Sunday, 15 July 2012

Glamaig Race 2012 Report

Glamaig the day before the race
I just got back from Scotland and it was such a long journey (10 to 11 hours journey driving by car).
I don't really know where shall I start this post but let's go straight to the point about Glamaig Race 2012.
It started last year when a friend of mine emailed a website link about this race. I quickly googled about the race trying to find out as much information as I can get but none of them actually covered thoroughly about the race. There were a few posts on several blogs covered about the race in 2011 and 2010 but I didn't get what I wanted. I actually was looking for the hill's steepness level and the exact elevation as well as its distance. I saw a few blogs covered about these things but I don't think they are accurate enough for my expectation. In fact some of the information are inaccurate. So here's the report......

The day before the race.....

The day before the race I stayed at one of the B&B houses not far from the hotel where the race will start. I had a pre run to the top of the mountain and down just to familiarise myself with the path and surface. Actually there wasn't a clear path on the way up and down. So basically local knowledge is very important  to choose the shortest route. I had a chat with Robert who is my friend's builder. He was one of last year's runners and timed himself 1 hour 25 minutes. I asked him about the best route to go down and what sort of food did he eat before the race as well as types of shoes. He briefly pointed out the ascending and descending paths. Didn't get much info from him but as long as I know what way up and down, that's more than enough.

Pre run the day before the race
After a few minutes chatting with Robert McQueen my friend drove his car to a parking space which was not far from the hotel. I started my pre run from the  road probably a few hundreds meters from the hotel. First of all I started at the wrong turning point where exactly the race should turn the the bog path. Anyway, I  continued my fast walk just trying to familiarise myself with the path. A few minutes later I reached the hill and started my climb slowly. Then about 15 minutes later I realised the path was getting steeper and harder. But it was still okay although my breath was getting harder. I was trying to control my breath and would give a "full blast" after the first peak. The hill has two peaks but it looked like it had only one peak. After 45 minutes climbing I almost reach the fake peak and my legs were too weak to continue. I must say it was very tiring and very very hard climb. I pushed myself to reach the fake peak. At last after 5 minutes struggling I reached the fake peak in 50 minutes and took another 8 minutes to reach the peak of. Going up was really hard especially on the scree because the surface was very loose and not strong enough to support your body weight. So you think you did two steps but you move just not far from where you were. It was very cold and windy on top of the hill. In fact, there was very thick fog caused the visibility very poor. Thanks God I put my jacket on so it covered me a bit.

On my way down I went to the wrong direction. What I should have done is to go back where I came from then turn to the left. But what I did was completely rubbish because I just went straight to the other side of the mountain and ended to another mountain. Well, never mind at least I had some practice of scree running. It was not that difficult but must do it very carefully because a single mistake could hurt you a lot. It was very very steep so make sure you don't fall on the scree. If you do then the scree are very sharp and will cut your skin. Once you slipped or fall, you can't really stop yourself from sliding 10 to 20 meters. Anyway, I lost my way and I had to go around the hill to find my way back. I managed to find my way back after 30 minutes running along the river (or maybe just a little stream). I finished in 1 hour 44 minutes and according to my Garmin watch it showed 7.3KM. That was an extra 1.1KM from the actual distance.

The actual race begins here...

Dunvegen Castle Dungeon, Isle of sky Scotland
I woke up about 8.30AM and getting ready for my breakfast. I had yoghurt, sausages, eggs, mushrooms and  a tomato. My friend drove up to the Dunvegen Castle Dungeon and it has very interesting history. I liked all the silvers displayed in the living room and I like the swords from their chief officers. The most interesting part was the dungeon! It looked a bit scary and I can imagine someone's life being locked there for years. Must be very suffering!!!

About 12PM we went to the visitor centre not far from the hotel where the race will begin. I had soup of the day and a hot chocolate (and garlic bread of course). I felt quite okay actually but after I had my soup and hot chocolate I was getting nervous. Very strange but I tried to calm down. The weather was sunny in the morning until about 2 hours before the race. It was heavy rain and thick cloud covered on top of the hill made me think whether I should go for it or not. Luckily about an hour before the race the rain gradually slowed down but I still put my jacket on because I didn't really want to run to the mountain with cold wind blowing me. It was quite cold based on my pre run experience. So I left my jacket on with my number 119 on it. About 30 minutes before the race began, I was getting nervous and I tried to take it easy. I went to the toilet 3 times before the race.

A minute before the race, I was ready and was thinking to just follow the other runners. I took the last part of the other runners which wasn't a good decision. 30 seconds before the race everybody was nervous and I can hear and feel the other runners' nerves. Sharp at 3PM the siren was on and everybody was sprinting like they were having a 100 meters run. But I was quite relax and I just followed my pace. I was behind from many other runners. This year almost 200 runners and the highest number of participants (I think). The race started at the hotel and we had to run on the road for about half kilometre before the turning point to a muddy (bog) path for about 1KM before the real climbing began. Everybody was quite fast but I gradually overtook some of the runners one by one. But then I lost so many energy just after 200 meters from the climbing point. I slowed down and just follow my own pace. I did stop a few times and I felt my legs were to heavy. It was very uncomfortable fast walk. My hands were on my knees most of the time supporting my legs and hoping to increase my pace. But that was far to go to the top. So many professional runners were struggling as well and I can see many of them are fast walking uncomfortably. After about 50 minutes struggling I reached the fake peak and some of the runners were going down already and that time I realised I was way behind them. Many runners had overtaken me but I continued my walk after 8 minutes I reached the top in 58 minutes

The ascent has just began!!!

I'm running to the finishing line
From the top I thought time to give everything left! So I started with fairly good speed with my "jelly legs". I saw there were quite many runners running on the scree fairly slow and I said to myself this is my best chance to overtake many runners. I jumped from one path of the scree and just let myself slid and at the same time I was running like I never fear about the steepness of the hill. In less than five minutes I overtook more than 10 runners. I looked ahead and there were many to catch! I continued running on the scree on a very steep path until I reached the bog and managed to overtake another 10 runners. I one point, my legs were too tired and I accidently kneed the scree and cut my knee. I saw about 10 runners ahead me on the bog area. I speed up as much as I can and one by one I got them until on the main road there was another runner ahead about 50 meters. I tried my best to chase her and about 70 meters before the finishing line I got her and timed myself in 1 hour 20 minute 20 seconds, 6.3KM with 2450 ft elevation gained. I was 10 minutes late than my target. But I was happy considering only one week training before the race.

His (Alex) age is 60 ish but he's so tough. He's 6 minutes ahead me wow!! But I will catch him next year
Pointing my bleeding knee
I had 3 times running up and down cadair Idris mountain and 4 times running on the circuit at the university sport centre. It was not enough at all as I had very little physical exercise in the last 2 or 3 months. I was quite busy with my PhD research but I gave it a try for next year's experience. Now I know exactly the route and my stamina level for the race. I really need to do more training on a steep path. My next year target is to finish it under 1 hour 10 minutes.

Can you see the mountain behind me and my coaster as one of the finishers
Anyway...I did Glamaig hill race 2012 and I am happy with my time 1 hour 20 minutes 20 seconds with only 1 week training. It wasn't too bad considering myself as a PhD student with lots of workload on my research and additional projects from Malaysia. But I'll be back next year with much better stamina!!!

Glamaig hill race 2012 coaster
Glamaig Hill race 2012 steepness
P/s: After the race I realised my knee was bleeding, a few scars on my legs and blisters under my feet. So lots need to be improved!

1 comment:

kakcik said...

Cantiknya gambar yang paling atas itu. :)

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