Returning to Whitelee Wind Farm for it's 4th edition this year. That's right. It's Run the Blades. We've been keeping up with our ultrarunners (online we mean - not out on trail!) and have pulled together some blogs from over the years. If you're considering entering the big dunter in 2018, but want to hear some first hand experiences before committing, then read on!
2017 - Owain Williams, 4:07:18.
"I made my way down the final straight, trying to pick the pace up a bit and I crossed the finish line. My first ultra marathon 32.4 miles, 4 hours 07 minutes after I started and I finished 1st overall!...
...I'd highly recommend the Blades ultra, especially if you are stepping up from the marathon distance. A well organised event, with great marshals and volunteers, which I'd love to run again, maybe with better weather conditions though."
Cheers Owain, we're looking forward to welcoming you back to the Blades in 2018 (we've pre-booked some sunshine for you!).
2017 - Robin Ramsay, 6:26:27.
"From sedentary smoker with a terrible diet, I had found something else I loved to do that wasn't gaming or binging netflix. After completing those events, and using the confidence it had given me, I decided to look for another race to sign up to. I found myself on the blog of a runner, reading a race report about this very race! Why not set this as my 2017 goal?...
Tired, sore, hungry, cold, wet and extremely happy we left for home. Today has been spent next to my foam roller (i don't have to foam roll do I? just looking at it is enough, yes?)... I will absolutely come back next year to do this event, It was incredibly well organised, great value for money, coolest medal ever, and now I have a PR to beat!"
Awesome to see how running's changed your lifestyle Robin! Good on you. Hope to see you again this year.
2016 - Viki Williams, 6:15:48.
"Run the Blades was a great event and great fun. I thought it would get a little tiring running passed all those turbines but in actual facs the rest of the route and views are so varied that this wasnt really an issue for me...
...I got 6hrs 15 minutes for this which I was realy pleased with given it is the first ultra of the year and also I hadnt done a run longer than about 15km in the lead up to it. My old injuries seemed to have managed okay with this so onwards and upwards 🙂"
Viki's racked up 21 ultramarthons to date! Glad to see that Run the Blades was one of them. Hopefully see you back again Viki.
2015 - Lucja Leonard, 4:55:20.
"On the drive over from Edinburgh to Glasgow basking in the Scottish summer of lashing rain and high winds I did question the sanity of going to run a 50 km ultra through Whitelee Wind Farm, the largest on shore wind farm in the UK. What made me question this even further was Dion egging me on even further to “Sack it off and head to a greasy spoon”!...
...The race was a little toughie, with 1,400m of ascent over unforgiving hard-packed trails which I certainly felt in the ankle joints and groin muscles towards the end and afterwards. Some sections were rocky, still runnable but that awkward rock where your ankles are turning left to right, and of course the 30mph winds along with the drenching rain throughout added another element of toughness. I worked hard to the first checkpoint overtaking first lady along the way. I knew there was a solid field of females capable of chasing me down so I used that energy to push me through the tough conditions on offer...
...Fancy running in a wind farm then come along and give this race a go, I think it will grow to be a much bigger race in a few years to come and even with good weather this would be a tough race as it is so exposed it will never be an easy one."
Turns out you can predict the future Lucja! Run the Blades had over ten times the number of runners in 2017 than in 2015. With the support of Event Scotland and Scottish Power Renewables in 2018, it's only onwards and upwards at the wonderful Whitelee Wind Farm.
2015 - Grant Sandilands, 5:07:46.
"The race seemed to be a manageable step up from Marathon distance and was marketed as such by the organisers Breaking Strain Events so when I was planning events for this year it seemed to fall in perfectly for me coming off the back of the Edinburgh marathon with the training for that in my legs and before I start focusing on preparation for the Berlin Marathon in September. So in February I signed up along with my friend Graham to in his words ‘Pop our Ultra cherry’...
...The race was held at the stunning location of Whitelee Wind Farm on Eaglesham Moor just to the south of Glasgow and I’ve discovered it’s a great place to go running or cycling and somewhere I will be visiting again regularly. Graham and I managed to get up there for one recon run of about 23 miles at the end of June and lessons learned from that proved to be invaluable to us being better prepared on the day of the race and helped us to completed the race on the day...
...Once we had been given our medals, t-shirt and chatted to people at the finish line for a bit we hobbled back down the hill to get our bags from our cars as another advantage of our recon was that we knew there were showers at the visitors centre to use. The event organisers had also provided physio’s at the Ranger huts next to the visitors centre. It’s amazing how good you can feel after a shower and a massage and it was off back down the hill to the cars to head home tired and elated at achieving ultramarathon runner status."
And to reinstate your reference to T.S. Eliot, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." Nice work guys, even if some of it did 'resemble a slow shuffle'.