I decided it was worth a shot. I made my way down to the shire staying with the Carrs the evening before. Their hospitality is legendary and I also picked up some new pre-race wisdom. Dean does a bit of pre-race meditation. An interesting approach which I believe helps your positive focus. Not sure what this has to do with a green bucket but it seemed to be an important part of Dean's pre race ritual. He took it with him in the car to the race.
We set of to Selkirk through the beautiful Borders countryside. The weather could have been better......the clouds were low and the drizzle steady. When we got there we were greeted by Laura who had been training hard for her home half and Mhairi who had quietly entered the half as well without as much as mentioning it to the coach..... A select five CAACers were to undertake this first running of the Selkirk Ultra, the Carrs doing the whole thing whereas us mere mortals were sensible enough to just do the half.
Before we went to start we had a final look at the map. It all looked fine and those tightly packed squiggly lines indicate some undulations, but hey how bad could these hills be. Local expert Laura warned us that this meant a pretty steep climbs and some technical decents. Then it was time to start. I ran with the Carrs for the first few miles. When the hills started they soon took off. I struggled up a hill which didn't seem have no end to it. For it only to be followed by a decent that had no end to it...... A challenging and incredibly scenic course taking in woodland, hills and some more rural idyll followed. All I can say this was a tough fourteen miler. I somehow got myself through it and even managed a top ten finish. How Gillian and Dean got themselves through double that distance I'll never know. They are absolute stars! This is a tough course and they didn't only finish Gillian was first lady and Dean picked up an age catagory win too. Brilliant just brilliant. Laura and Mhairi also did incredibly well to get themselves through this tough race.
This definitely is the race for you if you like the hills and trails. Susan you'd love it! To all Ultra runners, you are just absolutely brilliant! Just doing a half has given me some insight into just what it takes to be an Ultra runner......