Pre race….

First time having to fly to a race… off to Tiree. Warm up was the long walk to gate 1 at Glasgow Airport then onto the teeny tiniest of planes (I don’t do planes). Eldest has taken to tracking flights using the Plane Finder app so was tracking me whilst I was also watching her swim comp live stream. The wonders of technology. Then I picked up my hire bike to cycle to the camp site. Given Tiree isn’t big is still managed to cycle the wrong direction from the airport. Luckily a guy from my flight stopped me and pointed me the right way. Got to Balinoe campsite and the cutest wee bothy for the night. 

Now, let’s talk weather! Packed for everything including 2 pairs of waterproof trousers and jackets. When I mentioned in the car I’d like better weather hubby said “it’s not summer anymore” then 9yr old piped up “what do you expect, we live in Scotland”. We’ve taught her sarcasm so well! Flight was really bumpy, landed and full waterproofs on, very wet cycle to the bothy. First pair of waterproofs turned out not that waterproof. I’m now in PJ’s drying them out before the wet cycle to registration. Keeping the dry pair for tomorrow, just hope I don’t need them…..

04/09/22 was race day. It’s simply a spectacular ultra round Tiree (all 35 miles of it). 

Let’s just deal with the weather, the forecast was right, first half was like hell with driving rain and really strong headwinds, legs felt exhausted within the first 200m. The heavy rain yesterday meant the land was squelchy and streams burst so no chance of keeping feet dry. Heaven came as we climbed into CP2 when the rain stopped and the sun came out, the wind even eventually dropped to and, I dread to say it, but it got a wee bit too hot. Good old Scottish weather    .

The route is simply round the island, the beaches were long and stunning with blue clear water. Aim was always to find the hard packed sand so easier on the legs, not always possible, especially on the pebble beaches. Did anyone else see the seals  cheering us on about 30km ish? Not everything was beach, we went up hills, over stiles, across rocks, through bogs and burns. Turns out it had over 800m elevation. 

Start and finish was on the beach  opposite the Lodge hotel. Piper playing for both. Could see the finish for miles so really made me move when it was in sight. Great atmosphere, everyone taking in the weather and some even having a dip in the sea  

It was great to chat to other runners, thank you relay runners for saying you were in the relay when you ran past super speedy. I was a bit worried. The volunteers and community were amazing with all their cheering and supporting, it was needed. 

Now I’m back at the campsite, shower had and cup of tea in hand writing this. Soon it’ll be onto the bike and heading up for pizza with friends then up to Scaranish hotel for the ultra ceilidh. Not sure how much dancing will be done with my dodgy ankle but can’t wait to chill out and enjoy the island. 

Update – I didn’t dance but had a great time chatting to lots of runners, catching up with friends old and new. The cycle back with a couple of fellow campers was fun along the very dark roads only lit by head torch.