Loch Ness Marathon 2011
[Sun 2nd Oct]
After 2 hours sleep (long story) and an uncomfortable 1.5 hr coach journey into the hills around Loch Ness I found myself at the start of the Baxter's Loch Ness Marathon.
Drizzle and zero wind. Perfect conditions and I felt ready.
Downhill start for the first few miles I found myself trying to put the brakes on and checking my GPS, making sure I wasn't going too quick. There were lots of winding roads, greenery and just stunning scenery at times. Passed 10k in around 40 mins.
I seem to remember a few climbs at miles 7 and 8 but basically this race is undulating. At around the 10 mile stage I remember chatting and running with a runner from Clyde Running Club. I asked him what time he was after and he said 2 hr 50 mins and that his PB is 2:59. So I decided to try and stay with him, which I did. Passed halfway in around 1 hr 27 mins feeling fine. By this time the rain had stopped and it was not a bad day at all.
I ran steady the next few miles realising I could get to my target of just under 3 hours. Still running with the guy from Clyde I asked him how he felt about mile 17. He said he was tiring a bit. I felt good so kept on going.
The lady who gave out Jelly Babies just before the long climb at mile 19 was a god-send. It helped a lot. The guy from Clyde had now dropped off as I approached the long incline that is mile 19. A little toughie.
I kept going as the genuine excitement of achieving a sub 3hr was now in sight. I remember keep thinking the only thing that can stop me is if I go over on my ankle, so I kept concentrating. The last few miles along the banks of the Ness were steady. Passed the 20 mile point in 2 hrs 12 min. The crowds were pretty sparse around the course but when you pass through the villages they really cheer you on. I drank at every water and Lucozade Sport station but never the full bottle. Keeping steady, the last 4.5 miles are into the City of Inverness where the crowds were increasing and shouts of encouragement were heard. Still feeling ok I kept going but by mile 25 I started to struggle but just kept my head down and knew I was going to more than achieve my goal. As I crossed the line along the banks of the river, my chip time was 2 hr 54 & 5 secs and a finishing position of 16 and was met by my brother and 2 friends who had bought me a miniature Whiskey.
They then told me the news that we had been kicked out of our Guest House because I had slept in the living room rather than the shared family room because of my mate snoring and that I had left a “stain” on the settee. The wind up continued saying that the owner had demanded £100 for the dry cleaning of the settee. My brother and mates refusing to pay! As I had just ran a Marathon I genuinely fell for it!
A good night was then had that night drinking Champagne!
Roll on Loch Ness 2012