Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How has your week been? Have you kept your health and wellbeing goals on track? I’m pleased to say that I have. It’s been an all-round great week.

Monday: my week started well with a busy day at work. I had arranged for a lunchtime trail run with Alison and Morag, and I found myself running late. Instead of cancelling altogether I headed out 10 minutes after them and eventually caught them up by skipping out the loop around Kilmory Loch. My week started off with a rainbow: I also did two classes on Monday night: I’m making progress at Core Conditioning and I felt stronger in the plank moves. I know I still have a ways to go but when I think back to the first class only four weeks ago it’s made a huge difference! After that we had Veraflow, which was a nice way to finish off my busy day. Tuesday: Another double class, which was a shock to the system after the past two Tuesdays being cancelled due to the weather. Sculpt was fab- hard going at times, but I do really enjoy this. Next up was Trigger Point Pilates and my body really needed it!

Wednesday: again, after two weeks off due to the weather, Jog Scotland was back. Our improvers group started with a 10 minute warm up, followed by a 10 minute ‘weave’ run – it was a variation on a line run where we weaved in and out of each other as well as running from back to front. We then had a 10 minute cool down.

Thursday: we had PiYo which really is my favourite class. I was feeling quite tired, though, particularly during the first half of the class but I had a second wind towards the end of class.

Friday: rest. I listened to my body and skipped my planned run as I was feeling pretty tired at the end of the week. Perfect timing since Storm Erik made an appearance!

Saturday: I had a Fèis Committee meeting in the morning, then I headed out for a run in the afternoon. I am determined not to do too much, too soon and so I was aiming to do between 5 and 6 miles. Instead of running around the harbour, I headed out to the West Loch and before I could talk myself out of it I decided to run up the steep hill to Carrick cemetery. And I did it, without stopping! Hurrah! I was feeling really good, probably benefiting from the rest day…. and I ran 10k! That’s my first 10k since June last year so I’m delighted. The skies were beautiful which no doubt helped to keep me distracted!

Sunday: I reckoned I could do with some active recovery after a week of classes and especially after Saturday’s run so we went for an hour’s walk around Tarbert Harbour. Yes, we were caught in a hail shower, but I ended my week of activities the same way it began- with another beautiful rainbow!

This coming week is going to be a bit of a challenge: I have a long day in Glasgow tomorrow, a trip to Mull on Thursday and a weekend away to Edinburgh at the end of the week. I’ll be fitting it what activity I can, when I can.

Here’s your motivation for this week, which reflects the gorgeous sights I’ve been treated to this week:

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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

After another fab week, our January reset has drawn to a close, but Jacqui has kicked off another month of accountability so I’m looking for even more consistency in February.

Here’s my summary of last week:

Monday – Core Conditioning and Veraflow. While core conditioning is hard work I did feel some improvement on previous weeks, perhaps I’m building some strength! My side plank dips form still needs work but I felt that I was getting there!

Tuesday: the snow made an unwelcome return, so unfortunately Sculpt and Trigger Point Pilates was cancelled. I walked instead, making sure I got in over 12,500 steps.

Wednesday: again, Jog Scotland was rightly cancelled due to the conditions underfoot but it didn’t stop some of us heading out anyway. Running in snow is hard work!

Thursday: a snowy, icy lunchtime run. Alison and I headed out into the trails at lunch, and she showed me the way up to the viewpoint, which now has no view due to there trees being in the way! It was cold, but great to be outdoors. I’ve been feeling much more productive in the afternoon after a run!

Friday: I had a day off, so I headed out in the morning to get a slightly longer run in. Again, it was cold at -3, and some of the roads were really icy but I thoroughly enjoyed my run. I thought I was slow but the hill work is paying off as my pace was much quicker than I expected it to be!

Saturday: we had Clarsach Class in the morning then headed off to Glasgow to the Fun Lovin Criminals gig. It was brilliant! Plenty of walking all day.

Sunday: lots of walking yet again but nothing meaningful to speak of. Shopping and yet more shopping!

Today has started well, so here’s to another positive week. I’m really enjoying mixing up my running training and feeling the benefits of trails and hills. I’m going to keep my running mojo for as long as I can!

Have a great week!

