Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Moorfoots at the WHW Race

Well done to Paul Nichol for completing the West Highland Way Race (all 95 miles !!!) in 30:45 (hours: mins) - fantastic effort....!

At 6.45 am on Sunday the 20th June two Moorfoots ran into the Nevis Centre in Fort William. It was the end of 95 mile West Highland Way Race which had started at 1m on Saturday morning.

For one of the Moorfoots Richard Leeson it was the first time back on the course since completing the race in 2008. For the other Paul Nichol it was his second time on the course have assisted Richard in 2008 when he completed the race. The other two intrepid support crew members were Douglas (Dougie) Tait and Chris Downie.

The WHW race is a journey of endurance starting at Milngavie in the North of Glasgow via Drymen, up the side of Loch Lomond by Balmaha, Rowerdennen, Inversnaid, Bhein Glas Farm and then on to Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe Ski Slope, The Devil’s Staircase, Kinlochleven finishing at Fort William.

The 1am start was amazing because of the atmosphere but already tiring because I had been up since 6am. By the end of the race I had been awake for 55 hours which does some amazing things to the brain i.e. Hallucinations.

All started well for my planned 24 hr finishing time. I even got told off by my crew for going too fast. As the day drew on and the temperature got up running became harder and because I was on my own for some of the way really boring. Fortunately from Auchtertyre Farm before Tyndrum I could be accompanied by my crew and simply having a conversation made a big difference. When the night set in at 12 midnight at the top of the Devil’s Staircase fatigue was becoming a big issue and Douglas was having to put up with my continued whining of ‘are we there yet’. There in this case being Kinlochleven. At Kinlochleven Richard took over and we pressed with him trying to keep me awake by playing I-Spy. I am now officially the worst player unable to get Sky ‘S’ and Hill ‘H’.

At Lundavra it is 7 miles to go so spirits were lifted with strong coffee. Most of the last 7 miles were run and there was a tear in my eye (literally) as I came out of the Breveheart car park at Ft. William and I said to Richard ‘I’m going to make it’. The last 100m were a sprint – who know why and I finished with a glug of malt whisky.

It would not have been possible without my crew who I salute.

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