A hilly hundred miler across the heart of the Scottish Southern Uplands was never going to be easy was it? Only now, nearly two weeks on from completing Ultra Scotland 100, have I been back out for a (short, slow) run again. The recovery has begun, and I’m feeling ready to start blogging about the race!
Originally, I’d entered Ultra Scotland back in 2020, just after we’d moved back to Scotland. Having grown up in Selkirk, only a few miles from finish of the route, and walked and run along several sections of the Southern Upland Way over the years it felt like a bit of a “home race” and I’d been really looking forward to it – the race was even due to be held on my Birthday! Unfortunately, like pretty much everything else, the race was cancelled in 2020 and then in 2021 only the 50 mile variant could go ahead due to access issues in the second half of the course. Finally, after more than two years the race was on and I felt in good shape having recovered well and put in some solid training since the Cow Shed Backyard in April. I had put together a pacing plan which would put me on track for a 24-hour finish – only time would tell if I could keep to it!
In the week leading up to the race, the weather was looking decidedly grim, with 40+ mph wind gusting, heavy rain, and cloud base down below 1000 ft. However, after dropping 3 out of 4 kids (and the dog) with my parents, we headed down to St. John’s Town of Dalry on a windy but bright Friday evening. The forecast was still for gusty but not quite as strong winds (mostly tail-wind too!), higher cloud base, and the rain seemed to have broken up a bit – much better than expected.
We arrived after 8pm, pitched our tent in the field behind the start line, and were able to register in the St. John’s town hall before bedding down for an early night! Despite a bit of coming and going and noise as the event team dismantled and moved the start gantry during the night, I slept well until woken by my alarm at 4am. Plenty of time for breakfast, couple of cups of tea, visit to the loo, sort out my gear, food and drink, collect my race tracker, second trip to the loo (long queues by this time!) and still made it to the start line by 5.55am. It was good to have a brief catch up with my cousin Douglas MacQueen and ex-clubmate Darren Wilson from Run Sandymoor, both of whom were running the 50 mile course. We had a minute’s silence in memory of 100 mile entrant Ewan Hitchell, who had died unexpectedly a couple of weeks before the race. A cheer for the cameras, and then we were set off to the sound of a lone bagpiper!
St. John’s Town of Dalry (Start) – Stroanpatrick (CP1): 8 miles
Right away, there was a bit frantic dash as there was less than 100m from the start line to a narrow wooden suspension bridge, which allowed a maximum of 8 people to cross at once! Fortunately I was within the first dozen or so and only had to wait 10 or 15 seconds till I was allowed across by the marshals – it must have been quite a wait for those at the back, though. After a short climb up from the river, we passed the town hall, and headed off up Dalry Main Street – much to the interest of a few of the locals who had come out on their doorsteps to watch us pass. We soon passed out of the town and onto first farm tracks and then open hill farm land. I was careful to keep my pace nice and easy, walking on the uphills, and taking it easy on everything else. I could see Douglas, Darren and quite a few of the 50 mile racers out ahead of me, but was still within sight of the front of the race. The route was undulating but rarely steep or difficult, and generally hard ground with short grass – excellent for running on. After a few miles, we had a short section along a quiet country road before more open countryside. Dropping down by Culmark farm, another mile or so along the farm track led and the GB Ultras flags of CP1 came into view. I had plenty of food and fluids on board so just ran up to the checkpoint, gave my number and headed straight back out onto the next section.
Stroanpatrick – Sanquhar (CP2): 18 miles
As I passed through CP1, I learned that I was actually placed second overall… so much for taking it easy at the start! I was also about 5 minutes up on my planned schedule, but feeling good. The next section was much longer, and contained the first major climb of the route, the 1,909 foot Benbrack. Immediately from the checkpoint, the course headed off road on much rougher terrain than before. The SUW rangers had helpfully mown down most of the long grass, but the ground was much boggier and uneven underfoot. As we reached the foothills before Benbrack, I had my first siting of the GB Ultras camera crew and race director Wayne on a small climb, which probably made me run a little bit more than I should! Before long we reached Benbrack itself, which was a definite walk. Here, the weather took its first turn for the worse, with a steady rain, stronger wind and cloud just skimming the top. I had started running with a long-sleeve base layer and a short-sleeved shirt over the top, so I decided against stopping to put on my jacket and just push on for the top. A quick selfie stop in front of the Benbrack “striding arch”, and I was aware to turn sharp left where many people seem to have got lost in the past. The descent follows a broad, mossy ridge which is very wet in places and on one downhill I lost my feet and made a long muddy slide on my backside. No harm done, and soon I was down out of the wind and the rain eased off again – keeping the jacket off had been a good choice! The route then entered a forest section, winding in and out of the trees for a while and passing Allan’s Cairn. The worst of the fallen trees from storms earlier in the year had been cleared, but there were a few spots where you needed to duck. Quite a few hundred mile runners passed me during this section, but I was happy to let them go as it was still early in the race!