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How on earth did we get to the end of January? As usual, this month has felt endless- but at the same time I can’t believe I’m already a month into my challenge to get back on track. I’ve had another fantastic week, both my fitness and my eating has been on track so I’m pleased. There’s been no secret to this- it has been down to preparation and making sure I stick to the plan. So far, so good! Here’s how my week turned out:

Monday: I did two classes. First up was Core Conditioning. It’s tough, it I had definitely made progress compared to the previous week’s class. And the DOMS I had in Tuesday and Wednesday were a real testament to that. We then had Veraflow which was great for stretching and for balance, and ends with a much welcomed mindfulness session.

Tuesday: we had snow, and the roads were a bit tricky so classes weren’t on. However at lunchtime I headed out with Alison for a snowy run, to christen my new trail shoes. It was beautiful!

Wednesday: the previous days snow had frozen so JogScotland was cancelled, but I wanted to give my new trail shoes a go on ice, so I met up with Alison and Lesley for a short run. We did lamppost sprints, which I’d never do in my own.

Thursday: the weather had improved and Class was back on so it was back to PiYo, which I had missed the previous week. It was one of those nights when everything clicked and it was great!

Friday: I had a rest day after four solid days of activity.

Saturday: the weather was wild with winds and driving, icy rain but I was determined to get out and test my new trail shoes on a muddy trail. I reckon that it’s very likely the weather won’t cooperate on the day of the Kintyre Way Relay so I might as well train and get ready for that. I did just short of 3.5 miles doing the short Castle loop three times. I focused on building confidence running downhill in the slippy mud and I think I did that. I did walk at times, and stopped to take plenty of pictures – I loved it. I had planned to do 4 miles but I’m happy enough with how my run went.

Sunday: a rest day. I’m heading into another busy week and in the past my enthusiasm has overruled my sense and I’ve pushed too hard, too soon resulting in injury. I’m going to take my time to build up slowly in the coming weeks, balancing distance with hills and cross training to hopefully achieve the best results.

I’ve also done more mindfulness this week, I’m sure that’s not done any harm whatsoever!

Here’s some motivation that has worked for me, if you’re flagging as we head into the last few days of this month:

Have a great week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How was your first full week back in 2019? I’m going to start in reverse order by telling you that I had a brilliant trip away in Belfast for the weekend, where we all surprised my mum while she was there for her birthday/retirement. It was ace!

But before that I had a really good week of eating well and cutting out the rubbish. Jacqui has set up a four week New Year Reset, just to get everyone back on track after indulging over Christmas. It’s not about weight loss, but about nourishing your body and feeling more energised. So far, so good!

Here’s what I did for exercise last week:

Monday: no class, so we went for a walk

Tuesday: no class, another walk.

Wednesday: Jog Scotland was back, and was busy- which was great to see. We did a 10 minute warm up jog, 10 minute tempo run, 10 minute cool down jog. I was very happy to be back.

Thursday: I joined Alison and Morag for a trail run around Kilmory Loch at lunchtime, I had never run there before and I loved it! At night it was also the return of PiYo and we started a new round. The lower body track is a bit of a challenge!

Friday: I planned to run but I had a little hip niggle so rather than risk it I went for a walk and did some TPP to help to ease it off.

All in all, it was a good week but I’m really looking forward to classes all being back this week.

I’ve signed up to do the Kintyre Way Ultra Relay along with Alison and Morag. We’ll be doing one section each of the 33 mile route so we’re planning to run together one lunchtime each week which should really help with training. I’ve ordered new trail shoes as my current ones are ancient, but faithful servants! Bring on the hills!

I’m looking forward to another great week 👍🏻

Enjoy your week!

Race Report: Tarbert 10k Dookers Doubler

Race Report: Tarbert 10k Dookers Doubler

This year’s Tarbert races featured a new challenge: the Dookers Doubler! Thirty or do of us set out to run both the 5k and 10k runs, and I was looking forward to it.

First up was the 5k, which took us from Garvel road end along the harbour to the end point and back. It’s such a fast and flat route that a PB is a distinct possibility: not for us, though; knowing we had the 10k still to come meant we were taking it easy! 

