Sunday, 7 July 2013

A Sprint Finish it Wis'ne

Noani, me and David

Wasn't sure last year if I was going to enter again this year as I had entered the UK Ironman in Bolton (my first ever triathlon except for a novice distance a few years ago)  which takes place in August. However I did enter, which looking back I entered on impulse rather than a carefully thought out decision, so when I got the e-mail offering me a place in the race I began to secretly worry about how I would pull off these two major events scheduled just 7 weeks apart. I decided then that I would need some help with my training if I were to combine the two disciplines, Ironman and Ultra's, so I called on the assistance of a personal trainer Karl Ziener to keep me on the right track. Both races rely on and endurance fitness so how hard could it be (lol)?? Most of the training was centred around the bike  and  this seemed to work well  as I completed the Fling and Cateran in decent enough times (well for me anyhow).  Karl had said that a strong bike leg would see me through and he was right. 
My place in the race had been secured for some months, however, come Fling time I still didn't have my race crew sorted.  David Hetherington thankfully stepped into the breach after deciding to pull
 his entry from the WHW  as he wanted to focus his training on the Mont-Blanc CCC which he is running in August.
We still needed another crew member and and luck would have it that I met Noanie Sam Heffron 
who came over for the Bute training run. She was keen to be part of the race and offered to be our 
runner. A big commitment for Noanie as she was already marshaling at Beinglas farm. 
The 21st of June was soon upon us and I made my way to the start line thanks to my friend and 
member if the 2011 support crew, Elaine Patterson, who fed me a delicious pasta dinner and 
dropped me off at Milngavie for 10.30pm. I registered in the church hall and met loads of familiar 
faces. There was lots of hugging, nervous laughter and excitement, all part and parcel in the lead up to a 95 mile run through the Scottish Highlands.
Noanie. Karen Robertson and Me before the start.
On retuning from registration David, Darren Barnes and Darren's support crew  Ray and Martin had arrived from Sunderland. David was just as nervous as some of the runners but I reckoned this a 
good thing as it meant that he was taking his crewing duties seriously!  We sat in the car and spoke race strategies and timings. Noanie appeared to say hello before heading off to Beinglas for a sleep in the car before her for marshalling duties began.
We all gathered round for the for Iain Beatties pre race talk. It was special this year as he read out 
Fiona Rennies good luck poem and I am sure that her words touched the hearts and minds of 
everyone. It wasn't long before I was on my way to my 3rd consecutive WHW race! I have learned by now not to think too far ahead and just focus on the next checkpoint so Balmaha here I come!. 
Darren and Me waiting for the 'Off'

Running out of Milngavie

The weather wasn't good and the general word on everyone lips was 'it can't get as bad as last year.' On 
through the night I went chatting to a few runners on the way. I met Brian Garry for the first time who I 
had chatted to on Facebook a few weeks ago about predicted finishing times. I had predicted that I would finish in 29hrs30 mins, but my main strategy at this point was just to get the head down and get through 
the check points in good time especially the earlier ones as the cut off times are tight until Bridge of 
Orchy. I was making good pace and got to Drymen in record time of just a wee bit over 2hrs. The Conic Hill came soon enough and up I went noticing how different the ascent was from last year which was like 
walking up a waterfall! It was misty going over the top but I was in awe of the Loch and its little Islands 
which appeared majestically out of the gloom. (One day I am going to come up here just to enjoy the 
amazing views!) I took it easy going down as I'm a big Scardie Cat when it comes to running the downs 
and I didn't want to damage anything so early on in the race.
I was chuffed to get to Balmaha in record time of 3 hrs 52 and I was welcomed in by Robin Wombill and Bill Heirs who both commented on how well I was doing. I met Martin who ushered me to the 
car.  David had the coffee ready in a few moments, the porridge was not far behind and like a real 
professional crew member he walked me out of the checkpoint  whilst I ate my porridge!  I met Carol Martin on the way out of Balmaha.  I thought, blimey, I must be running well to be keeping up with Carol but I knew it would not be long before I would fall behind her, which I did after I had to take a pee stop. By the time I came out of the bushes she was well gone and not to be seen again, until the end that is.

I made Rowerdenan in good time, 5hrs 48mins and feeling good but soaking wet right through. I 
could feel a bluster coming on one of my toes so I changed from road shoes into my Solomon Gortex trail shoes and dry socks.  I remember David promising hot food here to see he through to Beinglas 
and he produced warm soup, bread an coffee of course.  Off again and to Inversnaid the only real 
complaint on this section was the midges, as the stinging blister had eased off I somewhere into the back ground. 