After a mile or so in the forest, we dropped out onto a forest road for an easy run down to the Chalk Memorial Bothy and Polskeoch. A friendly local had left a barrow full of bottled water out for the runners at the end of their drive, but I just gave them a wave as I passed. An undulating tarmac road led down the valley for a few miles and my legs were still feeling good as I was running between 9 and 10 minutes per mile without too much effort. At Polgown farm the SUW cuts left and climbs very gradually up the hillside as the road drops down, following the Scaur Water. Many of the SUW marker posts had been decorated in bright patterns, with poetry or quotations added to them. One I remember said “Run, run as fast as you can” (presumably referencing the story of the gingerbread man and the fox), although I was content to walk and jog through this section. Once passed “Cloud Hill” (it wasn’t cloudy, though) a few more miles of grassy downhill led back to a road with bridges over the Euchan Water and the River Nith and on into Sanquhar. A little dog-leg bend in the main street and suddenly the Town Hall was in view, and my first sighting of Julie and Rhona, my crew!
I was now running in fifth place, but about 15-20 minutes up on my planned schedule, and most importantly still feeling good! I was planning to make a brief stop at this checkpoint, taking on some more fluids, some new gels and food. Due to the relatively cool weather, I’d drunk less than a litre so far – Julie warned me to start drinking more! Excellent crew service (although they did forget to unpack a chair for me from the car), they had chunks of watermelon ready for me, which is my favourite checkpoint food and even a cup of Irn-Bru! In less than 5 minutes I was heading off down Sanquhar High Street, chomping on a home-made chia and chocolate bar.
Sanquhar – Wanlockhead (CP3): 8 miles
After not seeing my crew for the first 26 miles, the next section was a relatively short 8 miles. As it was now late morning, there was even a little bit of sun peeping through the clouds at time but still good conditions for running. This section featured two straightforward climbs – firstly up and out of Nithsdale, past Bogg (although the ground was largely dry 🤷♂️) and down to the remote farm of Cogshead. The second passes close to Glengaber Hill before dropping down and crossing the Wanlock Water for the last couple of miles on road and track into Wanlockhead. This area bears the scars of the lead mining industry and there are many abandoned quarries, ruined industrial buildings and rusting equipment scattered everywhere. The last section into Wanlockhead followed a Heritage Trail which had many interesting-looking info boards – I wasn’t stopping to read them though!
In every ultra there comes a point where running stops feeling easy, and this was where I first started to feel it! My legs were feeling pretty heavy by the time I caught sight of Julie waiting for me a short distance ahead of the checkpoint. Nevertheless, I was still in seventh place and about 25 minutes ahead of schedule, with no specific niggles to note. With only 8 miles since the last checkpoint, and another short segment to come I barely stopped here, just checking in with the marshals before gobbling some more watermelon, and heading back off on the course.
Wanlockhead – A702 (CP4): 6 miles
Although short at only 6 miles, this is the steepest section of the race with an average of around 250 feet per mile, and also passes over the highest point of the whole SUW, the 2,379 foot Lowther Hill. Heading out of Wanlockhead, the route takes an uncompromisingly steep path straight up the side of the hill, zig-zagging with the access road to the ski centre and radar station at the top of Lowther Hill. The cloud was down on the top of the hill, and as the route turned South-East, the wind which had been largely behind us became a chilly crosswind. Fortunately, there was not much rain, but the going was hard – even running into the wind on the downhills took quite some effort in parts!
The descent from Lowther Hill is a bit of a rollercoaster, with several smaller hills to climb, but the worst is saved for last. After a tantalising glimpse of the A702 a mile or so ahead, Laght Hill provides a short but incredibly steep little kicker that needs to be overcome before you finally descend to the road. The climbing, combined with more boggy terrain and the wind, made this section quite draining and I think I must have looked pretty knackered as I jogged in to the windswept gazebo of CP4 in a desolate layby on the A702! Even so, I was now about 40 minutes up on my schedule and still lying seventh. I’d also somehow managed to have missed the worst of the rain which the folks at the CP said had been battering them for the last half hour. So only a short stop here to take on a bit more food, and I was on my way again.
