Stride is a new race on the ultra marathon scene. It starts at Partick
in Glasgow and finishes 40 miles later at New Lanark, mostly following
the route of the Clyde Walkway in between. It's almost entirely
flat with just a few bumps near the end, and there's quite a lot
of road and hard path surface in the first 30 miles so road shoes
were possible throughout. As such it's an ideal race for a first
attempt at an ultra so there were quite a few first timers on the
start line. Five Carnethies took part with Lucy Colquhoun finishing
first lady and second overall. Well done! I was next in with 6:52:18
followed by Steven Mcfarlane 6:52:21, Gregor Heron 6:52:23 and Andy
Just under 100 runners toed the line at Partick, and after a quick
word from race organiser Lee Maclean we were off, very quickly settling
into a pace that was a bit faster than our planned 10 minute miles.
Initially Steven, Gregor and myself were in a group containing a
few seasoned ultra runners, with Andy up ahead in another group.
However as we made our way through Glasgow and out into the countryside
the field thinned and the four of us were left with just one other
runner, who thankfully had previously recce'd that section. The
first checkpoint was 10 miles into the race at Cambuslang and here
we collected our first drop bag which contained far too much food.
A quick refuel and we were off again, heading for CP2 at Strathclyde
Park. This section was mostly through fields or wooded trails with
a short section of road prior to Strathclyde Park. CP2 came and
went and so did our companion Lawrie as he succumbed to the pace.
Andy had ran on ahead at CP2 and it was a few miles before we caught
up with him. A quick chat and bit of walking to refuel and we were
off and running again. Andy decided to drop the pace a bit here
so we left him with a view to meeting up again further upstream.
We were now running at a very steady pace and feeling good, in fact
too good given that Steven was now into uncharted territory in terms
of time on the hoof! By CP3 at Mauldslie we were on home turf and,
barring any major incidents, looking forward to a finish that was
well ahead of our initial 8 hour target. However, the hardest section
lay ahead so we kept the pace steady and started to walk on the
short climbs that were encountered. One of our friends met us at
Crossford to give some encouragement and then we met up with 'Tinto'
Ken MacDougall who had ran down from Lanark to accompany us on the
final miles. We were still going strong at Kirkfieldbank and passed
a few runners who were now walking. Although the race finished at
New Lanark the route actually went through the village then took
us on a mile loop upstream to finish back in the village at the
SWT picnic site. As this was our first ultra we were pleased to
finish still feeling strong in a time and position much better than
we had dared dream of. We waited for Andy to come in then headed
for a well earned pint up in Lanark.
This was a great day out and would recommend it for next year. There
was something aesthetically pleasing about leaving a city and heading
into the countryside,
where the scenery got better as the race progressed, and also the
fact that we were essentially running home!
Full results and details on www.clydestride.webnode.com