The Glen Ogle race had become my priority for the remainder of the year after cancelling my Ring o Fire entry. Given that the race had sold out in 53 minutes flat I also wanted to set a good time so that I didn’t have to worry about whether I actually entered in time or not in future, although this will not be an issue next year in any case given my alternative plans.

Similar to the Speyside Way Race, I wanted to run under 10 minute miles averaged through the race, and despite a rough couple of months with a recurring virus interrupting training I felt that I could achieve this. My goal was 5:30, but privately I wanted to run under 5 hours, and felt that I could do so.

I wont describe the route in any great detail, as I’ve run this race twice before. The stretch out of the forest from Strathyre to Kingshouse went well, and I dropped into checkpoint 1 with my average page back down to around 9:45min/mi.

I ran strongly out to Lochearnhead and up the disused railway and over the Glen Ogle viaduct, possibly too strongly. I was conscious that this stretch was uphill, but I didn’t appreciate how high it actually climbed until looking at the Strava stats on the link below.

I dropped into the forest towards Killin very strongly, but was taken unwell towards the bottom of the hill where a pit stop was required. The climb back up to the top of the hill was slow, this was not where my race began to unravel though, I expected this, and would have accepted the 10:45min/mi average pace that I had when I resumed running out of CP3 a little while later. Before that though the weather had turned pretty dramatically on the hill, and the wet weather gear which I had removed in the earlier descent to Kingshouse was put back on. The weather had been forecast, but was probably at least an hour early.

Getting back on the railway I set about bringing my average time back down, and did manage to pull about 6 seconds per mile averaged back before my legs started to grind to a halt from around mile 24. There are probably a few factors involved, including perhaps running too strongly early, although I’m not so sure that played too much of a role. Bigger factors were probably the trashing of quads down into the forest and again off the top of the big hill combined with the windy, icy rain and inability to generate any warmth in the upper legs.

Although the segments from the later stages are barely better than previous years this run did not descend into a death march at any point, and there was no question or thought of dropping out. The road run out around Balquhidder was tougher than I remembered, although the weather and volume of standing water made things tough. There was also a lot more traffic on the road this year, and on more than one occasion I had to stop running as I approached two cars trying to pass each other.

I was happy to finally make it into the finish area where Vickie whipped me straight into my heated snowboarding jacket and into the truck to dry off and warm up. Somebody also tried to catch me up on the run into the finish, which made me run a little faster over the last 50 yards or so.

Overall if I’m being honest, then I would have to confess to being very disappointed with this run. I probably only lost around 10 minutes against those running around me on the second half of the run, but I had felt that I could do so much better. Perhaps in better weather, and with a less troubled run up I would have done. In any case that rounds of 2013, with 2014 commencing in around two weeks time after a little down time.

All that remains to be said is a quick thanks to Bill and Mike for staging another classic race, and to everybody daft enough to stand around in the rain helping out and making the event possible.