A702 – Moffat (CP5): 15 miles
This was quite a long and remote section, although it would take me to the finish of the “50” miler which was actually around 57 miles, and passed the half-way mark of my race. Leaving the A702 behind, the route passed through a lovely open woodland section, before hitting a gravel road for a couple of very runnable miles towards the dam at the Daer Reservoir. Here the SUW turns right and then heads across the top of the dam, however due to maintenance works the path was closed and we had been advised of a diversion via the road, across the Daer Water and back up to the far side of the dam. It was a shame to miss out on the crossing, as it looked quite dramatic when seen from the climb up to Hods Hill. The race photographers and Wayne were lying in wait on this climb, and I remember joking with them that if they were expecting me to run for the cameras at this point they were very much mistaken 🤣 . The climb was actually quite gradual, spread over two miles – but was definitely a walk!
After passing by the barren expanse of Hods Hill and the summit of Beld Knowe, the route dropped back into forest again and we were treated to a bit of sunshine. With all the wet undergrowth, it was actually quite hot and humid! I had been running quite close to a 50 mile runner at this point, and he was just ahead of me when we came to a path junction that proved to be a bit tricky. It looked like a straight on from the map, but as the path turned by 90 degrees a few meters earlier it was actually a left turn! I correctly spotted the SUW marker (unhelpfully hidden in bushes) and called back the runner in front of me who was headed off the wrong way. Several others made the same mistake according to their GPS tracks, including my cousin Douglas who lost around half an hour heading up and down the trail, looking for the correct route!
More good grassy and earthy forest trails followed before the route joined a minor for the run down towards Beattock. On the way down, the weather that had been threatening on and off all morning finally broke, and it bucketed with rain for about an hour. I made a quick stop to put on my jacket but was still absolutely soaked as I passed by Beattock and followed a mile or so of the main road into Moffat. I must have enjoyed running in the rain on a level surface, as I put in a couple of miles in the low 11 minute range – faster than I had gone since the run down to Sanquhar, 30 miles earlier. Nevertheless, my estimated time for this section was totally unrealistic, and I was now about 30 minutes behind schedule. Approaching the checkpoint, Julie was out to meet me on the road and I admitted my chances of finishing in under 24 hours had pretty much gone.
I had a slightly longer stop at the Moffat CP. I stripped off my wet jacket, popped to the loo, and had a seat while drinking a cup of coffee and replenishing all my supplies for the next section. I decided to switch from purely electrolyte drink to SIS energy drink, as I often had trouble in the past eating during the later stages of a race. This proved to be a good plan, as Julie had warmed up a hot dog for me, which was a nice idea but had dramatic consequences… I’d only eaten half of it when I proceeded to throw it up over the floor outside the checkpoint! My aunt Frances was waiting for Douglas to arrive and suggested I should be quitting – but no, I assured her, this was completely normal and nothing to worry about! I had assumed that Douglas would have already finished, but I must have passed him while he was getting lost on the previous section, and he ended up finishing about 10 minutes after I reached the CP. We had a quick photo together before I set off again for the second half of the route!
Moffat – Ettrick (CP6): 16 miles
Despite the evening sun being out, I had cooled down quite a lot while stopped at the checkpoint, and my legs had started to stiffen up a bit. Fortunately, there were a couple of miles of runnable road to warm up on, and I was also able to start getting some food back in to me… and most importantly, keep it there! There was another route diversion here around what looked like it would have been quite a nice woodland section, but the landowner was blocking access, sadly. Before long, the path turned uphill, passing through a farm before entering another forestry plantation. Here the SUW branched, offering a lower, poor weather option which followed the foresty track up the glen but the race route followed the higher option, and after crossing the Cornal Burn and a short forest road, headed steeply uphill to reach the summit of Gateshaw Rig. The cloud was right down, and the narrow, heathery ridge along to Croft Head (2,090 feet high) was dramatic, with steep drops to both sides. It had cooled down quite a bit, as it was getting late and I put my jacket back on mainly for warmth, as although it wasn’t raining I was effectively running in the cloud!