At Inversnaid I stopped for only a few moments to slap on some midge repellent kindly supplied by 
Karen McKendrick. I had a quick bite to eat from my drop bag and took my banana with me. 
The next section to Beinglas is always difficult. You seem to forget just how tricky the route along 
the loch side is.  In the last two Flings I have had the good company of Fiona McDonald and Robert 
Kinnaird along this section. The chit chat and laughter in those previous races made this section go with ease. However this time I was on my own. A few runners came up behind and went on ahead. 
No time for chit chatting and I guess everyone needed to keep going or else be eaten by the midges.

I made it to be Beinglass in 10hrs 5 mins and I was pleased to hear  David saying that I was ahead 
of schedule. Noanie was there too and she wished me luck for the next section. Hot dog sandwich 
and I was off again walking at first and then picking up the pace a bit.
 Ada Stewart passed me just before the underpass and I made sure that I didn't let her out of sight 
as I know she would be keeping good pace. Through the Forest at Crainlarach and I eventually came down onto the the A82 crossing. I  hoped I would get across OK  as I was feeling a bit dizzy when I 
came to a halt at the road side.  I managed to keep jogging to the check point at Auchtertyre farm 
and arrived 12hrs 56 mins. I met David just at the gate, he showed me to the 'weigh in' with my card and I was pleased to have lost a few Kilos!! David produced the the best meal of the race which 
was simply tinned ravioli but it was delicious! I was starting feel the blisters stinging again and with help from David we applied blister plasters to my toes, change of top and I was off again. He said 
to meet  him at Tyndrum a few miles along the road just to check the plasters were still in place OK before heading up to Bridge of Orchy.

 I shuffled out of the check point and this is where I began to feel that dull nagging pain on the side of my left foot. I had felt the same pain on the Fling but had taken some paracetamols the pain went and I pretty much forgot all about it.  Therefore I felt confident that a dose of paracetamols would 
do the trick. I skipped along the riverside path to Tyndrum with my head phones listening to my 
favourite House Music tracks.  All was good in the hood, I had been fed, plasters on my toes, I was 
on time with my schedule and I had that  'Yipeee'   50 miles and I'm past halfway feeling!
On the way to Bridge of Orchy I met Amanda  Hamilton and Bob Watkinson running towards me. 
They were out for a 20 mile jaunt. Amanda said she would be heading up to Fort William later to 
take up Sports Massage duties. I said to Amanda that I would be looking forward to a massage 
myself after the race. Karen Robertson caught up and we had a bit of a chat. She said the medics 
were concerned she had lost too much weight but I thought she looked fresh, she was faster than 
me in going down the hill to the underpass and in no time she had disappeared  into the distance.

I arrived at Bridge of Orchy now 60miles in at 15hrs 43 still in good time, some hot food, change of 
top and headed up the hill.  Noanie was to join me and caught me up just as I recieved my Jelly Baby from Murdo on the top of his 'Jelly Baby Hill'. Noanie and I walked and skipped over the Rannoch 
Moor sharing stories and chatting about all sorts of things. The Moor was deserted and there no 
other runners, only a few walkers and guys on mountain bikes. The scenery was majestic but I found that if I tried to stop to look at it I became a bit dizzy but Noanie kept me going with her selection of coffee shots and gels. Disappointingly the foot pain did not ease at all with the Paracetamols and 
steadily the pain crept its way from a pain that you can shut off to a pain that keeps nagging at you and won't let up! 
Coming down into the Ski Centre and good luck Rainbow. (taken by Noanie)
We arrived at the Ski Centre in 19hrs 19min again still in good time and well before dusk!  (the last 
two years it was almost dark at this stage) Darren was there I was sorry to hear he pulled out at 
Bridge of Orchy due to Achilles Heal injury. Anyway he seemed to be in good spirits despite his 
disappointment. David Ross, who was supporting,  Dave Waterman and Martin Hooper came over 
for a bit of a chat and he and Noanie took some photos of a deer that had ventured off the Moor. It was here that Noanie produced the Mascot Chicken which I had not seen before now. I couldn't 
make out what she was showing me with my wonky tired eyes and the hallucinations were starting 
to set it. I looked like an onion goodness knows what my response was at the time!
At 80 miles this becomes confusing!
Anyway chaffing was starting to be an issue. I had been feeling it for hours  now and had managed 
to suffer it but enough was enough I had to sort it out! I had not been able to wear my waist belt for ages and  had slug it over my shoudler instead. My lower back where waist belt been resting and all round where my bra had been rubbing was causing a horrible stinging pain made worse by sweaty 
skin and a smelly top, so I went to the toilet for a quick change of upper garments.  I guess all the 
rain earlier had contributed to the mess I was in. I was so much looking forward to the shower at the end!! 
Before leaving the check point we agreed that the the foot needed some attention so I took off my 
shoe but we couldn't see anything wrong. I thought a change of socks might make me feel better 
and I put on my Injinji Toe socks with David's help of course. He's said at the start ' I draw the line 
at doing feet' but he was falling into the role of foot fixer upper quite nicely by now. 
Heading out of the Ski Centre wrapped up for night time
We left the Ski Centre fed and watered and headed off for the bottom of the Devils Stair Case. I 
necked some co-codamol curtosey of Noanie in the hope that they would work. Despite the foot I 
was feeling very chuffed with myself at this stage, as it still day light, and I knew that Fort William 
was now within reach, only 25miles to go!  Noanie and I deliberated over the name of the mountain at the bottom of the Devils Stair Case the 'Buachaille Etive' she guessed it right and took a photo 
and sent it to her dad. 
Guessing Game- Buachalle Etive