As ever, the support was tremendous. The marshals were excellent and the runners all supported each other, too. It was a pleasure to run. As we crossed the finish line, we collected our first medal, changed over our bin for the next race and lined up, ready for the tougher 10k. 

While the 5k is fast and flat, the 10k is hillier, with two off road, trip sections. Although these are tough, they give runners cracking views over the village. @TheWelshWookie pulled his calf as we turned the first corner, so I found myself running on my own for most of it. But, given the excellent support, that was not a problem. I walked the first trail section up to Maggies Cottage, as runners were heading back downhill towards us slower runners and I didn’t want to hinder any of them. Next we headed back through the village, along the harbour past the crowds and back again, this time heading up Big Brae and around the Castle loop offering fabulous views over Tarbert. I love it up there! I kept asking the marshals if they had any gin for me….. but no joy. Maybe next year someone will oblige! 😉  Next, it was back down Big Brae and along the harbour front to the finish line. Although my legs were tired, the support really kept me going. 

I collected my second medal (yay!), goodie bag and specially designed Doubler t shirt. We were treated to masses of goodies: home baking, tablet (the thought of that tablet kept me going), water, bananas, sandwiches galore. It is brilliant! 

I then headed out to cheer @TheWelshWookie across the finish line and we stayed around chatting and to support those who had placed. There are loads of awards up for grabs at this event, with fantastic prizes. 

Overall, my 5k time was slower than last time, but I took three minutes off my 10k time from last year, so I was very, very pleased!

When 2017’s event opens, I’ll be first in line to sign up 🙂

Race Report: The Tarbert TT10K 2015

Race Report: The Tarbert TT10K 2015

Date: 15th August 2015

Profile: Mostly flat, but with three killer hills

Terrain: Mixed: road and trail

Weather: Warm and sunny, but with short rain showers

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tarbert-10km/570186306335004

Positives: Brilliant course, awesome views and the best support. Beats bigger races for organisation!

Negatives: Those flipping hills!

This was the third year of my local race, the Tarbert 10K. If you read my post on Monday, you’ll know that @TheWelshWookie and I tagged along on the 5k and ran it before the 10K, but this report is focussing on the main event we signed up for – the 10K.

I’ll also begin by noting that I didn’t take anywhere near as many pictures before the race started – I think I was just too busy thinking about enjoying the run! 🙂

As I always do, I had my race gear ready to go the night before. I had two tops sorted, road shoes for the 5K and trail shoes for the 10K at the ready. Note the second ‘elite’ race number in a row – after being Number 1 for the Carradale Canter, I was now Number 2 for the TT10K! 😀  

 This race had an 11 am start, but we were up and breakfasted early, and ready to run the earlier 5K at 10am. @TheWelshWookie drove the car into the village so that we had somewhere to stash our change of t shirts and shoes, and some snacks for in between the runs, and then we had a lovely stroll down to the harbour in the sunshine.  

 We were so busy chatting away to other runners, supporters and marshals that we almost missed the start of the 5K! But, we made it, and thoroughly enjoyed the fast, flat course, and the brilliant support. We were done in 33.15, which was a surprise, as we planned to take it really easy.

We had a quick change, and once again made our way to Garvel Road end for the start of the 10K. We mustered at the back, knowing that we’d be amongst the slower runners. We listened to the race briefing, pointing out the mud we could expect at Maggies Cottage and at the Tarbert Castle loop. There had been a couple of changes to the route this year. Instead of entering the first trail section through the main gates of the Heritage Centre, we entered through the gates to the horse paddock, and ran over the rubber surface. That was different! Our return into the village had changed too, and we had to run past our house, along side the astroturf, along the TAWNI path and out at the school where @TheWelshWookie works before heading back out along the harbour. It was great to mix it up!

Here’s a map of the race:  

 The race was started by a countdown and an air horn, and we were off. We didn’t start too fast, and kept to our planned pace, knowing that the first section involved a climb uphill, with a tight turn. It’s always a hard start to a race, and this year was no different! But the views at the top of Lady Ileene Road are worth it, sweeping over the harbour. We could then recover on the downward run back off Lady Ileene Road and towards the Herifage Centre, through the rubber paddock and onto the first trail section up to Maggie’s Cottage. This is a long, slow incline on a muddy trail up to a turning point that gradually gets steeper and steeper. We were warned by Muriel, one of the marshals, to keep to the middle as it was very slippery on the left. Fortunately, as there were no more runners during our descent, we could actually run on the right, and could avoid the slip hazard altogether.