A steep, zig-zag path led back down into the glen, before an almost-as-steep climb back up and over the watershed and into the head of the Ettrick Valley. I was looking forward to getting here as I grew up and lived nearly 25 years in total in Selkirk on the banks of the Ettrick, so this felt like I was back in home territory, although I had never actually been right to the top of the valley. The route to the checkpoint in Ettrick village was an interminable 8 miles, first on forestry track, passing the Over Phawhope bothy and onto tarmac road for the gradual run down the valley. I mostly ran the first four miles, but was becoming increasingly aware of a growing pain in the front of my left ankle which was making flexing it for running quite difficult. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I had done to it, although I do remember rolling my ankle somewhere – it might have been on this section, but I’m not sure!
On the way down the road I met Wayne who had driven up to see how the runners were getting on, and asked about conditions on the route. I had found it not too bad, but it seems that sometime after I passed through Moffat, some later runners were being advised to take the lower route, saving them about 1000 feet of climbing! I didn’t mind as the high route was actually my favourite part of the race, properly remote and dramatic scenery (or at least as dramatic as it gets in the Borders 🤣 ). I found that walking was much more comfortable for my ankle, and I was able to keep up a decent pace, only a couple of minutes per mile slower than the run/jog that I had been doing at the top of the valley, so I stuck to that for the last 4 miles down to Ettrick. It finally got properly dark at this point, and I put on my head torch. Unfortunately this had the effect of attracting the midges, so I quickly switched it off again and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Amusingly, I also drove a small flock of about 10 sheep at least a mile down the road before they figured out they could just step to the side and I would happily pass by them! It must have been around 11pm by the time I reached Ettrick, nearly two-and-a-half hours down on my planned schedule. I think someone must have dropped out at Moffat as I think I was still in sixth place at this point!
The runners in front were a long way ahead, as there was about a mile out-and-back to the CP, and I didn’t see anyone. I had the place to myself as I took more fluid and food, and layered up for the night ahead – warm hat, overtrousers and gloves. I wasn’t particularly cold at this point, but better to stay that way! I also put on plenty of midge repellent, and picked up a power bank to charge my watch, which was down to about 20% by this time. So far, Rhona and Julie had both been looking after me at the checkpoints, but Rhona was firmly asleep in the back seat of the car. She had asked to be woken when I arrived, and although she did eventually stumble in to the hall to see me, I’m not convinced she was actually conscious!
Ettrick – Traquair (CP7): 18 miles
As I headed back up the road to rejoin the SUW, I met three other runners who were fairly close behind me. At least one of them had been wandering back up and down the road looking for the checkpoint, so I was able to point them in the right direction and assure them it was only a quarter of a mile or so away! Turning off the road, the route went steeply uphill, parallel to the Scabcleuch Burn. This was the first climbing I’d had to do for about 10 miles, and the front half of both my feet were objecting to it, each step felt like I had a layer of broken glass under the balls of my feet! I had expected a bit of blistering and there wasn’t much I could do about it out on the trail, so I plodded on, resigning myself that to the fact that the rest of the race was going to be mainly walking. As I came over the top of the pass the route was heading straight North, and the cross-wind whipped across with a vengeance, this time from the left, lashing me with rain. For about a mile, I had to walk with my left eye shut as to keep the stinging rain out of my eye! Fortunately, it wasn’t too long till we began to descend again and the lights of Tibbie Shiels’ Inn at the Western end of St. Mary’s Loch came into view.
From here on, I had walked or run all of the route – admittedly some of it more than 20 years ago, in daylight and in the other direction! Neverthless it felt like I was on the home stretch. While the total distance to the next checkpoint was 18 miles, the loch was only 3 miles long, then Julie was planning to meet me where the SUW crosses the A701. From the end of the loch, the route crossed a very wet field before finally reaching the road, where Julie was waiting, which was a great boost as it was now around 3am!
