The Glenmore 24 is a 24 hour Trail Race that takes place in The Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. The event is essentially running around a 4 mile loop for 24 hours in Glenmore Forest just outside Aviemore. I know right… why would someone want to run around in circles for 24 hours? Glenmore is a challenge, both physically and mentally. With all your fellow runners, your support “camp” the whole event feels like a running festival and, despite how it sounds, is A LOT of fun! Having that support on hand allows competitors to run empty handed, making a perfect first ultra or a great personal challenge. You set your own distance goal!
Tackling Glenmore solo had always been the main goal of this year. To hit the big 100 miles within the time frame whilst surrounded by a great atmosphere and reliable support. After running Glenmore last year as a Relay I knew I had to try it solo. Alas… I am still left with unfinished business…
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.
Ready to Roll!
Bruce, Fiona and I were running the race with our crew Elaine and Hayley ready to keep us fuelled, motivated and moving. A strong team ready to tackle a big challenge! Steven (The fellow in the matching top) was doing the 12 hour race, we both work for Run4It.
The start of the race was not as expected… it was sunny. A miracle! The day started off well; I kept to the desired steady pace and just tried to concentrate on maintaining hydration so I wasn’t working on a deficit through the night. As the day moved on, so came the worst part of any Scottish race. What separates the men from the boys. What can have the largest men cowering and wailing like a child… The Scottish midge.
Passing the the first marathon point I was feeling a bit iffy but 10 miles later, and some hot dinosaur pasta and coffee supplied by the lovely Hayley, I was feeling good.
Storming on it felt as though there was nothing stopping me. I was well on track to hit the 100 miles and was starting to feel stronger with each mile that flew past. Unfortunately, it was not to last!
56 miles in and feeling strong… disaster struck. A sharp shooting pain fired up through my foot and I was struck down to a hobble. After 8 miles of painful hobbling I pulled in for a pit stop with the onsite physio. She taped me up, encouraged me to try it out and come back if there was no improvement. I was hoping it was ligament damage so that I could keep going, as the damage would have been done. One more more 4 mile loop and this time in audible pain (according to team mate Fiona) I pulled in to see the physio again.
Bad news. After a closer inspection, much prodding and poking and some funny movements… I was encouraged to stop due to a possible stress fracture. The one injury you really NEED to stop for. My 24 hour race was cut short at 15 hours reaching 68 miles after hobbling the final 12 miles. Gutted. Though still the furthest I had ever gone in one run.
Though the injury was devastating, it did not stop me from enjoying the event. Fiona and Bruce STORMED the race coming away with 2 impressive distances and I had a great time cheering them on. It looks like I will just need to get back for a third time for some unfinished business. That 100 Miles will be mine!
Love – Live – Run and get out and hit them trails!
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