This was the 2nd year for this event and my 2nd time running it. I loved the race last year and set it as my only marathon for 2013. Unfortunately due to a hamstring tear in August my training was condensed into the last 10 weeks.
The race is a 26 mile trail that ascends a total of 1,608 metres through the heart of Glencoe and into the foothills of Ben Nevis. The start is at the Red Squirrel campsite, the first mile and a bit is up a tarmac road until you reach the A82 where you cross and continue to run in single file along General Wade’s road parallel to the A82. You cross back at Alt Na Reigh and it is then a wet boggy sort of trail for many miles until the path takes you across tussocks to meet the Devil’s staircase. The rest of the race is West Highland Way to Kinlochleven then to the finish at Kinlochleven.
This year there was also a 26 mile walk, a half marathon and a 10k each race starting at different stages along the course. This is a well organised event with feed stations every 5 miles.
I had a really good first half and finished strongly in Kinlochleven; this was spoilt only by the fact I had to continue running for another 13 miles and my hamstrings and glutes were burning as I climbed up into the forest from Kinlochleven. Fortunately by 15 miles I was back into a steady pace which continued, apart from a fall at 21miles, until I reached the forest at 24 miles. The last 2 miles is a downhill stretch to the finish and like last year I managed to run hard at this stage. My time was 5.27 which is 14 minutes faster than last year; I was happy considering my training and pleased when I realised I was 6th woman out of 27, and 55th overall. The winning men’s time was 3.45 and women’s time was 4.07.
This amazing day out in Glencoe; I can’t wait to run it again next year!