Saturday, 22 August 2009

Wilderness Challenge

Poolewe village hall, as the finishers gather for the feast.
A tired but happy Margot at Strath seafront after the effort.

Saturday dawned wet & extremely windy, following a night of the same. Warnings were issued on Friday night that the 25 mile course would probably have to be altered, as the swollen rivers would be uncrossable. This proved to be the case - a huge disappointment to many of the 25m runners.

We lesser mortals, doing the 13 mile course were unaffected, or so we thought. The path from Drumchork out to Fhionn loch was wet in most places, hiding deep puddles at times, testing stuff. The fun came as we got to Bad Bog - not named without cause! Following the painstakingly laid markers wasn't difficult; but judging the depth of the bog was impossible - well, until you stepped on it............ Several times, I was over my kees in the dark, brown stuff, feeling the pull on my calf muscles as I tried to extracate myself from the clag. Cramp threatened a couple of times but thankfully, didn't come to anything.

Andy's smiling face at the end of the bog, as he once again took his stance as marshall, was a welcome sight.

5 more miles of tracks seemed an easy option after what had gone before, but the bog had taken it's toll & my hopes of finishing in under 2 hours receded. The sun was out & the heat was on, wind was gone but thankfully the midges didn't show (yet - I was told by others doing the 13 mile walk, that they were plagued by them later in the afternoon).

2h & 16m was my tally as I crossed the finish line to the sound of drums & bagpipes - quite an emotional moment & one of which I'm proud!

Thanks to all who supported the runners around the course & at the finish.

Also, to the miriad volunteers who make this such a wonderful event. Hope that the money raised surpasses last year's grand total of more than £220,000 & grand total of over £2 million since the first run in 1986.

No comments: