Clyde Stride

Written by Lee Perry | Published on 13 July 2013


Categorised in: race, ultramarathon

The weather forecast for raceday for the week prior indicated that Glasgow and Lanark should both be overcast and cooler, but this changed on the Friday to indicate a sunny morning and cloudy afternoon. In truth neither was correct, the sun was relentless all day.

I stayed in Milngavie before the race, hopping a train into Partick where I picked up some tea and toast for breakfast.

I went into this race aiming for around 6 hours, but expecting to tail off towards 7. The first segment of the race along the riverside from Glasgow went pretty well, and I was glad that I had made a last minute switch into road shoes, with a 9 min/mi pace and a swift drop bag changeover at CP1. The terrain changes after the first checkpoint, leaving behind the tarmac and running through grassy fields with a narrow track and less certain footing. On another day this section would have been lovely, but I found the heat unbearable, and the pace began to drop off.

My stop at CP2 took somewhat longer as I refilled my camelback and added extra water due to the heat, taking on with a full 2L, having run out shortly before that checkpoint. The route then runs through a country park alongside a resevoir, which again was lovely, but the route was entirely open here and the heat unbearable. Some shade appeared after this stretch though, and upto around mile 25 was ok before struggling into CP3 at around mile 28, where I added in another couple of litres.

Going through CP3 I had pretty much committed to finishing, and again between miles 28 and 31 there was some uplift in pace before approaching the road through a village where I acquired even more water at the shop around mile 35. The next 3 miles were spent walking, I had a sit down shortly after leaving the road as I lost control of my core temperature again, recovering sufficiently for a slow jog into New Lanark in around 8:10.

Feeling pretty rough at the end of the race I was pretty quick to blag a lift up to Lanark station, where I could not believe my luck when the Milngavie train was on the platform. Unfortunately though the train was cancelled at Wishaw adding another hour to my journey, compounded only by the Beef Eater at Milngavie having sold out of T-Bone steak some days before.

Some reflections:

1: With retrospect I would be tempted to change shoes at CP1. Although the entire trail is fine in road shoes I felt more penetration than I would have liked at times, and longitudinal friction within my road shoes resulted in blistering to the inside of both heels.

2: I didn’t lose control of my core temperature in the same way that I did at the Cateran Trail Race, but I still have plenty of heat work to do.

3: I need to take some positives from finishing the race in difficult conditions where it would have been far easier not to!

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