Sunday, 25 April 2010

Highland Fling 24 April 2010

How NOT to run an ultra.....

Put the waves of nausea the day before and immediately prior to the race down to nerves. Arrive at the start of the race on an empty stomach and pray to whoever may be listening that a piece of banana will keep you right til Balmaha. Search for good bush cover for 10 miles and convince yourself that after a trip there you'll be fine. Repeat this at every (frequent) visit. Persuade yourself 20miles in at Balmaha that a fingernail piece of tattie and a slug of coke is plenty fuelling to get to Rowardenen 7 miles away. Ignore the fact that you've already puked and continue to put it all down to nerves.

Convince yourself as you approach Rowardenen that it's the jacket tied around your waist that's causing all the problems and plan to ditch it at the next checkpoint. At said checkpoint ignore the fact that everyone thinks you look like death and after enjoying a real toilet stop and ditching the jacket, soldier on having consumed 2 mini cheddars and a fruit pastill. Promptly hurl them back up once you get out of view, that way they won't haul your ass back and pull you out of the race.

Battle with yourself continually throughout the next section that as long as you can keep running, despite now puking every 2 minutes, you can still finish. Continue this train of thought when even running downhill becomes impossible and particularly when the walk becomes a shuffle. Arrive at Inversnaid and hope that once you open your drop bag everything will be fine. When it's not, inform the marshall that you're not a quitter but seriously ill and seeth too lifeless to knock his teeth out while he very loudly shouts to another marshall "we have a quitter".

Spend the next 2.5 hours debating your decision and contemplate withdrawing your withdrawal and carrying on to Bein Glas for purely logistical reasons before the sweeper arrives and it's no longer an option. Endure the car journey from hell to the finish, forcing the driver to stop every few miles for a puke break. Arrive at the finish a crumpled heap and watch in envy as everyone else celebrates.

Congratulations, you now know how NOT to run an ultra. To do it properly, you'll have to read someone else's blog.

these guys were creeping me out


  1. It happens to us all at some point or other. Good effort though, and definitely not a quitter. Great read. And better luck next year.

  2. Definitely not a quitter. (I'd be scared to apply that word to you!) Now take all that hard worked for ultra fitness and enter another - Full Cateran trail?
    Sue W

  3. ah, i did see you. at the end, in the hall with all the bags. i was sat down, looking a bit vacant, and you were describing this story to another guy. yes, i can confirm that you still looked like death and definitely not a quitter. i'm so impressed that you battled on for so long. hope you're starting to feel a little better. like sue says, use your power for good and get entered in another.

    brilliant writing :)

  4. amazing how you managed to get so far..hope there's some good in your head you've taken away from it..i had the nausea thing last year but without the puking.

  5. Sounds like you had the stomach bug that has been going around the country. I had it two weeks ago and I felt like death just sitting on the toilet for 3 days never mind running 34 miles. Good effort for getting as far a you did while ill. It is the effort that counts, not the milage. Many would not have even started, but you did.

  6. What doesnae kill you makes you stronger!

  7. I bailed at 16 miles when I was ill on the D33. You put in a stirling effort. Put it behind you and kick ass on the Cateran Trail :-) x

  8. Great effort, you must have put up some fight, well done.

  9. Ah Kate wish I knew that was you :o( Next time!!!
    Thanks for the comments folks. Gearing up to kick some ass on the 15th now!!