Time for a quick update from yesterday's 53mile Highland Fling, which was also the United Kingdon Ultra Trail Championships. Well with the race being the National Champs, as you would expect it was a really strong field assembled at the start at Milngavie on the northern edge of Glasgow. Similar to the previous year that I ran the Fling, back in 2009, it was a pretty warm day. Un-similar to 2009 I didn't get lost!
The race was a great race. I was loving every minute running side by side with Jez Bragg in the lead until around the 24 mile mark, and then 'the wheels briefly fell off'! I managed to struggle to the next checkpoint at 27 miles and get back into my stride after taking on some coke and water at the checkpoint, but not quite as quick as prior to my 'blip', where the three of us running together (Jez, myself and Andrew James) had put around a six minute gap on fourth place by the 24 mile mark.
Over the remainding 26 miles, I slowly drop down to 4th and then 5th place, and then with only 3 miles left I drop down to my finishing place of sixth. I cross the finish line at Tyndrum in a time of 7:51:36, after really struggling for the last two miles! Surprisingly Jez Bragg was beaten into second place (7:15:12) by Andrew James, (last year's Lakeland 50mile winner), in a course record time of 7:12:08. Third place was Allen Smalls, only 8 minutes ahead of me in 7:43:31. The women placegetters were: 1st Kate Jenkins 9:04:24, 2nd Debbie Martin-Consani 9:39:32, and 3rd Heather Caulderwood 9:42:59.
Overall a great race, but a little bit disappointing for me with two bad 'struggles' during the race. Race report to follow in a few days, once I have reflected on what went wrong!