We headed out of the heritage centre, back onto the road and towards our house. Hazel caught a great photo of us at this point:  

 Thanks Hazel! And @TheWelshWookie half joked about popping home for a cuppa 😉

Next we ran a route we do most days – along past the astroturf, so it was a very comfortable run for us. We then made our way up the TAWNI trail path (TAWNI stands for Tarbert Academy Wildlife & Nature Initiative) towards the school, and then downhill to the harbour. We then ran our usual route along the front, past the 5K mark, all the way to the turning circle at the end, known locally as The Concrete. There, we were met by Jacqui and some others, with water and some much needed jelly babies!

We headed off again, back along the harbour, and up to the killer hill at Big Brae. We did not even attempt to run this – it’s a definite walk, with its steep incline and twists and turns! We also had faster runners hurtling past us heading back downhill, so it was easier for them if we walked, tucking ourselves into the left hand side. Then, we were at the muddy, boggy, Castle Loop, with its hills. But, like other parts of the course, it’s well worth it for the stunning views. I’m pleased to report that we didn’t see any adders this time!

Already we had reached the five mile mark, at the top of the final, big hill. We made our way back around the remainder of the loop, back down big brae, and along the harbour to the finish line.

As every other year, the support was fantastic, with plenty of cheering and support. I haven’t mentioned how well marshalled this event is, with plenty of guidance and help, and cheers along the way. It really does knock the socks off other events.

We gratefully received our hand made, pottery medals which were white this year, and our goody bags – turquoise gym bags with the TT10K logo on them. They were fab! And the neon orange T shirt is great for running on roads, like we do around here.

The Fisherman’s Mission were supporting the event, and there was copious amounts of tea, coffee, home baking and most especially tablet! This was manned by my friend and colleague Sheena, who snuck me a piece of tablet as I waited in the queue. Thanks, Sheena!

There was enough food to feed three villages – we could help ourselves to the home baking, as well as to water, apples, bananas, Tunnock’s caramel wafers, mars bars and a wide selection of pre-packed sandwiches. I grabbed a mars bar, water and a tuna & sweet corn sandwich – a perfect take away lunch!

We waited around, chatting with other runners, comparing times and tales from the run. We then watched the prize giving, with winners receiving bespoke acrylic plaques from Midton Acrylics. They were really unusual and brilliant!

Before we left, I popped over to have a quick chat with Lorraine, one of the organisers, and congratulated her on a job well done – and thanked her for yet another brilliant event. 

Our stats: 1:16:27. 10 minutes slower than the first year; but 2 minutes faster than last year, which is fantastic, given we had just run a 5K and last year was on fresh legs 🙂

The Medal: A locally made pottery medal, with the Tarbert Castle logo embossed on it.  

 Goody Bag: A fab gym bag with the logo on it, T shirt, trolley coin, air freshener, water and mars bar. I didn’t know these were in there before I took another of each, along with my sandwich too!  

 T-shirt: Bright neon orange this year, with silver writing and logo, with the local slogan ‘Run, Jeck, Run’ on the back 😀

 
   
I now feel ready for the Great North Run, and just need to keep on track over the next few weeks. This race is a must in my calendar, it’s been very highly rated in Runner’s World, so please check it out. Even better, come and join us next year!

Race Report: The Inaugural Carradale Canter 10K

Race Report: The Inaugural Carradale Canter 10K

Date: 12th July 2015

Profile: Undulating

Terrain: Mixed: road, sand and trail

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: https://www.facebook.com/greatcarradalecanter

Positives: brilliant course, with a mix of hills, flat, beach, road and trail. Excellent support, awesome views

Negatives: not a negative, but a quick field on a difficult course left me fourth from last 😮

Carradale is a picturesque village nestled on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula, some 25 miles south of Tarbert. It’s blessed with a lovely harbour (with a working fishing fleet) as well as a golden sandy beach and a great network of forestry trails. If you read my post about crewing for Julia at the Kintyre Way ultra, you’ll perhaps remember that Carradale is also located on the Kintyre Way.

