Back to Running…

Back to Running…

Well, now that the excitement of our wedding is beginning to subside, my mind is beginning to drift back to running.

On Monday, I received an email telling me that the Perth Kilt Run entries are now OPEN!


This is an attempt to break the world record for the number of kilted runners participating in a race. It was a brilliant event last year – here’s my race report of 2013’s event.

And, if you’re interested in signing up, you can do so here

Now, I’ll need to get some miles in this week, in preparation for RnR Madrid: I can’t believe it’s only a week on Sunday! Yay!


August Round Up

August Round Up

As we reach the end of another month, and because I’m lazy having a rest day, I thought I’d give a race recap for August.

I’ve done three ‘races’ this month.

1. Dublin RnR Half:

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2. Perth Kilt Run 5K:


3. Tarbert TT10K:


I’ve had three four fantastic medals:

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And some great swag:

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Here’s my run routes:


And the highlight of my month was the Super Six becoming the Magnificent Seven!


I have no runs planned for September, it’s all about focusing on training this month.

Today’s Life Lesson: My brain can only retain so much information at one time….

What’s been the highlight of the month for you?

Race Report: Tarbert TT10K

Race Report: Tarbert TT10K

Date: 17th August 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Road and Trail

Weather: Cloudy, but warm

Website: TT10K

Positives: great course, well organised, good & supportive marshalls, fab t-shirt

Negatives: unpredictable weather!

This race was the first ever Tarbert 5k & 10k event, and given that it is my local village run, I was really looking forward to it, as well as being a little anxious as I knew the course would be a challenge!

@TheWelshWookie headed out early, to open the school grounds as a car park for visitors, and to check that the tape was still intact, marking out the running route around the area he was marshaling- part of the first trail run, behind Stonefield Farm & Coffee Shop. I had my gear all laid out and ready:


That meant that I had plenty of time to get ready, and pose…


I planned to head into the village to support the 5k runners, but I do not know what happened- I lost track of time. And so I ended up running out of the door, quite literally!

As I walked past the Village Hall, I saw that it was bedecked in bunting, ready for the barbeque and party later in the day:


As I made my way along to Garvel Road, ready for the start of the race, the 5k runners were still milling about at the finish line. At this point, I was pretty envious: their race was over, and the party had begun!


I took a couple of snaps, just to capture the views, and because the weather had taken me by surprise- it was almost sunny! The rain seemed to have vanished: it had surprised a lot of runners, who were wearing long running pants and jackets!

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My nervous walk along Garvel Road:


The facilities not far from the start were great: runners could use the Harbour facilities before and after the race: toilets, showers, etc. The start itself was at the end of Garvel Road. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was that this was Serious. With a Capital S. There were loads of club runners, and runners who looked like they meant business! But I could see that there were quite a few ‘normal’ runners like me!


With about 5 minutes to go, Councillor Anne Horn gave the safety briefing- reminding us to take care on the trail parts of the course, as they would be slippery and soft underfoot. And then, almost suddenly, we were off!

As there were only 200 runners, everyone started at once. I tried to hang to the left hand side of the road, and let the faster runners past me…. there were plenty! I tried to remind myself to just go at my own pace.

Here’s the map of the race:


At the end of Garvel Road, we headed up the main road, and uphill again, over the High Road. Remember I posted a pic from up here, when I was out checking the route?

The view from the High Road
The view from the High Road


We then ran down the other side of the High Road, and headed off along Campbeltown Road towards Stonefield Farm & Coffee Shop. I knew that @TheWelshWookie was at the highest part of this section, so I was looking forward to reaching there! The route took us past the shop on the left hand side, and past the wigwams, which are available as holiday accommodation. Then, we were greeted with a sign saying: Welcome to Jurassic Park with a cartoon runner being chased by a dinosaur- that made me laugh!

The trail climbed steadily, and at this point, the faster runners were heading back down. Us slowbies were walking, or run/walking because I was knackered to let the faster runners by. We reached a cottage ruin, known locally as Maggie’s Cottage, which I thought was the turning point. How wrong I was! We still had a good distance, all uphill, to go!

Eventually, I caught sight of a fluorescent jacket, and I saw that it was @TheWelshWookie! Yay! We’d reached the top! He managed to take a snap, with me actually smiling- maybe it’s a grimace!


We then turned around, and ran back down, around the opposite side of the coffee shop. I must admit, I took it easy running downhill, as it was pretty slippy underfoot, and I have terrible balance at the best of times! At the bottom of the hill was a water stop, but I was all good, and kept going.

As we left Stonefield, we headed back down Campbeltown Road back into the village. For me, this was the part I was looking forward to – my regular run along the harbour out to the end of Pier Road, where I’m used to views like this:


At this stage, the sun really broke through, and it was pretty warm. I managed to pick off a few runners along the road. The 5K mark was just at the fish quay, which was great. I’m pretty sure that there were lots of people thinking ‘Is that all we’ve done?’