We met David  again for a coffee before the climb up the Devils Stair Case and another look at the 
foot which was getting plenty of attention by now! Noanie suggested I put on a support bandage 
and David the 'foot man' obliged with the bandage using all his nurse training skills! Bandage in situ we stomped up the hill. By now I was really starting to see things but  I knew it was just the 
tirednes setting in. We made good pace up the hill passing some runners and crews on the way. It 
must have been nearly midnight by the time we put on the head torches and only because it was 
getting misty. We passed Ada and her support runner, Susan Addison. We could hear Ada shouting ' I canny see a bloody thing' she'd forgotten her head torch!!
We shuffled down into kinlochleven in great time arriving at 23hrs 54mins.  David was sleeping and was startled to see us coming in. I remember saying to Noanie that I wanted to leave for 1am just a quick bite and go, but I felt fairly spaced out once I stopped moving and couldn't really tell David 
what I wanted to eat. He was feeling the same after just being woken up ! However he pulled 
himself together (thank goodness) and gave me specific instructions 'go and have your foot seen to by the doctor and I will make the porridge'! Dr Chris Ellis looked at my foot and said I might have a 
stress fracture! Well things just seemed to slow right down after that and we didn't get leaving until 1.40am.  I think that Kinlochleven has that effect on most of runners and crews. Most people had 
the same spaced out expression on their faces! By now my foot had stiffened right up making it 
painful even to walk but I was determined to carry on.
Me, Ray, Noanie at the top of the climb out of Kinlochleven

 Ray joined me an Noanie for the last section and David came with us up the big climb out 
Kinlochleven.  It was really dark now, it was raining and the next section over the Larig Moor took forever and a day. I was looking forward to meeting the cheery Mountain Rescue team but when we 
arrived at their tent no-one was there, kind of spooky where were they? We passed a few solemn 
looking soles on the Moor, one being Robert kinnaird. The tiredness seems to have that effect, you 
become withdrawn, less talkative and all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. There is no point in thinking about anything 'just keep moving'. The terrain on the rocky moor road was tough 
and not helping my foot at all. I began to feel really miserable and sorry for myself.  Its funny how 
you loose sight of the remarkable thing you trying to achieve.  The negative thoughts become more 
intrusive and thats when the mental battle begins!!  As we got near Lundavra Robert must have had a miracle burst of energy as he glided past us with his crew ! 

When we arrived at Lundavra Robert sitting by the fire and summoned me to join him but I decided 
to keep going. Not even the welcome sight of the fire could not entice me to hang around! I wanted 
to get this blooming race finished and maybe in under 30 hrs. I had a quick bite to eat and David 
came up 'that bloody steep hill' out of Lundavra with us wishing us good luck. He headed back we 
went onwards towards the forest. He had said to Noanie that we would make the Braveheart car 
park in something like 45 minutes but I knew there was no chance. The last 6 miles would be the 
hardest. All my negativity was centred around my foot and I couldn't think of anything else. The 
finish might as well have been another 95 miles away. We made it to the end of the forest and I had said to Noanie that come the fire track I might be able to shuffle it out but I just couldn't and we 
walked what felt like 'death march' down to the Braveheart car park and it seemed like an eternity. We met David there and he came the rest of the way with us. Down onto the road, it felt strange to be walking on concert again.  Robert caught up with us. I couldn't muster up even a shuffle my foot would not allow it. Robert walked with me to the door of the leisure centre and like a true gent he 
let me clock in before him.  We finished at last in 30hrs and 33 minutes. On the last 6 miles I  
promised that I would NOT be doing the race again.  3 Goblets was more than I could have ever 
imagined and I was more than happy with that. My calculations told me that I was 1hr up on last 
year but when I realised that I was 2hrs up I said to myself.... well maybe I will do it again next year!
Robert and I comming to the end at last!

