Craig Reid sent in this report from last Saturday’s Glen Ogle Ultra marathon.
Saturday 5th November saw the first running of the Glen Ogle Ultra Marathon. The 33 mile out and back route started in Strathyre at 8am and followed a scenic route towards Killin. Weather conditions were perfect on Saturday morning and over 120 runners lined up at the start line. Due to the larger than expected field the route had to be cut to around 31 miles.
I started at the back of the pack as I didnt want to set off too fast. The first 6 miles or so were very hilly and so it was difficult to get into a steady rythm. As I moved up through the field I met fellow Bella runner, Rebecca Jonson who was also doing the race. Miles 6 – 10 were very gradual and took us up through the glen and over the viaduct to the second checkpoint. My legs felt fresh and after stopping for water I pressed on.
Miles 10 – 18 were through the forest on a mixture of paths and trails. By this point I was completely on my own and was making good time on the paths. By mile 14 I hit a massive hill and actually had to stop and walk up it as my legs ached. This left me feeling full of doubt as I wasnt even halfway round and I was walking already, I began to wonder if I would even finish. Thankfully that was the worst uphill section and once I got to the top I soon got back to running and returned to the 18 mile checkpoint.
At 18 miles I took my first energy gel even though my legs were still feeling surprisingly good (apart from on that one big hill). I decided to try and run nice and steadily to the last checkpoint at 25 miles but the route was slightly downhill at this point and everytime I looked at my watch I was hitting between 6:30 and 7 mins per mile. At 24 miles I managed to catch another runner. He told me I was looking good and that the other guys werent far ahead so if I pushed on I could catch them. I thought at this point I was maybe in the top 20 or so but this runner informed me that by overtaking him I was now 5th!
At mile 25 I got to the last checkpoint. Unfortunately this was where I had left my drop bag so I would have to do the last 6 miles with a rucksack on my back. I wasted a couple of mins trying to find my last energy gel and bottle of lucozade and set of again. The last section was on road and by mile 27 I had caught the 4th place runner and could see 3rd a few hundred yards up the road. Somehow my legs still felt good and I was battering out 6:45 miles. Before I knew it I had passed 3rd and just had to dig in until the end. There were some tough hills in the last 2 miles and I kept thinking eventually I would hit the wall and the runners behind would catch me!!
Amazingly though, it never happened and I crossed the line in 3h 40mins taking 3rd place! I was (and still am) absolutely delighted. I collected my goody bag, had a seat and before I knew it Rebecca was also finishing in 3h 59mins, taking the 2nd ladies prize. Overall it was a very succesfull day along a stunning and challenging course. I would definitely recommend this race to anyone thinking of doing an ultra next year. Race website can be found at http://www.go33ultra.com.