I really enjoyed my run all the way to the turning point at the end of the road, where there was a second water point. I filled up my bottle, and headed back. Why I didn’t take one of the jelly babies on offer, I will never know!

All along the route, the support was fantastic. People were out, cheering and clapping us on. The marshals, in particular, were very, very encouraging, giving me that extra boost to push on. They also had a tough job because none of the roads were closed to traffic, so they managed to cheer us by, while keeping an eye on safety.

I then reached Big Brae, which leads onto the Castle loop. After the experience at Stonefield, I knew that the fast runners would be trying to run down while us slower runners were heading up. So, I decided to play safe, and walk to the left, to let them pass more easily. But as soon as I arrived at the Castle loop, I was determined to run this part of the trail. I managed most of it- only walking a short distance up the hill on the loop. My GPS ticked off the 5th mile, and that really boosted me- I was on the final mile!


I finished off the Castle loop, headed back down Big Brae, and made my way back along the harbour to the Harbour Office. This was it- the home straight!

The support along this final part was tremendous- loads of cheering and clapping. @TheWelshWookie was waiting at the finish line, ready to take my pic:


I was so excited to finish that I forgot to switch off my SportWatch GPS! Doh! @TheWelshWookie handed me a bag of jelly beans, which I scoffed right away. I then collected my goodie bag.

Here’rs the contents of it:


I collected my medal, and headed back to cheer on the rest of the finishers across the finish line.



But, yet again, I was distracted. By some deliciously amazing home baking for the finishers- including home made tablet- pure bliss!


There was even some entertainment for the kids:


And just to prove that the sun came out:


We waited for the prize giving: well done to the winnersl! Each trophy winner received a voucher for The Gallery- lucky folks! 😀

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We then headed home for a very quick change, and headed back out to the Village Hall to join in the rest of the Tarbert Harbour Authority Centenary celebrations. When we arrived, we received our ‘wages’, a copy of a salary cheque issued by the Harbour Authority 100 years ago:


That entitled us to a free drink at the bar, and free food from the barbeque! Result! Why does free beer taste so good?


i wore my new t-shirt, of course 😉

The Village Hall was really busy, with some people dressed as they would have 100 years ago:

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It was a real party atmosphere, with stalls and entertainment.

It was a great day!

My Stats:

Time: 1:06:55 I finished 85th out of about 140 or so runners.

The Medal: A hand made, pottery medal, made locally:


Goody Bag: draw string bag, leaflets, lip balm, wet wipes, doggy-do bags, button badge

T-shirt: A black & red technical shirt, with the logo embroidered on the front

I’m hoping that I’ll be better prepared for next year!

Race Report: The Perth Kilt Run 5k

Race Report: The Perth Kilt Run 5k

Date: 10th August 2013

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Cloudy, not too hot

Website: Perth Kilt Run

Positives: family friendly, relaxed atmosphere, tasty treats in the goody bags

Negatives: they ran out of engraved medals and goody bags

This race was the second Perth Kilt Run, and the reason why all runners work kilts was tartan is just brilliant to try to take the World Record for the highest number of kilted runners participating in a run. You can find out more about this on the website. I was pretty exciting!

@TheWelshWookie and I travelled to the parentals the night before this run, to cut out part of the drive, as we live about 2 hours, 20 mins away from Perth. On the morning of the run, we packed up and drove the hour and a half to Perth, in plenty of time to pick up our race packs, and have a short wander around the city before the run. We arranged to meet my bro, sis-in-law and nephew at the pack pick up, which was held in the newly refurbished Bells Sports Centre.

As we left super early, we were able to bag a parking space in the car park right at the sports centre. Result!

As we arrived at the sports centre, the staff were really friendly, and helpful in ensuring that everyone knew what they had to do, and where they had to go. We collected our bibs and tags, and had time to bag a locker for using later. We then headed into Perth in search of a coffee. I was really impressed with the shops- I think another visit will be on the cards! We did get some funny looks, since we were wandering around in trainers and kilts!


The race was starting at 1pm, so at around 11.30am @TheWelshWookie and I headed back to the sports centre, and it was certainly much busier than it was earlier!  It felt great to be surrounded by so many TartanJoggers!


The facilities at the start were great: loads of portaloos, and runners could use the sport centre facilities, which was brilliant. We then met up with the rest of the family, and were were good to go!

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We made our way over to the starting area, and soaked up the atmosphere. There was the standard pre-race warm up, but we couldn’t see the stage from where we were standing. Instead, we watched the Chinese Dragons snake their way  towards the start line, along with the pipe band.

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With about 15 minutes to go, we were advised by the MC to arrange ourselves in the corrals, according to time, with the sub-20s in the first corral, sub-30s in the second one, and so on. Well, that was wishful thinking. The first corral had a lot of families with young kids in it, so I realised pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to go as planned, but that was OK. Today was about taking part, and having fun. I knew that this wouldn’t be a PB run, if I was going to have to dodge small kids, walkers, etc early on 😉  We all entered the second corral, and waited for the start.

