The Famous Five...Me Karen Gary and Allan and Charlotte awaiting the Go for our Journey from Fortwilliam to Inverness Via the Great Glen Way. 73 miles.
Like all best plans they soon go out the window the minute your off, my Overtheseas Coach told me to take it easy and I promised I would, and I did for the first 8 miles :-). I reached Ckp 1 and Gary and Charlotte where there and as I had nothing to collect until Ckp 2 I passed through, Now this put me in front of the group and I didn't have my Garmin running only on my watch, Also refused the map as I planned on following the others Oops!!!.
I had 9 miles to go till the next Ckp2 and I was on the fire road with the Loch Lochy to my right so couldn't go wrong, The going so far was great running and gentle climbing up through the forest above the loch, I was moving well and Started to enjoy watching the Day Break it was something special.
I soon reached the End of the Loch and crossed Over to join the Trail path that would link up onto L och Oich, This was a beautiful stretch of Trail with the Loch Oich now on my Left, I started to wonder where Ckp2 was as it was stated that it was at 19 miles, Now I didn't have my Garmin but had been running for just short of 4hrs, I started to think they may have miss calculated the distance, Just as I was half way up the Loch Mr Mike phoned to ask if I was running up the Road, I explained no I was following the path and Posts and was at Loch Oich looking for Ckp2.
He confirmed I was safe and well and he had an Idea where I was, This started to become strange, However I spotted the White swing Bridge and Ckp2 is awaiting, However the thought of running 19 miles in around 4hrs still puzzled my runners brain (as mr mike says). YEH am here but funnily enough no one else is, another phone call to mr mike and I ask where Ckp2 is, he confirms it's 6 miles behind me Oops!!!
Now I certainly am playing this Recce well and putting them to the test, Strange as I was on the right trail, just that it splits to go up the Loch both sides, the map states the opposite side from my journey Oh well I will just head on to the next Ckp3 But before I do I have my own Ckp2.
A wee fag break and am good to go, right 4 miles till I see some smiley faces, This short stretch of the Canal is really scenic and with the Sun coming up it great running into It.
Around 4hrs 30ish I arrived at 30mile mark woop woop I made a CKP. Almost the whole crew was here, and I had a wee seat and a fag with my Miniature coca cola, I look at my drop bag, and why do I waste money on buying crap that I don't even eat, I run on Gels and Fags, note to myself no more drop bags.
After about a 24 minute stop I set off for invermorrison and it is a gradual climb back up through the forest, as I am climbing the lack of sleep hits me hard I have been awake for around 24hrs already and am only 35miles In, Just when needed someone left a nice looking flat wooden bed by a gate Bingo Lights out, at some point I heard Charlotte go by and gave a thumbs up and aid I need a snooze and out again I went an hour later I awoke in the shade and was cold so time to move. I knew Gary would of Past, and I didn't think Karen and Allan where past as I don't think they would of Left me or would they lol.
After my snooze I was back on the game and Running well, It was just what I needed and no sooner was I Running along I seen George Reid coming towards me and informed me I was only 1.5m from invermorrison and the 40 mile point. I arrived here feeling good and Bill and Louise were here, and I had another small Coca cola and rolled a fag for the Hill climb, Bill said it's a cheeky wee hill, and he was Right. Up Up and Up I go zig and zag zig and zag zig and zag man this was Tough and some serious power hiking was getting done. This section is 9 miles and it took 2.5 hrs 7 miles was power hiking up a Cheeky wee Hill.
I met Mark and his Wife here (sorry runners brain for not remembering your name but you where Awesome)
I collapsed at the back of the Car and shocked to see Gary here, but the Look said it all, That was one tough section, and to make it worse we had to descend it and climb back up again I mean Really!!!
Me and Gary left together and I soon pulled away, this part was road and it was not Fun, am I giving the Impression that I am not having Fun ;-) I passed a house and asked the women how far to Drunwhatever it's called she say's just about a mile downhill, Oh really downhill no can't be, yip and a steep one at that. I arrived here at mile 54 in about 11hrs.
Gary was just behind me, We sat here in the company of the Girls for around 20mins, Both of us knew what lay ahead, Another cheeky wee hill, We said our goodbye's and walked into the village where we grab some ice lollies and ice cream's, Heaven... We now had a 1.5m along the road before we got the trail again, I was having an issue with tight Abs so I encourage Gary on and sat down to dig out some pain killers and Yip have a fag while I contemplated Lying down under one of the passing camper vans rather than climb those Cheeky wee hills again, However my luck they would of ran over my Tabbaco Tin.
Well up and up and up I go again shouting and grunting like a wild man, sure I scared a couple of bikers as they came round the bend to find me in the middle of the Trail shouting and swearing at myself, Yes I swear Too. The Good thing about this climb is I met my wee Big brother coming along on his 4 day wild camping trip, Strolling along having a ball, I am sure he laughed when he seen me, I only chatted shortly and left him on his journey especially after he informed me that I still had loads of climbing to do before I met mr mike.
Again this section was only about 6 miles and I power hiked 4 miles, Once up top I settled into a steady run and was soon arriving at this next Ckp the Guys where there and I filled up my water bottles and was told to go, great couldn't I just hang around for a wee while more. I was informed Gary was around 5-10 minutes in front, So I ran along and tried to catch him up, I was on a small section of single track and it was great to be able to Run again, until it pops out onto a road Oh bugger, Yip more pain, however I caught sight of Gary and Knowing I was in the last 7 miles I managed to push it and caught up with him at the Emergency water stop which was manned by Louise and if you didn't have a Password you couldn't pass the Trail ;-)
Right 4 miles to go and Gary just leaves before me and I catch him, we both just settle into a Run and Walk strategy for the last few miles, The last mile is yip down hill any other time this would be a great finish but not today, the descent is killing me we finally reach the Canal and have 300yrds to the end, I have went Quite and my Head is starting to spin and Body is shutting down, Gary offers me his bag of treats I refuse until he says cadbury's fudge I bite his fingers off it's a life saver, then he pulls out another Oh my I don't know why but I was so thankful you thought he had just given his winning Lottery ticket, but am sure it saved me because I would not have managed those 300yrds without lying down. But Hey we Just dusted the Great Glen Way and It was Awesome, (well not till the next day anyway) :-)
I have to admit I loved Every minute of this BAM Event, and It is the best course I have ever been On it's simply Stunning and Bloody Brutal....A big thanks to Bill and Mike for giving me the opportunity to Run, A big well Done to Charlotte who just controlled it all day Long 14hrs 13 mins Boom that's Running. Big well done also to Gary, Karen and Allan it was great being on the Trails with you guys....Also Louise Mark and his wife George R and all the Kirky Krazies yes and you Terry :-)
73mile 16hrs 15mins
4 small cans of coca cola
1 packet of sports beans
2 cadbury fudges
11 roll up's SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR....SAFE RUNNINGS :-)