As ever, I had my race gear ready to go the night before:  Fortunately, the race wasn’t an early one as it was scheduled for an 11.30 am start (I’m assuming this might be to do with the tide, making the beach section easier to run), and so this morning we had plenty of time to get ready, have breakfast and the drive the long and winding road to Carradale (yes, THE ‘long and winding road’ that Paul McCartney wrote about 😉 )

The sun was shining as we arrived in Carradale. We parked in the primary school car park, and as we were doing so, waved to the marshals we knew, who were having their briefing. We walked to the harbour for registration, and as we walked, saw that the village was a little hillier than we had remembered!

The registration area was pretty busy when we got there, and when we checked in, I realised that I’d been given bib number one! Wowee! I realised, looking around at the other runners, that I might actually be the first runner with bib #1 to finish last 😮 

  
We checked our bags, then chatted to other runners as we waited for the race briefing, and everyone was relaxed and having fun. Then we had a short walk to the start of the 10K, where we had our race briefing. Instructions today included things like ‘watch out for adders’ and ‘beware of the mud’…. I knew this was going to be an interesting race!

Here’s a map of the race:

 The race was started by a countdown and a starter’s pistol, and we were straight onto the road leading back into the village – and it was a tough hill! It got the legs working from the start. TheWelshWookie and I knew we’d be slow, and so we kept to the back of the pack. The support was great from the start, with villagers out in their gardens to support us all.

We soon turned off to the left, and headed down a country lane to the beach – my first ever race section on the beach! Although it was tough, I surprised myself, because I really enjoyed it – I had a smile plastered on my face. A lady asked to take our picture (I think she liked the skort). She had camera problems, but we stopped and waited, to let her take a snap – I think we were happy for the break, but it did cost us a couple of minutes (not that time was a concern for us). I loved dodging the jelly fish and the flotsam and jetsam, and before we knew it we were back onto a track road, and heading for the forestry section.

The forestry part was great – lovely and cool, shaded, soft underfoot. We were soon way behind the pack, and had the run to ourselves. We didn’t see any adders, but were treated to an awesome aerial display by a golden eagle – lucky us 😀

Next was a short section back on the road before heading onto the kintyre way at the Network Centre (you’ll see pictures in my blog post here), and then we were at the hilly part – a steep climb up a forestry track to the highest point of the race. Well, that got the heart going! We walked it, unsurprisingly! Next was a great downhill section for about a kilometre along forestry roads.

Finally, we had the last section: into the village along the main road, back along a side road, up a short grassy hill, down a track, through a field, over a style and then onto the harbour road, where we could see the finish line 🙂

We reached the finish line to a somewhat subdued welcome – but we were not far from last, and people had been waiting to see the finishers for a looooong time by then, so I’m thankful they stayed!

I was handed a goody bag which contained the medal, and grabbed a bottle of water. Other runners were really chatty, and we had a great catch up with quite a few people about how we’d found the run, and how amazingly scenic it was.

TheWelshWookie and I then headed to the barbecue, and joined the burger queue. As we were waiting, the prize giving was taking place. So while we cheered and clapped for the winners, I didn’t manage to take any pictures. Sorry! We were in the queue with Karen, one of our fellow SUPercisers, which was fab. We enjoyed our burgers in glorious sunshine, watching a seal play in the harbour, before heading home to Tarbert. On the walk back to the car we chatted with Gail from Campbeltown about running adventures, and I was struck once again as to how friendly and supportive runners are of each other. 

 Our stats: 1:17:17. My, my – slow, even by my slow standards! No matter, it was worth it.

 The Medal: Engraved, and it came with stickers to add your time to it. No, don’t think I’ll do that!

 Goody Bag: banana, bottle of water and an ace buff style scarf!

 T-shirt: None, but no problem with that

When I got home, I uploaded my run and was greeted with this milestone:

  
And right away, I reset my Nike Coach for the Great North Run training – nine weeks today! :O

I’d definitely do this run again. You’d never know it was an inaugural event as it was so well organised and supported. Roll on next year’s event!

