Sunday, November 8, 2015
Another Saturday morning in November, another Glen Ogle 33 ultra. For some in the club, this has become an annual ritual, come rain or shine, and this year was no different. This year, we had six runners taking part - Paul and Wendy Taylor, Ruth Howie, Susan Saunders, Nicola Watson and Julia Greenlees. This was Paul first ultra, and Ruth's third in a month.
The race starts in Killin and has a nasty first few miles with a steep climb through the Acharn Forest before the first checkpoint at the head of Glen Ogle. Weather conditions for the first couple of hours were wet, but not too cold or windy, and nowhere the benchmark bad weather year of 2013, when it was truly miserable all the way.
From the head of Glen Ogle, the route crosses the road and follows the old railway down the glen passing above Lochearnhead to rejoin the minor road at Mhor 84 to Balquhidder. At this point, Ruth had a couple of minutes lead over Paul and Wendy, with a slightly bigger gap to the trio of Susan, Nic and Julia. Club support was out in strength, with the club's youngest supporter Cameron in attendance with mum Lynne and dad Andy Aitken.
At the next checkpoint at Strathyre, Paul and Wendy had swapped places with Ruth and appeared to be enjoying themselves - as much as you can after running for a couple of hours in the pouring rain. Susan, Nic and Julia followed a bit later, to be greeted by more club support from Donna, Myra, Lucy, Beth, Scott and Daniel, giving up his 15th birthday to support his mum. At this point, Susan was heard to say 'never again'. We'll see ...
More club support was present at the head of Glen Ogle, with Colin T on the lookout for compromising photo opportunities and Julia's husband Dave contemplating the warmth of Australia he'd been enjoying two weeks earlier. Positions remained the same to the finish, where we were joined by Liz and Phil and Tess, hotfoot from watching Dominic's rugby in Glasgow. Paul and Wendy pushed on strongly to finish in a very good 5.07, and looked comfortable at the finish. Ruth followed in 5.23, while the others came in a wee while later.
So, yet another epic Saturday. The race was won by Robert Turner, in a terrific new course record of 3.36.55, while the women's race was won by Charlotte Black in 4.17.30.