Still moving pretty slowly, I had been caught and passed by a couple of runners since the last checkpoint, but I caught up with one of them again on the climb up from the road. The trail was indistinct on the hillside among lots of sheep trods and the waymarkers were quite widely spaced. I was able to follow the route pretty well thanks to a good head torch and my watch, but the guy would head off ahead of me, veer off course, search around a bit, and then catch up with me again. This happened two or three times before reaching Blackhouse and a clearer path up through the woods. The sky was beginning to lighten, but I must have been pretty tired as I logged my slowest mile of the entire route. The grass was glistening with pre-dawn due and my eyes started playing tricks on me. I remember seeing a sheep that turned back into a tree-stump as I passed. Fortunately, it was dawn before too long, and emerging from the trees onto the open hillside I was able to turn off my light. The next few miles are a gradual, grassy descent, followed by a good road into Traquair. this should have been quite runnable but the pain in my feet had reduced me to a walk. I tried a little run on reaching the road, but soon settled into a tired shuffle! Julie met me half a mile or so from the checkpoint and we walked in together.
One of the runners ahead of me was in pretty bad shape and had been asleep at the checkpoint and headed off as I arrived. At least one other also abandonded the race at this point. I had just a short stop for more supplies to last me the next section, but not before having a really weird visual hallucination – the pattern on the floor of the toilets turned into dancing animals and nothing I could do would make them stop… definitely time to get a move on!
Traquair – Fairnilee (CP8): 9 miles
It was now about 5am in the morning, and although I was tired, the sun was up and a bright day was dawning as I headed up the Minch Moor. Reaching the top, I tried again to get into a running rhythm, but my feet were so sore that I was basically just swinging my arms, but not moving my feet any faster than just walking. Annoyingly, my legs seemed to have got a bit of a second wind, but my feet were stopping me making use of it. At least there was less than 15 miles still to go! Between Brown Knowe and the Three Brethren I was caught by another runner – he was a local from Melrose and we walked and talked for a mile or so which helped me keep my pace up. As the route turned downhill again he sped off into the distance and I hobbled behind – I was actually faster on the flat than I was going downhill. I managed to find a reasonably sturdy stick to use, which helped take the weight off my legs, but the descent down into the Tweed valley seemed to take a very long time indeed. A quarter mile or so along the road led to Yair Bridge, where Julie was waiting – with an ambulance and two parademics! I know I wasn’t doing too well at this point, but still that was a bit insulting 🤣 In fact, it was just a coincidence and they weren’t there for me, or so they said!
Over the bridge, the final checkpoint awaited at Fairnilee hut. I had been here many times for kayaking trips and slaloms when I was younger, but it had undergone major renovations from how I remember it! I grabbed a bench outside and Julie helped to strip off my waterproofs and hat – it was mid-morning and the sun was shining now. One last chunk of watermelon and I was off, munching on another home-made energy bar.
Fairnilee – Langlee (Finish): 8 miles
The final leg of the race is 8 miles according to the nominal checkpoint distances, in fact I had passed 100 miles already and only about 6 miles remained. I was also aware there was another runner closing in – only a mile or less behind as I headed up and over Hog Hill and down the Gala Policies. Again, I was able to find a good solid stick to take the weight off my feet, but despite my best efforts, the going was still slow. Julie and Rhona had driven round to meet me where the route passed by Gala swimming pool, she made the mistake of asking how I was doing – the answer is not printable!
Armed with another energy bar, I headed off up past Gala Academy for the final climb of the course. The sun was really beating down at this point and it was getting properly hot. Quite a few Sunday morning runners were out and about, and were amazed to hear that I’d covered over 100 miles. One asked how I was doing and I said my feet were killing me. They produced some sticking plasters, but I think at that point I needed a new pair of feet! On the last descent from Gala hill back down towards the Tweed, the runner who had been following me zoomed past, running strongly now with less than two miles to go to the finish.
Reaching the river at Boleside, I had a little over a mile to go. A quick check of the tracker showed that the next runner was still the other side of Gala, so a top-10 finish was safe! The climb up Winston Road seemed to take forever, and I stopped to take a quick photo at the last SUW way-marker of the day as it turned right towards Tweedbank. A few hundred metres more and Julie was waiting at the Langlee road. The road is quite wide at that point, fortunately there was little traffic as I shuffled across and up the steps. Turning the corner at the top, the Community Centre and the finish flags came into sight. I even managed a little bit of a run (Laura was pointing a camera at me!) and enjoyed a great flood of relief as I crossed the finish line. Ultra Scotland 100 was done – 9th place overall, with an official finishing time of 29:03:10, my longest run (by duration) ever!