The Inveraray Jail Break

The Inveraray Jail Break

I woke up early this morning: after yesterday’s paddle boarding escapades, I didn’t want to accidentally sleep in. I opened one eye, a little worried that the forecast snow may have arrived. I got up, peeped out of the window, and was surprised to see that it was only wet. Huh, yes, only wet.

@TheWelshWookie was already up, so we had breakfast and got ready for our morning of marshalling. I layered up: winter running tights, long sleeved running top, running socks……. And, no, I wasn’t actually running today! I added a fleece sweater, welly socks, water proofs, hat, scarf, gloves and wellies. We were out the door and on our way to Inveraray. 🙂

About an hour later, we arrived. We parked up, and finished getting ready. My outfit was completed with one of @TheWookie’s fluorescent work jackets- no one was going to miss us. The briefing was scheduled for 10am, so we made our way to Inveraray Jail. On the way we were stopped twice- once by someone who held up traffic just wanting to know what was going on, and then by a runner wanting to know about parking.

Here’s the start of the race, outside the jail: I should point out that the Jail is now a museum, which is well worth a visit. I’m sure I’ve shared pictures before 😉

Registration and briefings were held inside, which was just as well because the rain was torrential. We knew we were in for a soaking- but we were well prepared for that. 

 Fee, the wonderful race organiser (and jog Scotland leader, and cycling organiser, phew! Some how I missed taking a pic of her!) gave us our briefing, handing out emergency contact details and advice. Everything was so well organised: we even had a lift to our marshalling point!

Off we went, into cars, up to Inveraray Castle. We reached the marquee, and thought we’d be walking to our point. But, no, further transportation had been provided! There before us was a vehicle and trailer for us all to pile into! Now, I didn’t manage a proper picture of the actual vehicle, but it was like this, with a trailer attached. I think ours was bigger:  

We loaded up: I was in the trailer, and off we went! 😀 it was brilliant! I did remember then to take a quick snap: 

We were positioned at a gate, and were first to be dropped off. Here’s the wee truck as it left us, climbing upwards: 
We had around half an hour until the race started, so we had a good chat- in the rain- and got ready. Here’s our view- the runners came along the road in the distance before beginning their ascent: 

And, of course, I had time to pose 😉 

It was soon 11am, and only 6 minutes 30 seconds later the first runners were already reaching us, and we were well past the 2k mark. Wow! So impressive!

There were three races: one for full jail breakers, one for junior jail breakers and a kids race. The first two races came up past us- the full race made its way up to Dun Na Cuaiche, where they were rewarded with fabulous views and the skirl of the pipes 😀

Here’s Dun Na Cuaiche, from the finish- it’s at the top of the hill, I’m sure you can make it out: 

We really enjoyed being out there, supporting the runners. It was humbling, how many runners were working hard but still found time to smile or thank us :). Runners are a great bunch, aren’t they? 😉

Before we knew it, the runners were on their way back down. Everyone did so, so well. I was really surprised how quickly everyone was past us- both ways- up and down that hill. And I was so caught up that I didn’t take any photos of any runners – not one! Sorry about that!

We were then picked back up by the wee truck, and taken back down to the finish line at the Castle: 

Although we were a little cold and very wet, we had a great time. The marshals each had a goody bag, containing water, a cereal bar and some delicious home made tablet. Yum!
We grabbed a coffee, and walked back down towards the car park, ready to head home after going to church first.

Now that we’re back home, we’ve had a dip in the hot tub to thaw out, and we’re now enjoying a cuppa with that delish tablet.

 Thanks to Fee for such a great event!

Race Report: Zombie Night Run

Race Report: Zombie Night Run

Date: 19th October 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Trail

Weather: Raining!

Website: Zombie Night Run

Positives: great fun run, brilliant support from marshals and other runners

Negatives: the weather, no medal, cost

This was our first ever obstacle race, and @TheWelshWookie and I had planned our outfits far more than we had planned the run itself!