The End!
The weekend did not stop there as there was the presentation ceremony, lunch, a super snooze mid afternoon, champaign celebrations with speeches in our hotel room followed by a visit to the pub in the evening with all the other runners before heading back to my wee Island on Monday. I might do  the race next year but if not I will support David but I absolutely  draw the line at doing his feet lol !!

I just want to say thanks again so much for all the efforts of my Super Support crew David and 
Noanie and also to Ray, Darren and Martin for a great weekend.
Picking up the Goblet
2011, 2012 and 2013

Thursday, 3 January 2013

It gets easier after 60 miles! (honest)

2012 started with the conditional offer to be an Olympic Torch Bearer for the 2012 London Olympics pending security checks and final approval which arrived via e-mail in March. It  all began in the summer of 2011 when some of the service users and colleagues at my work asked if I wanted to carry the Olympic Torch. I replied 'yea sure' but wasn't really sure what it entailed or how it would come about. It was explained to me that it was a nomination process and that they were looking for individuals who had made a difference to their local community. I work as a Mental Health Social Worker and had raised money for the Bute Link Club by running the West Highland Way Race (WHW) in 2011 and the lovely people at work, Christine, Lynda, and Tracey wanted to nominate me for my work and of course my running. I remember going onto the web site and looking at other nominations and thinking, there's no way I'll get picked. The other nominations came from  people who had achieved great things both in charity work and running and I remember thinking I wouldn't get a look in.

Towards the end of March I did my first Ultra of the year the D33 in Aberdeen. 33 miles which seemed like it should be OK given that it was only 33 miles (only haha). Well it was pretty tough and I put this down to lack of training. I had great company for the race and buddied Julie Taylor to Aberdeen and met Wee Grumpy Runners Fiona McDonald and Andy O'Grady at the start line. Fiona and I ran together although Julie being about 10 years younger, a much lighter on her feet, ran way out in front and finished the race in 5 hrs. Fioan and I caught up David Ross and his 'munckin friends' who were running in their first Ultra. Fiona and I finished together in 6hrs 20.

It was around this time that I received the conformation email that my place as a Olympic Torch Bearer had been confirmed. I was proud as could be and very excited to be interviewed by the local newspaper the, Buteman. I love talking about all my running exploits and had a wee chuckle to myself as I imagined, Craig Borland the journalist, ushering me out the door of his office hours later!!

April brought about the, Highland Fling, a 53 mile race from Milngavie to Tyndrum. This would be my third Fling and provide me with important training for the WHW race which was to take place in June. I met up again with my wee pal from Skye Fiona McDonald and had a wee bleather with the Magnificent Colin Knox at the start line.  We had both entered the WHW race and planned to run together in the Fling to see how we would match up over a longer distance. I'm glad I did because in keeping up with Fiona meant that I was about 30 minutes faster than the previous year. It was a great day with lovely weather  and we met Robert Kinnaird for the first time along Loch Lomond side. We chatted about running and stuff as we scrambled over rocks and tree roots. We ran past Colin a few times but somehow he managed to finish ahead of us and that's why he is called the Magnificent.

Around 40 miles we met up with Marianne Murphy and Rachel MacRrae who ran in to meet us just above Benglas. After the race we went to the Fling Ceilidh. I was pretty gubbed and the feelings of post race nausea quite intense but I managed a pint and a bit of a curry. Hats off to Fiona though as she jigged away to the Military Two Step with Rachel. Marianne and I headed back to Glasgow leaving Rachel and Fiona to share a freezing log cabin with Bill Heirs who entertained them with his stories of the Gobi Desert challenge which he did in 2009.

I had entered the Cateran Trail race which was to take place in May, however, I had convinced myself that I had a knee injury picked up on the Fling so I postponed my entry to 2013. I went to a physiotherapist but she couldn't find anything wrong with my knee and the pain just stopped as quick as it started. I put this down to pre WHW race nerves!! Anyway it seemed serious enough to cancel the Cateran.

