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Scottish Islands Peaks Race 2017

Ten moments in no particular order what so ever.

 

1) Taking about 15 minutes to run the first km on Arran after no sleep the night before and 20 or so hours being unable to eat or drink due to seasickness.

 

2) Getting a voicemail from our skipper at 14:15 on Thursday: 'Hi James, it's Alex, give us a call back - it's not all good news.' He'd taken a tumble off the pier at Oban resulting in a broken shoulder and a broken arm. We decided on Friday morning that Alex was in no fit state to go for a sail; our team would officially be retiring from the competition but could follow the fleet around the course. We'd be a man down for the weekend - a bold move by the remaining sailors and a seriously impressive effort from them.

 

3) Dancing down the scree on Ben More with Dr McAlinden while a crimson sunset exploded on the horizon.

 

4) Having breakfast with the crew of Dionysus in the posh restaurant in Troon Marina at 9am on Monday giving off an aroma of cow shit, puke, dehydrated breath and 68 hours of sweat.

 

5) Our Polish sailor Lucas spoke impeccable English, but had little experience with Scottish idioms. A frantic instruction of 'Lucas, gie it laldy on the jib! NOW!' resulted in no more than a bemused stare.

 

6) Rainbow puke over starboard coming around the Mull of Kintyre - a tasty mix of chicken stew, whole tangfastics and protein shake.

 

7) The miserable, grinding 10k of road at the end of the Mull run around midnight - we've still got another two f**king days to go?!

 

8) Leaving Oban harbour in last place but, thanks to Graeme 'One Tack' Bisset, overtaking more than 20 boats in the first hour. 

 

9) Stepping ashore at Jura on sea legs to find the island swaying dramatically.

 

10) Lounging on the back of the boat by Arran at 1am on Monday, listening to the gentle lap of the waves, looking across the water at the twinkling lights of Lamlash and serenely content at the end of the last leg.

 

SIPR is an amazing event; many thanks to all the marshals and organisers for making it possible. A massive thanks to the heroes of Dionysus (Niall, Graeme, Lucas and Alex in absentia) for a brilliant weekend and well done to all the other Westies taking part - looking forward to hearing about it!

Posted by James Callender on Mon 22 May 2017 | 3 comments

Category Hill Race

Highland Fling 2017

The day started like most others... Aron set about eating or something while lefty and I admired each other. After weeks of cycling we were both looking strong but lean... ready for a run. 

Aron took us up to some train station... can't remember where. But it was ace there were so many ladies checking myself and lefty out. We hit a new record of 16 swoons in 30 minutes... Today was a good day. As the race got going we got yet more admiring glances. Walter from Shettleston was clearly jealous as he ogled us for a little bit longer than appropriate. 

Heading up conic hill we decided to really show what we were made of and pushed Aron to go past a few runners... it was great giving other runners a little show as we passed. However, being this buff is hard work so lefty and I decided that a nap was needed... Aron was not happy about this! Arriving at the finish was a relief as we finally got to take the weight off.

 

As the day progressed it was great to hear about all the achievements that we inspired. Alex after glimpsing us at the start managed to run sub 10, Niall chasing us for most of the day was just over 10, Maya (who we suspect is in love with us) ran a fantastic 11hr14, Carol (also in love with us) was not far behind in 11hr25, Ali wasted a bit too much energy admiring us at the start and suffered later finished in 11hr47, Elizabeth (again loves us) got in at 12hr06, John (who we'll admit it has good calves, just not as good as us) was 12hr27, Gillian and Helen (who ran together so that they could discuss how magnificent we are) finished in 13hr14 and Claire so inspired by how stunning we are finished 40 minutes faster than last year in a time of 13hr41.

Posted by Aron's Massive Right Calf on Tue 2 May 2017 | 1 comment

Category Ultra

Gwyn takes on London

Gwyn has secretly run the London marathon, posting an amazing time of 2h 33 min 46 sec and finishing 122nd!!

He did one bad thing and didn't run under the Westies banner, he was clubless..... Excluding that one miscalculation, well done Gwyn on a superb run :)

Proof of result

Gwyn's Game Face

Posted by Sam Alexander on Mon 24 Apr 2017 | 3 comments

Category Marathons

Anniversary Waltz

Thought i'd give a little post-race report on the Anniversary Waltz wot took place over the weekend.

 

It were right hard.

 

Got passed by a Carnethy type on the climb to High Spy.  Bugger!

Got passed by two Bog Trotters on the meander down toward Cat Bells.  Bastard!

Managed to overtake an injured runner just before the finish line and haul myself potentially into the top 300. 'Ave it!

 

Posted by Grant Thomson on Mon 24 Apr 2017 | comments are open

Category Fell race

Random Japanese Marathon (Nagano)

Before I left Scotland in February I said to a few people that I was running a marathon in Japan and I'd write a race report.  So here it is, apologies for dirtying these pages with talk of road running. 

