The Cateran Trail Ultra, a 55 mile run hosted on a circular trail in the heart of Scotland that happens to be one of the best races in the SUMS calendar. A scenic route that takes you through farmland, forests, villages and hills. Witness the beauty of Perthshire at it's best and if like me you have a soft spot for the race you can do it twice by taking on the Double Cateran.
It's been two years since I completed the Cateran Ultra, going the "proper" way round. This coming weekend sees a return to Perthshire where I would love to peak at the Lairig Gate and run down the last mile to the Spittal. There's 109 miles to cover before I can have the luxury of such a finish, miles that will require careful fuelling and pacing.
So how confident am I in completing the DC110? I'm not sure. I've had an okay season so far with okay training although I do feel a little under trained. I haven't done much since the Fling, ate the wrong type of food and consumed a bit too much alcohol.
On the plus side, I've made it to the start line virtually injury free, even if taper week did it's damnedest to convince me otherwise. I'm very experienced on the route and know what to expect even though I had to pull out at 60 miles last year. I'm pretty much good to go, mostly packed with some food to sort out before departing on Friday morning.
I have the same support crew as last year, I'd like to thank in advance my wife Lynne, mother Heather and daughter Skye who have a tough job meeting me at each of the checkpoints night and day. With the Spittal Hotel now gone I have decided to use Blairgowrie for accommodation. This gives my crew two places from which to support - race headquarters in the north and the hotel at Blairgowrie in the south.
So here's my tactics - this year the race organisers have given 30 hours to complete the race, two more than last year. I'll take the extra time allowed, thank you very much. My ideal race or rather run would be an even split, 14 hours each lap. I'm not expecting to carry this out, especially on a course like the Cateran Trail. I know how energy sapping some of the trail can be, so as long as I get to the checkpoints before the close off's I'll be happy. I'm also going to spend minimal time at the checkpoints, collecting and carrying food rather than standing around. Hopefully I'll be able to put this one to bed and earn my Double Cateran quaich.
I'd like to wish all Cateran Ultra runners the best of luck, particularly the 110's and especially the 110's back for another go. Looking forward to an awesome weekend with Team Epic Shit, see you soon.
Mon 4, Wed 4, Fri 4, Sun 8. Weekly total 20 miles.