The big day came on the 8th of June to carry the Olympic Flame. There has been another local girl, Jenna Speirs, who had also been nominated to carry the torch through her charity work to raise money for Calum's Cabin in memory of her twin brother Calum who sadly died of a brain tumour aged 12 in 2007. Calum's Cabin is a purpose built cottage in one of the local beaches where families of terminally ill children can go for some time away to have some away.

I  watched David Beckham and Princess Anne on TV who travelled with the Flame and brought it off the plane from Athens. It really hit me then the significance of what I was about to be doing. We travelled from Bute to Kilmarnock where I was to meet the bus that would take me and 24 other torch bearers along the route and drop us off at each of our starting points. I was number 75 and second last of the bus so I got to witness the whole route and see all the cheering crowds through the small towns of Aryshire.

I was dropped off in a small town of Beith and to start my 300 meter dash with the flame. The crowds in the street were amazing. I was snapped and photographed like never before. People shouting to get my attention for a photo, I felt like a real celebrity! All my family, Tommy's family, Marianne, Brendan and Lewis and people from work were all there as I waited my turn to run with the Flame.  I waited to light my torch  from the last runner, I went off to fast with all the excitement and it was all over in a few moments. I regret not taking things a bit slower. In the months afterwards I took the torch round some of the schools on Bute, attended Arran's sports day and was a guest of Honour at the Bute Highland Games with Jenna Speirs, Rhona Simpson Olympic Hockey Player, and Jane Ross Female Olympic Football Player.

My next race was the Jewel in the Crown of the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series, the almighty West Highland Way Race which is a 95mile footrace along the West Highland Way with a 35hr cut off time. This was my second time doing the race, the first being 2011. We started at Milngavie at 01.00 on the 23rd of June along with Fiona McDonald and around 175 others crazies.

 It was a hellish night and rained from the minute we set off and we had to endure heavy freezing cold down pours. Poor Fiona went over on her ankle just 2 miles in and had to pull out at the first check point at 12miles. She was gutted and I really felt for her as she has trained so hard. Fiona's disappointment combined with the teeming rain put me on a bit of a low mood and when I arrived at Balmaha to meet Tommy (hubby) and Rachel McRae my support crew I remember saying to them 'this is bloody hellish'. The midgies were intolerable and I was freezing cold and it was still raining. I changed my shoes, no point really as after 5 minutes my feet were soaking wet again. I was really feeling the cold, chaffing was becoming a major problem, I was at the back of the field and really struggled for the next 40 miles!I learned that around 50 runners so far had dropped out and that made me realise just how tough this race really was.

I met up with David Hetherington at Rowerdennan with his support crew Darren Barnes. He had dropped out due to an injury. If I had know him better I would have tried to encourage him to stay in the race a bit longer to see if he could shake of his injury, however, I stopped for a chat instead and pinched one of their chocolate biscuits.  At Inversnaid I met David Ross and his friend which I was pleased about as I realised that I was not on my own anymore at the back of the field. I arrived at Auchtertyre farm which is around 50 miles with only 10 mins to spare. With Fiona having to pull out there were plenty of support crew at hand to help. I was so cold everything ached and my legs had turned to led. I knew the rain had taken its toll, however, it eventually stopped by this stage only 14 hrs later!!I was weighed, fed and had complete change of clothes with the help of Rachel and my good friend Elaine who had been looking after Arran the previous night.

Despite the change of clothes and feeling a bit warmer  I couldn't pick up my pace. Poor Karen O'Grady who was running with me to Bridge of Orchy had to work really hard in keeping me moving. I had secretly been hoping that I would be timed out of the race as there were times when I didn't feel that I could keep going, however, deep down I knew was not going to give in! We met Andy O'Grady who had run in to meet us and literally pulled me along to keep me running for last mile to the check point to ensure that I made the cut off time of 7pm. Luckily Shaun Stone, AKA Lord of the Bridge, let me through!! What a relief to make it to Bridge of Orchy, despite the horrific midges and chaffing I was totally elated. I met the rest of the support crew and Arran who gave me a little lucky lady bird for my pocket. (its still there) I was utterly moved by everyone eagerness and enthusiasm to help me succeed and their commitment to my cause really helped to lift my spirits. A quick bite to eat, more Vaseline applied and I was good to go again. It was Rachel's turn to be my support runner over the Rannoch Moor. She was brilliant. She made me eat every mile and we 'jiggy joggied ' all they way to the Ski Centre. It got easier at this point. Funny to say that it got easier after 60 miles but it did, because that this point, I knew that I would complete my second WHW race.