It was only short distance in to the community centre, where I could finally sit down and see what the damage was to my feet. Shoes came off OK, but my feet were so sore I had to have my socks cut off! Inspection revealed big blisters on the inside of both heels (I hadn’t even noticed them while running!), a fairly bad set of maceration and blisters on the balls of both feet and my toes, various abrasions on my toes, plus a nice angry red swelling on the front of my left ankle! Within minutes everything had stiffened up, so I was glad when Julie drove the car right to the entrance and I could be whisked off to get cleaned up, and get some sleep. Originally we’d both been looking forward to me finishing early in the morning, several hours sleep and then Sunday lunch at my parents’ – in the end we asked for lunch to be delayed till 2pm and both got an hour of sleep, although my legs hurt too much to do anything but lie face down on the bed!
Over the next couple of days I did my best to keep my legs (especially the left one) elevated, but both my feet and lower legs swelled up – Julie was amused to point out that I’d developed a good pair of ‘cankles’! It took about a week for the swelling to go down, by which time all the blisters had hardened up. I managed a couple of short walks during the week, but it was a full 12 days before I was ready to try a couple of tentative miles running. The ankle is still a bit twingy from time to time, but there doesn’t seem to be any lasting damage and I’m looking forward to getting some more miles in again soon.
Every race of this sort of distance is a learning experience, with its own unique challenges. Looking back what went well, and what could I learn from? Starting with the positives:
- Crew – Julie and Rhona were brilliant throughout, they had pretty much everything I needed and contributed to me spending as little time as possible sitting still (not much more than an hour over 7 crewed checkpoints). I think I even managed to be nice to them – and mostly hide how much I was suffering for the last 30 miles or so!
- Food and drink – despite the mid-race puke, I count this as a success. I managed to eat a good variety of foods, including my new favourite salty snack “Love, Corn”, as well as the usual dozen or more SIS gels, dried fruit, honey roasted nuts, jelly babies, Chia Charge bars, watermelon (of course) and several home-made energy bars (we’ll share the recipe soon!). I also tried SIS GO energy powder for the first time on an ultra and it seemed to go down well.
- Navigation – the SUW is well marked throughout by wayposts and signs. Combined with having the course on my watch and knowing the last 20 miles of the route I made no mistakes of any consequence.
- Clothing choice – as the forecast had been quite grim a few days beforehand (with “Feels Like 0C” promised on some tops), I had been thinking about wearing full leg tights and a winter base layer. In the end I opted for shorts and a thin base layer under a short-sleeved top. I had my jacket on for about an hour or two during the day, and at night I put on overtrousers, a warm hat and gloves with waterproof mittens. I could have done with taking my overtrousers off at Traquair, as it was quite warm by the time I got to Fairnilee but it didn’t make any real difference overall. I never felt significantly cold at any point – all good!
- Training and preparation – Since the backyard ultra in April, I had made a sensible recovery, averaged over 50 miles a week with a good mix of speed work (including a 10 mile race), longer and hillier runs. I even managed a good taper, mixing in some hill walks to keep my legs in shape. I don’t think I could have done much more to be in good shape at the start of the race!
What could be improved:
- Footcare – while the sore ankle definitely slowed me down, I”m not sure there was much I could have done to avoid it. However, I should have taken the time to stop and change my socks and possibly shoes at Moffat, if not earlier. The first half of the course was quite wet underfoot in places and contributed to the blistering and maceration that made running too painful later on. Next time, fresh socks and talcum powder will be worth a try!
- Pacing plan – Aside from slowing down once I couldn’t run, I think the fact that my legs still felt relatively fresh towards the end was a sign that I didn’t go out too fast at the start. Still, the schedule that I’d set up turned out to be unachievable as I simply didn’t give myself enough time between the CP4 (A702) and CP5 (Moffat). I need to take more care to consider the climbs and terrain, not just the average elevation gain on a section.
In the middle miles of the race I’d been having some pretty low moments and was ready to cancel all my upcoming race plans and stick to marathon racing – it might be hard work but at least they only last 3-and-a-bit hours! Two weeks on, I’m feeling much more positive and looking forward to more ultra distance adventures. Ultra Scotland 100 was my first GB Ultras event, and they did a great job putting on a fun, challenging and memorable event. Thanks to the organisers and all the volunteers, marshals and everyone else involved in holding the event. Whether or not I’ll come back for another try at the race to get down to the magic 24 hour mark I’m not sure. For now, we’ve volunteered to help at Race Across Scotland in August, which follows the entire 215 miles of the SUW from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath. Maybe one for next year?
Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down for some more manky feet pics (you have been warned)!