It was with some trepidation that I headed to The Great Tartan Skidaddle yesterday morning at 6am. Having never run an ultra, in my wisdom I thought it would be a good precursor to the Devil o The Highlands.
All contestants met in Callander and were bussed out to Inversnaid for the start of the race. The duathletes left ten minutes before us then we were off.
The first stage of the race is an undulating trail with stunning views of Loch Arklet to the first checkpoint at Stronachlachar. We were blessed when the sun decided to make an appearance and stay with us to the finish of the race.
Feeling happy I hit the first checkpoint and it was onwards and upwards on road alongside Loch Katrine with a lovely detour up Primrose Hill. The views at the top of the surrounding hills and the snowy top of Ben Lomond were stunning. From here I set off to the next checkpoint at Trossachs Pier to the last stage of the race.
From here onwards the race takes you off road through forestry tracks and open hillside with stunning views of Loch Achray and Venachar til you finally reach Callander. The last stage of the race was tough. My calf was giving me gip and I was having to dig deep. Thankfully a friendly face had appeared unexpectedly at the last stage of the race and pulled me through it.
Arriving in Callander I was both happy and relieved to finish the race. Much to my total amazement and happiness I was informed that I was the 3rd female in. This is a tough race, it’s hilly and undulating for most of the way but the support of other runners and marshalls really helped me along the way.
It’s well organised and the route is well marked. I would recommend this to fellow runners who love the hills and getting out in some of the best scenery our country has to offer.
Finally congratulations to Grant MacDonald on his gold medal as overall winner, what an achievement.
Congratulations to Elsie Downham who won a gold medal in the duathlon (1st female and 4th overall).
Congratulations too to Elaine on winning a silver medal (2nd female vet and 11th overall) at her first ultra.[ed]
Results and photos over at:
Photos by Skidaddle.org