Glenmore 24hr Race: 105 miles – phew (and ouch!) :-)

09 Sep 2014

105 miles – phew (and ouch!) :-)

:-) Glenmore 24 – the craziest, funnest, scariest, most challenging thing I have done.
:-) Finished the 24 hours with 105.47 miles, so got my target of 100 miles AND kept going for the whole 24 hours
:-) Had a fab time meeting up with friends, Harmenies and Fetchies (friends from before, during and after the race.
:-) Amazing organisation and support from Bill and Mike Racing Events, all their helpers, marshals, volunteers and from all the other participants and crews.
:-) Very lucky to have great support from Keziah who decided to be my crew for the weekend, without my asking – took me up on Saturday morning, fed me and shouted at me through the day and some of the night, ran last 16 miles with me and kicked my b*tt to keep me going. Star. Star

Hailstones left somewhere for beers to cool, at least!

But left it incredibly wet and led to many issues for many runners (can’t be much fun for support crews either!)

How was it?
:-) Harder at the “start” – first 6 hours I hoped for 36 miles, to be averaging 10 min/ mile including stops. Only managed 32 miles at 11 min/ mile. Think I had 2 or possibly 3 big (sorry!) loo stops (thank goodness for loops/laps and portaloos). Just the horrid food etc? Ate pasta, cakes, fruity bars.
:-) Slower 6pm to midnight than I wanted too – 14 min / mile vs. 12 min/ mile target? Felt really sore from 30 odd miles, just shuffling after that, barely running, except the downhill, where I could still push. Started taking painkillers from 9pm, which def helped. Ate shepherds pie
:-) Midnight – 6am, didn’t slow down much more 15 min / mile. Garmin died at 16 hours about 1 mile into 4 mile lap, so it lost 3 miles, but just averaging those out, I think the average pace is right. Didn’t enjoy “sleep deprivation”. Felt like I was sleep running. Glucose and caffeine tablets helped. Was sick of sweet food. Was made fresh filter coffee by another lovely support crew (Keziah went to bed about 1am!). Coke was good. Totally forgot I had Red Bull with me, brought it home again. Tried a caffeine gel, the ones I have used for 5 years in marathons. Closest to boak that I got on the day/night. Chucked it after trying to get half down!
:-) 6am-finish (midday Sunday). Didn’t slow down to 20 min/ mile walk, but kept the run sections going where I could. Pleased with this. Partly determination, because I knew it was touch and go, and partly *ss kicking from crew and friends. It worked! Lucozade, FGS shakes, grapes. Got the hooter at lap 25 and 100 miles at about 10:30. Could cheerfully have sat down. But wasn’t going to! One more big lap, then onto the “mini-laps” (this is how they keep everyone in sight for the last 1 hour, only 25 mins for me, as I went out and did another 4 mile lap in 1:05 or something) Did about 6 mini laps = 1.5 miles in the 25 mins? Great atmosphere (lots of cheering – santababy was awesome, Loon Dod working hard lap counting etc.)

Very happy to get the hooter at 100 miles. My super impromptu support runner, Keziah. Star

Then the final hooter. 24 hours. All done. And I was done. Completely! I got shoes off. Feet lacerated (hadn’t changed shoes or socks, despite the very wet conditions – we had torrential rain and even heavy hail stones). Walked to car. Keziah gave me dry stuff to change into. Fell asleep in front seat of car. Tried to get out for prize giving, but couldn’t stand, so was put in chair in medical tent. I was fine, just tired and sore. Woose!

I’m under that foil blanket – and I’m not giving the finger, I’m holding a plastic cup of Irn Bru, which I didn’t want!

Notes for later:
No cramp (had about 20 Succeed S-cap electrolyte tabs – don’t know if it was that, or real food, or salty crisps, or just because not running hard and no intense movements. Or better trained? But I’ll take them again, just in case!)

Err… see part 2 for food, approach, kit, support etc. later.

Thanks so much to all the wonderful marshals, organisers, volunteers and supporters. Great experience. And all the clubmates for help, advice and support too of course. Ready for WHW in June 2015 now!

Part2: Glenmore 24 hour race – the aftermath (or tips, if you’re thinking about doing this stuff yourself!) :-)

So this is just notes about food (etc.) for me to refer back to later. You probably don’t need or want to read this! (*Update – oh, health warning, these are my observations and what worked and didn’t for me. Please don’t take as gospel. Don’t even take as particularly well informed. I read a lot and listen to a lot of others. But this was my first 24 hour, so zilch experience. And especially the drugs bit, go carefully there. Doc runners have said, “Noooooo, don’t recommend painkillers.” So caveat pill-takerer, as the Romans say. sprout)

:-) Prep
:-) Used
:-) Went well
:-( Went badly
:-) Changes

:-) Prep
Was a bit stressed about packing and travel. Then I was getting a lift and wasn’t sure if that was better or worse! I had booked hotel for the Sun night (night after the race) but didn’t have a tent for the night of the race. Tent would only be required if I couldn’t run, so I was ignoring it! Raspberry! As it turned out a gazebo, to keep the kit dry, would have been useful!

