Glenmore 24 Trail Race

For those unfamiliar with this race, it is a 24 hour (or 12 if you prefer) “how far can you go” race, held in the Glenmore Forest by the side of Loch Morlich. There is a four mile loop which you keep going round and round, until the last hour of the race when the short loop is opened up, which is approximately 350 metres around the perimeter of the Hayfield. This is base camp, where everyone is camped out for the weekend, so it can get a little rowdy at race end!

This was my fourth time running at this event. The first year I did the 12 hour race and had so much fun I keep going back, although I do the 24 hours now for extra fun …

The weekend kicks off on the Friday when most people turn up, pitch their tents/gazebos and then partake in the Friday Night Fancy Dress party. This year’s theme was The Eighties, there were a few sights to be seen. On the Saturday morning a few more people turned up (including Neil Purdie, taking part for the first time).


Relaxing before the start:

12 noon, the hooter goes, and off we all set. This year, the sun decided to shine. There is always weather at Glenmore, so we thought we were going to be lucky this year as there was no rain forecast at all. A breeze was keeping the midgies to a minimum too.

This was my first ultra in a year and a half after my appendix got a bit upset in 2016, so my first couple of laps were quite emotional, being back out doing my thing. Training had been more than a little sporadic, however having been doing long days out walking in the hills, I was able to keep going doing a combination of running and power walking.

Photo courtesy of George Cardno

Just before midnight, with 40 miles in the bag, I decided I’d had enough for a wee while and bribed my support crew to let me have a few hours rest. Not much sleep was had however, as the breeze turned into Hurricane Hayfield! About nine gazebos were trashed and a couple of tents became airborne (one with someone in it!). The SB kept going out to doublepeg the porch area of our tent which was seemingly determined to take off too, and also to right our table which had mine and Neil’s goodies (food, water and fizzy pop) on.

When it started getting light, I had a coffee and some breakfast and headed back out, with Tomás accompanying me for the first lap. All too soon 11am arrived and we were all directed onto the short loops. Eighties music was booming out over the Hayfield, and a few of us put on our Eighties outfits again (hence photos of strange running attire).

When the hooter sounded at 12 noon, I had covered just over 54 miles. Incredibly pleased and happy to be back doing ultras and getting a fairly decent mileage in considering the lack of proper training.

Roll on the next challenge!

Report by:  Jenni Coelho

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