  I entered the Nagano marathon as I had read a book about Japanese running so decided to enter this marathon while we were here. After paying the £80!?! entrance fee I quickly forgot about it until it was time to book accommodation. It turns out that it's quite a popular event and there aren't many hotels in Nagano so resorted to a number of begging emails to hotels to find us space. My wife was really appreciating the slight diversion to our itinerary for this random marathon of mine by this point....    Anyway,  prior to going to Japan we were spending some time in India so the bulk of my training involved running up and down the beach in sweltering heat. I managed a few decent length runs but it was a bit of a struggle and I found myself dreaming of a bit of Scottish drizzle. The Westies top got a few runs so the word has been spread to India.    We had to register the day before which was pretty interesting.  Lots of signs that I didn't understand and not a great deal of western faces.  I started to panic that people might start to think I was some kind of elite runner only to disappoint when they saw me running.  Also,  the Mizuno stall was selling shoes based on the time you wanted to finish.  If only I had known it was that easy...    Race day arrived with an 8.30am start time. I  didn't really have any great expectations due to the sporadic training and just set out to enjoy it. The whole event was amazingly organised and the Japanese participants all looked the part. People getting taped up in places I didn't know you could put tape and a bit of communal chanting and the race started by some kind of celebrity.  The route seemed to take in all of the venues from the 1998 Nagano Olympics with some bits skirting around the city.  It was really scenic for a road marathon as Nagano is surrounded by the Japanese alps so plenty to look at. The first half went by with a decent pace but nothing too crazy knowing I have always struggled in the second half in the past. Lots of gels were being consumed by others  as I ate my chocolate fudge bar as we  went to the second half of the race. My knee was giving me a bit of trouble but I tried to ignore it and just enjoy it. The crowd was really good,  the joy on an old ladies face when someone collapsed with cramp will stay with me forever! The last 10km was a bit of a struggle as the lack of training caught up with me but staring at the mountains in the distance kept me going. The Japanese runners seem to love a dramatic collapse so it was like a scene from Saving Private Ryan near the end but I managed to finish in 3.42 which is a PB.  I was happy with this given the lack of `proper ' training.    My Westies top was out in full glory and being the best small to medium sized hill running club in the west end of Glasgow expected numerous shout outs from others.  They are obviously not well versed in Scottish hill running over here any no one battered an eye lid!   Enjoy your running over the new season. I'll be missing the hills! Westies in Japan

Posted by Russell Crane on Tue 18 Apr 2017 | 3 comments

Category Marathons

Donard Challenge - The Seven Stages of Grief

SHOCK & DENIAL
Flock sake this is harder than it should be, why the hell do I feel so drained already? Must just be a rough patch, lost a few places on that last climb but I'll make them up on the descent.

PAIN & GUILT
Why the hell did we go to the pub after the meal, I knew I needed an early night. And the last couple of weeks - that cold was just an excuse for being a wimp and not training.

ANGER AND BARGAINING
F**k sake they shouldn't be in front of me! What the f**k do they think they're doing! Right, come on, just need one good line and I can reel them back.

REFLECTION AND LONLINESS
What a disaster - to come all this way to mess up a British Champs race, absolutely pathetic. So many people passing, no-one says hello. (Though a few yell 'Come on Mercia!')

THE UPWARD TURN
At least Niall's not here to beat me.

RECONSTRUCTION AND WORKING THROUGH
Cracking day for it though - amazing cloud inversion across the Irish Sea the mist-shrouded crags of the nearby peaks are beautiful and the final mile through the forest trail is idyllic. And the Frank Sinatraimpersonator in the Italian place last night was pretty good. Let's just  jot this down as a training on a nice day.

ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE
OK, it's just a training run and that's fine. You can let people past on the single track, no need to ruin their race. Ignore the shouts from Sam & Gregor, overtaking a slower runner on the last 100M after you've given up on the race would just be puerile. Get in some decent miles before Stuc a Chroin and I'll be fine.

BastienAlistairGregor tailing Ben!European style JamesSam

Posted by James Callender on Sat 8 Apr 2017 | 3 comments

Category Hill Race

Westies Wander The 3 Lochs Way

On a stunning spring day a bunch of fine Westies, young and old, sauntered round the 33 miles of the 3 Lochs Way, from Inveruglas through Arrochar down to Helensburgh and up and over to Balloch. We had a great time, great company, ice creams, Irn Bru and beer at the end. We were honoured to have our great pal Cam Burt over from NZ to join us and George allowed us a wee peek into his Charles Rennie Mackintosh replica house " The Hill House" in Helensburgh. A fine example of why we are the "best small to medium sized running club in the West of Scotland. WESTIEEEEEEES.

12345678910111213Charlotte14151617joe and johndown to helensburghdown to helensburghover to helensburghgeorgeous georgegeorge's house 1george's house 2george's house 3ice cream and irn bru stop in helensburghice cream and irn bru stop in helensburgh 2maya sunbathing swiss-styleBen and Loch LomondBen and Loch Lomond 23 wise westiesthe end

Posted by John Donnelly on Mon 27 Mar 2017 | 1 comment

Category club runs

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