The Glenmore 24 is a 24 hour Trail Race that takes place in The Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. The event consists of a 4 mile loop in Glenmore Forest which is located just outside Aviemore.
This year a team relay event was held alongside the 24 hour race. Teams of 4 people had to maintain a strict order taking it in turns to run the 4 mile loop over the full 24 hours. I was asked if I wanted to join the team after someone had to drop out and so had not put much planning into the event, potential distance or specific training. Luckily I had already been training for my next Ultra-marathon and had plenty of miles clocked up! Our team consisted of Elaine, Fiona, Mary and I and was humorously named “Bunch of Fannies” by the race coordinators as we arrived without having decided on a name and without signing our wavers!
Lets get started!
Upon arrival it felt like walking into a mini festival only instead of people lining the area to watch a big band, it was support crews and runners setting up their tents and tables of precisely packed nutrition and other necessities, ready for the event about to unfold. We arrived in plenty of time to set up our amazing tent (thank you John) and join the group of runners ready to put themselves to the test.
On you marks…get set… GO!
Elaine was the first runner in our team and at bang on midday the race began! Everybody shot out the start gate excitedly and made their way around the first of many 4 mile loops!
Fiona was the next one out on the loop!
The route is a very fun 4 mile loop with a long gradual ascent that, as the night went on, appeared to magically lengthen. Starting off running past all the support tents, the route followed a small single track path before moving on to harder packed forestry road surface. The hills were quite long, but runnable, with a steady climb for about a mile before another steady descent down to the start.
The time flew by for the first few hours, but eventually the night crept in bringing with it the cold and the dark.
As we were stopping and starting through the night we found that we would cool down quickly and our muscles would stiffen up. We stretched off while we waited and, as the night progressed, we managed to power nap briefly before our next run. As the night continued, and the 12 hour runners triumphantly finished their run, the track became less crowded. Being relay runners we were nowhere near as knackered as the 24 hour solo runners, but we did have the ability to talk to them as we went round and give them some brief company and hopefully help spur them on! The night was full of silence, which was only broken by gentle murmurs from support tents and the occasional startling horn which marked a solo runner reaching 100 miles.
Eventually the daylight returned and in the morning everybody seemed to have renewed energy!
After day break the hours flew by and before we knew it we were on our final couple of laps!
Elaine past over to Fiona for the final section of the race. For the final hour of the race a “small loop” around the campsite opened up for the runners to rack up their final milage before midday. Only the one runner is able to run this section of the race and so Fiona fired round the the loop to finish off our day!
The horn sounded, the runners stuck there distance markers in the ground and everybody breathed a sigh of relief!
Me and Mary ran 40 miles each, Elaine ran 44miles and Fiona made up the final 43.82 Miles. Our team came 4th in the relay with 167.82 miles in 41 laps.
Not bad for a “Bunch of Fannys.”
This was an incredibly well organised and enjoyable event spent with a great team! It was great watching some very inspiring runners! A huge thank you to all the organisers and volunteers who made the event so much fun and who’s spirits never dampened. I hope to come back again next year and attempt running it solo.
Thank you for reading!
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