Andy joined us at the Glencoe Ski Centre so after this is was just up the Devils Stair Case, where we met Robin Wombill, along the Larig Moor and down through the forest into Fort William!! I finished the race in 32hrs and 32 minutes which was 1hr 27mins faster than last year and my second Crystal Goblet!

On the Monday after the race I had my appointment with the Torch at, St Andrews Primary Sports Day, which of course was had an Olympic Games theme. I cheered on Arran in his running event, he was competing for India!!  He was third and I was so proud of him and hoped that some day he would take up running like his mum! 

Next race was the Devil of the Highlands in August, a 43 mile race from Tyndrum to Fort William which I managed to get a last minute place on the reserve list. The race would give me my second Tripple Crown, an unofficial title for completing the 3 WHW races. Thanks to Darren Barnes and David Hetherington who offered me to share their support team, Michelle and Andrea, a very refreshing can of beer at the end, not forgetting a much appreciated shower at their B and B before heading home.

In September I completed my second Glenmore 24 race, I love this race and had hoped to clock 100 miles after last years 92 miles. This race is informal and friendly.  Basically you run for 24hrs round a 4 mile forest trail in Aviemore.  I met for the first time Raymie Mackay from Aviemore who was running the 12hr race and we shared a few laps talking about running and House Music. All the gang were there, Fiona Rennie who was first lady with 109 miles, Pauline Walker, Colin Knox, Karen Robertson, John Duncan, Ray McCurdy, who this year totalled 100 Ultra's, Terry and Susan Addison and Shirley Colquhoun to name a few. Some of the marshals were Lee McLean and Julie Clark. The lap counter was Ada Stewart who shouted and cheered every time you completed a lap!! That’s the thing about Ultras you get to meet so many amazing people, not forgetting Bill Heirs and Mike Adams the race organisers. I arrived at the race with no support crew, as its not mandatory but recommended. I met Andy O'Grady who was running and he offered for me the share his support team who were Karen O'Grady and their son and daughter. Thank you again to you both. I didn't manage my 100 miles but was pleased with 86.4 miles. Around 3am my legs had turned to led and I had slowed down to a walk so I decided to get into the car and get under the sleeping bag for a few hours, and got back on the track again for around 7am. I was pleased for the race to end at 12pm and excited about staying on Aviemore for the night meeting up with Bill and the gang for a well earned Pizza and a few beers.

Last year I started cycling and purchased a road bike. This year I traded it in for a second had carbon framed bike which looks cool as! I  also joined the local cycling club the Bute Wheelers meeting up on a Tuesday evening for a 10m Time Trial with some of the guys Murray Doyle, Shaun Lyons and Mike Henry.  Each week  Iwas delighted to notice my times getting quicker, my fastest time being 29 mins and 40 seconds. The course has a hill and its and out and back race, so the turn and the hill slows things down a bit. On the 16th of September I competed at the Bute Race weekend competing in the 10 mile Time Trial and the Ladies 40 mile road race. I can say that there is plenty room for improvement in the old cycling, and was left for dust in the road race, however,  I did win 20 quid for being first in my age category but that's because I was the only one in my age category!! I put my winnings to a good cause and well earned curry for dinner! My interest in cycling has taken off just a tad and Fiona and I have entered the 2013 UK Ironman in Bolton which included a 112 mile cycle.

The last event of the year was to be the Glenogle 33 in November. I had entered this in 2011 and had my place deferred to this year. However this year pulled my entry again due to having a bit of a cold and my trail shoes having holes in them. I am so sorry that I did because on the Sunday after the race I got a message from Robin Wombill to contact, Bill Heirs, the race organiser which I did only to find out that I had won the Glenogle 33 Endeavour Award. Bill said that they had noticed at the races I had been at how I was always smiling, had time for others and had never give up attitude. Well you have no idea how happy I was. I called my Mum and Tommy straight away and for the rest of the day was on cloud 9. Of all the people and they chosen and they gave it to me, what a way to end 2012! The award came in the post a few days later and has pride of place next to my two Crystal Goblets! It will keep me going in 2013 when things get tough. I will just remember Bills words and the Award sitting on the shelf!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

First Blog wohoo!! Need to think of something interesting to say I guess.