Packed into 2 x 32L under bed storage box things (£4 from Tesco – google ’em!) for dry stuff, 1 x collapsible basket for food/packets, flasks and containers. Collapsible table to put it on (wallpapering one! Proper camping one would be better). Didn’t bring chair as Keziah had two (didn’t need it in the end – go me!) Umbrella was useful to put over stuff, proper gazebo would have been better.

Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia ~ HG Wells Clothes: packed 2 t-shirt, 1 vest, 1 long, spare hat and gloves, 3 spare pairs trainers, spare socks, undies, buffs, shorts, longs, waterproof trousers (no spare jacket – I don’t have another one). Put out to wear: t-shirt, micro fleece, jacket, u nder shorts, shorts, socks and shoes. Hat and gloves and buff in bum bag. What, you want to know brands? Hoka Rapa Nui 2 shoes, Thorlos socks, Adidas undies, Brooks shorts trail (pockets), no brand t-shirt and fleece, Montane H2O jacket (no longer properly waterproof!) Odlo hat and gloves. Spares included old Hoka Rapa Nuis, old Inov-8 Flites (in case comfy required), Inov-8 X-talons (in case grip required), Gore longs, club vest etc.
Ding dong! Kit: packed 4 head torches (!!), ultra vest and bottles, foil blankets, power banks, charger, pins, painkillers (cocodamol 8mg codeine, 500mg paracetemol), caffeine tablets (Tesco’s own – like ProPlus but with glucose too), Succeed s-cap electrolyte tablets, sun cream, midge repellant, midge net, micropore, plasters, sunglasses, sun visor, bite cream, savlon, vaseline (x3!). Foil blanket, whistle, compass, phone in bum bag, headphones, GPS on wrist. Brands? Garmin 310xt GPS, Alpkit and Petzl headtorches, Ultimate Direction PB vest and bottles, Inov-8 Race Pro 4 bum bag (bladder removed).
snack Food/drink: Flask coffee, food flask shepherd’s pie, pasta salad, 4 yoghurts, grapes, apples, bananas, crackers, cakes, fruit bar soft, choc bars, gels, mints, 8 bottles water, 4 Lucozade, 4 Red Bull, 4 iced coffee drinks, 2 Cokes, 4 banana milkshakes. Carried polos, apple, 2 bars and water. And bottle of fizz for 100 mile point.
chaffinch Other: change of clothes, towel, toiletries, wallet, swim gear, undies, dry trainers (comfy shoes – Inov8s Joopsy, for everything!), shirt, t-shirt, jeans, hoody, sleeping bag.

:-) Used
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia ~ HG Wells Clothes: didn’t change a thing! What I wore up on the drive and at the start, I finished in. I discarded bum bag after 1 lap (mrs shanksi’s recommendation – thanks hun!). The spares were necessary to have there as backup, but I never needed a thing.
Kit: Alpkit headtorch, second set of batteries (from the Petzl – was just easier to store them in another head torch!), powerbank Ding dong! and charge clip for Garmin (see previous blog for how that worked). Didn’t consume/change anything other kit, I don’t think. Oh, Vaseline. Lots, used more than 1 tub, reapplied after each loo stop!
snack Food/drink: Ate the hot food and drink, the pasta salad, lots of cake and fruit bars, one or two Lucozade, half a gel, one iced coffee drink, 2 Cokes, 2 banana milkshakes, some brownies, some grapes, 2 apples, a banana, 2 packs polos/mints, took 10 cocodamol, 8 caffeine and glucose tabs, 20 Succeed S-caps. Also had For Goodness Shake and extra coffee provided by Keziah as I was looking grey at end. Forgot my own Red Bull, foam bananas and various other snacks.