My sister-in-law, Janice, transformed us into zombies, and she did a great job:

IMG_2950 IMG_2949 IMG_2953 IMG_2952

We arrived at Helensburgh Rugby Club with plenty of time to spare, before registration opened, and so we were able to use the WCs before most people arrived, and watched the end of the rugby:

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As soon as we were able to, we signed our disclaimer forms and collected our bibs:

IMG_2962

And then soaked up the atmosphere. We had our photos taken with quite a few of the other runners: these are a couple from the ZNR FaceBook Page:

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I wore my base layer compression top, and long running tights with my Nike LunarFly GTX trainers. I don’t have a pre-race gear check pic 😦

The facilities at the start/finish were good, with runners having full access to the changing and shower facilities. if I knew then how much these were needed…… more of that later! There was music playing, and the runners, both zombies and survivors, were milling about, chatting and taking photos. There was a mix of runners who were, and weren’t wearing fancy dress.

IMG_2968 IMG_2969

The race was due to start at 5.30pm, but we were told that there would be a short delay. At around 5.45, we were asked to enter an enclosed area for the pre-race briefing and warm up. As the ground was a little marshy, people (us included) were trying to find dry-ish areas. Turns out that was just daft!

The ‘survivors’ were then asked to head to the start line, and they headed off, with a five minute head start. Each survivor had a belt with two ‘life tags’, and the zombies were supposed to chase down the survivors, and take a life tag. After what seemed like forever, we were allowed to go; and we entered the forest in a cloud of dry ice- very atmospheric!

After only a couple of minutes, we were towards the back of the pack, but those in front of us took a wrong turn, and before we knew it we were leading the zombies! Of course, this only lasted for a few minutes, before we were swiftly overtaken!

The rain had just started as we began running, and the grass was wet and slippery. The light was beginning to fade, and I realised that this was going to be great fun! We reached our first obstacle, and had to crawl under a bridge, into a river, under a cargo net and up the muddy riverbank. Only then did I remember that I had my iPhone in my waistpack, and I was soaked through! Fortunately, my phone was OK!

So, even in the first kilometre my feet were squelching and I was dripping wet. We ran up a farm track, in the mud, where we were joined by a cow on the path! At the top of the muddy track was a large bog which we had to cross, and I managed to get my left leg well and truly stuck- fortunately I was able to drag myself out, and the next part of the race was through the dark forest, which was really, very muddy.

Some parts of the course were in complete darkness. Other parts of the race were lit with glow sticks, or had strobe lighting. It was slow going, but so much fun. On more than one occasion, I found myself hugging trees for dear life!

The marshals were excellent, they were very supportive and really encouraged us to keep going and kept us in character!

There were two water stops on course, with jelly babies at both, which was ideal, as much of the ‘race’ was walking, or wading through mud!

Towards the end of the run, I was able to pick up some speed, and run along a forest track road. Despite the squelching and the mud, I managed an OK pace! At around this time, the rain started to fall, really heavily, which didn’t help with visibility or the conditions; but added to the atmosphere.

At the last kilometre, we had to wade through a burn, which was icy cold. I couldn’t stop smiling! And there was one final surprise in store- a series of hay bales to climb over and cargo nets to clamber under. Fortunately, @TheWelshWookie was able to give me a shove over the hay bales: I’ll really need to work on my upper body strength! Finally, we crossed the finish line.

I’m happy to report that we finished ahead of several survivors, even though we didn’t get any life tags.

We then had to give our numbers, to make sure that all runners made it across the finish line!; and we were given our goody bags. We then grabbed our dry clothing and headed to the clubhouse to change.

Here’s the map of the race:

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The goody bag was OK: a biscuit, a snack bar, a Buff sticker and tattoo and a bottle of water:

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There as an after-run party which I’m sure was fantastic. We had planned on going, but I had a baby shower to go to and so we couldn’t stay for the party. Maybe next year!

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I have two bruised and scraped knees, but I survived!

Here’s a short video clip:

My Stats:

Time: 1:35:42, but I came up a little short on distance.

The Medal: There was no medal, though I was sure that the website did originally say there was going to be one. Maybe I dreamed that.

Goody Bag: a paper bag which was sodden in seconds, with a biscuit, a snack bar, a bottle of water and a Buff tattoo and sticker.

T-shirt: a black technical T shirt. The design is good, but it was only available in men’s large, which was a little disappointing.

This run was a little on the expensive side, given that there was no medal or choice of t shirt size, but brilliant fun.

There are some great pics on Dougie Coull’s Website you should check them out!