Running race 8:02:00  53.0 mi (9:06 / mi) +1886m 8:11 / mi
slept:5.0 shoes: Salomon ultra 4
The Highland Fling
The first 12 miles to CP1 were good. I was aware it was fairly fast, but it felt controlled and comfortable and I was chatting to people most of the way. The field then thinned out and although I passed/ was passed by a few people I was largely on my own for the rest of the race. Although I felt good running on the flat I became aware quite early on that my quads were going to play up. It started with just a general ache on the climbs then turned into a more severe ache/pain/cramp in the inner aspect of right quad just above the knee, and mid-front of left quad. It was largely just on the climbs, but would sometimes persist into the descent if there was a steep up immediately followed by a steep down. I did hike a few short climbs but it made little difference.
Although there were some showers early on, after CP2 (19miles) the rain was heavy and constant. I had a bit of a mental battle all the way along the loch-side - I was verging on being cold and questioning what an earth I was doing. At half way I was bang on my 2016 split. I basically had the choice to push on for a good time (which I knew would have been tough given the conditions and how my quads were feeling) or to relax and just go for the win. I decided on the latter. I wasn’t really enjoying myself and just didn't have the will to push hard. I think the second half of the course was a lot slower because of the rain, especially the technical loch-side section, and there were sections near the end where the whole trail were underwater. Aside from on the climbs I was still moving quite well and was feeling reasonably fresh until the last hour. Even then if someone had caught up with me I was quite confident I could have held them off.
No issues with nutrition. I had a spring gel approx every 20’ and just drank water from the CPs. My energy levels were good throughout. The drop bag system they had at the CPs was extremely efficient.
Despite immediately getting into a hot shower it took 4 hours sat in a heated tent in 3 down jackets and drinking tea to actually warm up. I wore 3/4 tights and used the muscle rub which was probably quickly washed off by the rain. I feel like it it would have helped in a shorter, dryer race. The post-race bit was actually a lot of fun and made up for the suboptimal running experience. I took the bus back to the start in the evening and slept in the van.