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Here’s the map of the race:


It was pretty much a circular course around North Inch park.

The race got off on time, and as the corrals were quite small, we were across the start line quickly. The support was great- with supporters right around the park, which was lovely. The race was along the path that runs around and through the park, with only one small hill mid way. The path was quite narrow in places, which meant that I ran for periods on the grass, to avoid walkers and kids, but there were some parts where this wasn’t possible, so I had to just hang back and wait.

@TheWelshWookie and I ran the first two miles together, until his dodgy knee started to play up. My nephew, RJ, was so good that he kept running back and forwards, just keeping in touch- he must have run much more than 5k!

There was one water stop at round the second mile, which was perfect. I was glad we were given bottles, not cups of water 🙂

The run was lovely- I was pleasantly surprised by all of the sporting facilities around the area, from kiddies play parks to a rugby pitch, tennis courts, petanque area, golf course, bowling green- I think most sports has some facilities available!

For the final 1k, the support was great. The added bonus of so many kids running was the extra motivation- lots of parents were encouraging their kid on with shouts of ‘just give it everything you’ve got’ , ‘you’re doing so well’ and ‘we’re almost there’. I’ll happily admit that I benefited from this, too!

The support across the finish line was brilliant- a young boy completely tore past me in an amazing sprint finish!

I almost forgot to de-tag my trainer, and had to go back to do this. I then headed to the marquee, where they were handing out the goody bags, water and bananas.

Here’rs the contents of the goody bag:


The highlight (and one reason for running) was the Irn Bru flavoured tablet- two of the sweetest things in the world, combined! Tablet is like super-sweet fudge, but instead of being chewy, it’s crumbly. Irn Bru is the best selling fizzy drink in Scotland- about the only place in the world where Coca Cola is relegated to second!


I collected my medal, and headed back to cheer on the rest of my family across the finish line.

My brother Joe was next across the line, followed closely by @TheWelshWookie, Stacey crossed next, after a shoelace failure earlier in her run, and RJ followed close behind, but I reckon he ran about 7k, with his back-and-forwarding!

The goodybags had run out, so the staff were doing their best, giving the rest of the runners whatever they had left. The medals, which had been engraved with ‘Perth Kilt Run 2013’ also ran out, but were replaced with un-engraved ones, so at least everyone received a medal.

We headed back to the sports centre, to grab our gear, then wandered back to the activities, for a bite to eat, and to enjoy the entertainment, which was good.

While @TheWelshWookie, Joe,Stacey & RJ enjoyed hot dogs, venison & black pudding pies, and haggis, neeps & tatties, I headed to the marquee of a local farm, which was selling the most amazing burgers!

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Now, doesn’t that make you feel hungry?

It was then time for us to head home 😦 Unfortunately, we had to leave before the Red Hot Chilli Pipers came on stage, which was a shame, as they are fab!

As we were heading out, I heard the MC announce that we hadn’t beaten the world record. Boo. BUT, when we arrived home, we saw that this wasn’t the case, and we can now claim to be World Record Holders! Hurrah!

My Stats:

Time: 28:06, which I’m pleased with, given the type of run this was. I finished 430th out of over 1,300 runners, and 46th in my category.

The Medal: Basic, but having it engraved is a lovely touch!


Goody Bag: water, tablet, Tunnock’s wafer, ABF wrist band, money off run4it, leaflets

T-shirt: No T-shirt, which is fine 😉

We’re looking forward to retaining our title next year! 😀

TartanJoggers Unite!

TartanJoggers Unite!

There were lots of TartanJoggers about today, as it was the Perth Kilt Run today!

The weather was perfect, the company was sublime. The run itself was great fun!

The course was really busy, with lots of families and kids, and a narrow path, but despite those odds, I’m happy with my respectable 28:06 😀

The goody bags were worth running for. They contained a bar of Irn Bru flavoured tablet! Wow- amazing!


There were even Chinese dragons!

I’ll fill you all in with a race report soon, but for now the hot tub is calling!
Today’s life lesson: remember to have your chip removed before leaving the finishers area…
Have you ever tried tablet? Or Irn Bru?

Tartan Mascots!

Tartan Mascots!

This picture, from The Perth Kilt Run’s Facebook page, are of two tartan-clad mascots meeting for the first time :


The handsome mascot dressed in red is the brilliantly named Hairy MacKilty, he is the mascot for  I’ve signed up for this 5k race and can’t wait to join many others in breaking the world record for the number of kilted runners! This event is open to all, with a day full of fun and entertainment planned- including music from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers!

The mascot on the left  is the über-cute Baxterbear. He is an adventurous bear indeed, whose mission is to provide positive support to various good causes. He started off his adventures as a WWII reconnaissance co-pilot, and he continues to provide support to people who need it today. You can read more about his many adventures at

Baxterbear was on-hand with Hairy MacKilty to support ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, who are one of the main fundraising partners of the Perth Kilt Run.

Tartan rocks! 😀

picture courtesy of