland way route. After a fair deal of climbing, most reached the devils staircase where there was plenty of ice and snow underfoot to make running interesting and a little bit scary. Others in the race (Grant included, Elsie excluded) failed to follow the well-marked path and ended up adding 3 miles of off-track, in-bog, over-mountain lost-shoe running…hmmmm, not what you need when doing an ultra, but what you get for assuming Andrew Murray knows the way and following him! Eventually us lost ones got back on course slightly muddier and tired than those competitors with the unfair advantage of being able to follow a path.
Other race highlights included a spectacularly leaking platypus, meeting deer at the Kings House pub, multiple toilet stops, incredible views, running alongside men and women in skirts, and very wet feet. After a very long 28 miles (more like 31 in my case due to the scenic detour) we reached the finish line tired but happy, Elsie and her sister even managed to raise a cheer with a sprint down the hill to cross the finish line. We retired to the pub in Tyndrum to stuff our faces and to delay the inevitable drive back to Glasgow. However hard the drive seemed after that run we were happy in the knowledge that unlike Andrew we didn’t have another 2000+ miles of running still to do.
You can follow Andrew’s progress at http://www.scotland2sahara.com/ – He is hoping to raise £100000 for the Yamaa trust http://www.yamaatrust.com – So if you are feeling generous please donate him a few of your hard earned pennies (or pounds).
Saturday 13th November saw the first ever running of the Jimmy Irvine Achilles Heel Bella 10K. The race celebrates 10 years of both Bellahouston Road Runners and Achilles Heel. Almost 400 runners took to the start in truly autumnal conditions in Bellahouston Park. Rain, sunshine and windy conditions all played a part in the day’s performances.
The men’s race was won by Ronhill Cambuslang Harrier Robert Gilroy in a time of 31:37. In second place was David Millar of Irvine AC with a time of 32:04, followed by Jozsef Farkas in third place with a time of 32:47. The male vet 40 category was won by Kerry-Liam Wilson, also from Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers, in a time of 35:26. Brian Craig from Irvine AC scooped the prize in the male vet 50 category (38:49) with Kenny McVey from VP City of Glasgow taking the male vet 60 prize (43:00). Host club Bellahouston Road Runners took the men’s team prize (Matt Williamson, Ciaran Dougherty and Russell Whittington).
The ladies race was won by Lindsay Morrison from Central AC with an impressive time of 37:36. Lindsay was followed home by Michelle Sandison from Springburn Harriers finishing in a time of 38:22. Third place was Bellahouston Road Runner Deborah Gray (38:56), who took the 1st female vet 35 prize, allowing Jill Smylie from Giffnock North to take the last of the open prizes with a time of 39:32. Jacqui Thomson from VP City of Glasgow won the female vet 45 age group with a time of 39:41. Denise Lindsay won the female vet 55 category (49:52). The ladies team prize also went to the host club, Bellahouston Road Runners (Deborah Gray, Jane Simpson and Claire Wharton).
The race also formed part of a series with the Bella 5K held in August. David Millar from Irvine AC and Claire Wharton from Bellahouston Road Runners took the series prizes with the lowest accumulated times from both races.
Thank you to all the runners for taking part.
Provisional Results are here.
Please find provisional race results here.
Enquires about the results should be sent to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve received a lot of entries, so we expect that parking will be tight in the Palace of Arts. If you’re not arriving via foot, bike or public transport, we’d encourage participants to consider parking along Mosspark Boulevard (plenty of free parking spaces available), and then walking or jogging the short distance across Bellahouston park, past the sports centre, to the Palace of Arts (by the hockey pitches) for registration. Directions available here (link).
Details on getting to the park on the event page. Public transport details are also on our main club page (note though registration is in the Palace of Arts).
We are busy at Race HQ working on all the final arrangements for this Saturday’s race. We’re really looking forward to it, we hope you are to. On the day entry is available so if you haven’t managed to post an entry yet just come along on the day.
See you all on Saturday!
An updated list of all entries received to the Jimmy Irvine Achilles Heel Bella 10k so far (7th November) is available here. If you’ve entered, please check your details are on the list, and get in touch by e-mailing email@example.com if you’re not on the list as you’d expect.
The event is filling up fast. See the event pages for entry details, and get your form in the post quickly