:-) Went well
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia ~ HG Wells Clothes: all great, as I didn’t change! Pockets are particularly useful! By 16 hours feet were mashed, but seemed no point changing. It was so wet, wouldn’t have helped. I emptied 1 sock / shoe out of water, sand etc. But to be honest, wasn’t any better after. Think I just wanted excuse to stop! Layers (fleece and jacket, gloves and hat) are great cos you can go down to quite cool and zip up to quite warm, without stopping. I was actually cold through early on during heavy showers but was warmer after some sun, then fine overnight even though going more slowly. Don’t know why. No chafing, except bum by end after I’d forgotten to re-Vaseline after a final loo stop. Only 4 hours of discomfort – didn’t care by then! Rapa Nui 2s were great – loads of protection. Kicked a tree root twice and didn’t damage toes. Enough grip even on wet grass loops at end.
Ding dong! Kit: Fine – Garmin died at 15:45 hrs (see previous blog) surprised that it didn’t warn me earlier. Maybe it did and I didn’t notice? Headtorch (Alpkit, £15!) fine. Batteries flickered but survived the rest of lap, replaced easily enough. *Update: forgot about music/headphones – these weren’t used at all. I thought I might need something to keep me going, but to be honest, chatting to people and with only 2 miles between start/finish and the half way checkpoint, there really wasn’t much chance for music or stories. And sometimes I just sang instead! Cocodamol was awesome. Started 9, then 12, 3, 6 and 9 roughly. A bit too many, but I’m bigger than a small person, so it certainly wasn’t overdose risk. I never felt “high” or buzzy, it was just enough to numb the pain. Caffeine tabs seemed to perk me up. Got no cramp, so Succeeds will be used again. No idea if it was them or the food, or just the gentler terrain, but no cramp was a blessing!
snack Food/drink: Well, most of it was ok, but Keziah will tell you I didn’t eat enough. I couldn’t eat much more than I did, I felt like I was full the whole time. My tiredness and low energy says otherwise, but how to get more calories in? I was taking on the highest cal stuff you can imagine, and real food. Anyway, more to do here, but mostly ok. I really liked: apples, grapes, crackers, cakes (at start). I was less keen on shepherd’s pie, sick of cakes by end, couldn’t take my gel at all. Banana milkshake was good. Iced coffee drink not so. Lucozade hard to take by the end. Mints – they were tops, freshens mouth, some calories in and keeps you drinking too. Kept my water and hydration going. Drank a lot!
chaffinch Other: there was no navigation in this race, so no need for map, navigation ability, route uploaded electronically or even for a compass. When sleep-running I did nearly miss one of the huge (A3 laminated luminous yellow sign with huge black arrow) turn left signs. One guy I spoke to did miss one and did an extra half mile. Not fun! :-O

:-( Went badly
Not much!
snack Food/drink: 3 or 4 big loo stops in first 6 hours was a bit unpleasant. Maybe inevitable because of slow pace and lots of food intake? I don’t really want to go the Immodium route.
Not enough food/calories? Was a def bonk early on, maybe 5 or 6 hours in. Try taking glucose tabs earlier?

:-) Changes
snack Food/drink: Fruity sweets maybe (I hoovered some Haribo at one of the checkpoints. Mind you, I had foam bananas and forgot to open them). Nuts, dried fruit? Try taking glucose tabs earlier?
Ding dong! Kit: Remember to take spare headtorch/batteries with you when using the main one. No point in the spare being at the next checkpoint if batteries suddenly fail half way there. It was *very* dark! Though WHW will be less dark. Powerbank earlier, to apply to Garmin. Trust that Garmin will stay connected (it did!)
Wouldn’t bother with bum bag in v. short distance between checkpoints. Carry the minimum you can. Though WHW is longer between checkpoints, greater variation of altitude (gets cold and hot more quickly), so will need something. Maybe swap about?

Star Support vs. it's time to play the music... Runner!
I had planned to do this unsupported. It’s laps, you’re never far from the start/finish and your food/kit doesn’t need transporting. Why do you need support? Well, let me just do a wee list for ya, cos I know you like lists, as much as I do:
Star How you gonna drive your car to your hotel after you finish (or worse, put up or down a tent or even get yourself into a sleeping bag) if you can barely walk? it's time to play the music...
Star You might think you are eating, but the person who sees you peck at a bit of salad with a fork, or come back with the same choc bar you left with knows you’re not eating. it's time to play the music...
Star No one kicks your b*tt moon as good as good support, no matter how tough you think you are on yourself. it's time to play the music...

So, once again, thank you, thank you, thank you, to my marvellous impromptu support Keziah . She kept me running for the last 4 laps, without which I wouldn’t have made the 26th lap for 104 miles and might not have made the 25 for the 100 miles. Star

chaffinch Other: change after was fine. Hotel fine. Remember a big coat, because you will be cold if you have to be outside. Had my swim gear but didn’t swim, too busy being sociable! Had plenty cash for shared meal / bar costs (saves a walk to a cash machine when you don’t want to be walking!) Bottle of fizz came home. No one fancied it at 100 miles at 10am on Sun morning after 22 hours out!

Right, that’s all I can remember. I’ll add as things come back. Gotta keep a record, cos if I can’t remember everything now, what would I remember come June 2015?!

Thanks for all your kind words and support. You rock!

🙂 G
And here are some *better* blogs…
…  gathering links to blogs about this year’s Glenmore 24 (24 hour trail race last weekend). There are some corkers.

RedWineRunner writes brilliantly, as does medalslut. The one from Grant MacDonald is inspiring (a brain haemorrhage earlier in year). They’re all funny and amazing. I’m going to add to this list. Keep coming back for more! :-) G

George Chalmers? – DeerRunner
Rhona MacKinnon – RedWineRunner
REDWINERUNNER – Glenmore 24 12 hour race
Rachel Piduti Williams – medalslut

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