A misty drive up to the car park start at Glenbuck. Atmosphere at race start was full of the buzz of expectation and excitement, a strong odour of bananas and last minute regrets – “I should’ve done parkrun”, “can’t believe I’m about to run 40 miles”, a couple of the comments I heard.

After the photographers did their pre race rounds of solo and group shots we set of into a beautiful morning, the sun having cleared away the mist.

The River Ayr Way blew me away with its beauty. The course was amazingly stunning from start to finish, helped with the glorious weather, which was more than a bit warm for running 40 miles. However the organisers were excellent. Numerous water stations, well stocked check points and happy cheery marshals helped flagging spirits all along the 40 mile route.

The closeness of runners was the most apparent of any race I’ve competed in – my first ultra, and everyone taking part were more like one big family – helping, supporting, encouraging, laughing and crying with each other.

The finish into Dam Park was amazing, to be cheered on by supporters, and all those who had finished a good distance in front but remained to applaud home their weary comrades, was something I will not forget.

Can’t recommend RAW enough for any experienced ultra runner, or someone looking for their first. Overall down hill – just don’t mention the stair cases!!

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