Grant MacDonald sent in this excellent race report from this year’s running of the Clyde Stride 40 mile ultra marathon:
I had been toying with the idea of an ultramarathon this year so when I found out there was one that started a few yards from my front door I thought it would be rude not to really.
So, the Clyde Stride. A 40 mile jaunt from Partick train station to the slightly more scenic New Lanark via the not very well signposted Clyde walkway.
About 100 of us gathered at the back of the train station and were set off running down the clyde battling against confused cyclists and dogs coming in the other direction. The 1st section goes along the clyde towards Glasgow Green and it was here I passed a few Bellas running in the opposite direction on their Saturday morning run, strangely none of them were tempted to turn around and join me. Otherwise it was an uneventful and almost pleasant run to the 1st checkpoint at Cambuslang. I shoved a banana down my gob and continued along the 2nd section towards Strathclyde Park. This section is mostly offroad trails and was a bit of a relief after pounding the tarmac. The only shock during this section was coming out of miles of serene woodland and suddenly finding yourself having to cross a massive roundabout with no marshals for assistance. After giving myself a pat on the back for not getting runover by a massive lorry I trundled on to the 2nd checkpoint where Elsie was helpfuly waiting to load me up with sugary things before shoving me in the direction of Strathclyde park.
The race then follows the river through Barons Haugh Nature Reserve. It was around this point I suddenly heard the friendly voice of Matt W (who was doing the race in a relay team) say hello. Not someone I would normally expect to see at this stage in a race. He kindly slowed down for a chat before effortlessly bounding off into the distance. At this point
I was still feeling really good and wondering how long it would last. The answer to that question was about 3 more miles. As I came into the final checkpoint i started to feel a bit sick and was starting to bonk a bit too. I tried to shove some food down me for the last 12 mile hilly section but was really struggling to swallow anything. I shuffled onwards and was confronted by a near verticle series of steps. At this point the most rational thing to do seemed to be to lie down and have a good cry, but probably due to dehydration the tears wouldn’t come so I had to carry on. After a seemingly endless series of ups and downs I eventually came into New Lanark, but here the race has a sting in the tail. Just when you think you are finished you are diverted back into the woods for another mile or so – I believe there may have been some fruity language coming out of my mouth at this point. But having a good swear lifted the spirits and I staggered over the line and was pleasantly surprised to have finished 9th in 5hrs 50mins.
At the finish line a beer and a cup of tea was thrust into my hand and I thought – wasn’t such a bad day after all really!