Intro to Trail Running
In 2016, I was asked to be part of a relay team and take part in the Highland Fling with Simon Johnston, his brother Paul Johnston and Stuart Glasgow. We got a spot and entered under the name of EMC (Edinburgh Mountaineers Club). I opted for the second leg. Drymen to Rowardennan. approx. 16 miles including running over Conic Hill. Having Run all of my previous races on concrete or rubber, I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, but I love the Scottish Hills, so thought this will be a great experience.
I set off from Drymen full of energy, enthusiasm and a hydration pack on my back and was looking forward to what lay ahead. It was only 16 miles, so how tough could this be? Wow! A few miles in and I was feeling it in my legs. It was a warm day and I soon found myself at the foot of Conic Hill, recalling the profile, I thought, once I get over this I am on the home straight. So I walked and ran where I could and soon was on the long downhill section. My legs were not used to all this downhill running, so by the bottom of Conic I was fairly shattered and after looking at my watch, had another 9 miles to go. Eek!
The next 9 miles were to be even more difficult than the first 7ish. I have never been so happy to see a finish line and my teammate, Paul. We agreed to support each other through the checkpoints, after Paul handed the baton (timing chip) to Stuart, we were on route to Tyndrum. Upon Arrival, the atmosphere was amazing! And there it was……a long red carpet surrounded by flags for each of the representing nations. I was inspired and I was hooked! I thought to myself, how amazing would it feel to have run every leg of that run and to sprint right up that red carpet? My mind was in overload. So Stuart finished very strong and we all loved the experience finishing around 9hrs 3 minutes. The goody bag was amazing, medal, t-shirt, champagne and choice food.