Speyside Way Ultra Race – 19/08/2017

There were a few MRRs entered for this race, most of them had ran the Fling earlier in the year and saw this race as the next challenge to undertake.  Those running were Steven Morrison, Alan Swadel, Robert Bruce, Karen Norvell, Sally Bruce and a newbie Ultra runner Kirsteen Carmichael.

All week the weather had been looking bad, with rain and wind predicted, but, the weather forecasters stuck to their reputation and the weather on the day, was mostly dry and warm, the occasional drizzle, but that just cooled us all down.

We all arrived in Buckie and registration was from 6:30 (why do we keep doing these long races with such an early registration) this was quite straightforward as there is a limit of 150 runners.  Buses are put on to take us to the start.

The start is at Cragganmore Distillery, where a piper leads us to the start and then we are off. After the rain of the previous days, we were expecting it to be muddy but it wasn’t too bad underfoot as you could run quite easily to Craigellachie, where the first checkpoint is.  After that you cross a road and start up a hill, a perfect place to have a walk and a snack.  After a few miles, you see the sign that takes you offroad and up Ben Aigen.


This is a decent climb and it was a mixture of walking and running.  After what seems like miles and miles, you eventually come to a decorated part of the road, with flags and the smiling face of Jenni, who offers you water, coke or ginger beer, before entering Mordor and a muddy slip slide down, it continues down until you eventually come to a road, where Karene was marshalling and you run on tarmac until Fochabers, this is a runable section, until you get to Ordiquish chicane, which I find I can neither run down or up, so I walk, as it’s quite steep, at the top you get to the next check point, this is 24 miles, then it’s tarmac for a few miles into Fochabers, then offroad, to Spey Bay, this bit is a lovely run and it was nice to be amongst the trees again.

Spey Bay came and went and finally there is only 6 miles to go, you run through the woods, which were quite muddy in places, until you get to Port Gordon, where Neil was marshalling (Steven was also there, having finished ages ago, got showered and came out to offer encouragement)

After that there is only a couple of miles to the finish, and just for fun the end is uphill, which everyone loves.

Every MRR, finished the Ultra, and were happy with their times, Steven placed 8th, an awesome effort.

Well done to all runners, marshalls, volunteers and organisers on a well organised and enjoyable Ultra, with a nice bit of bling

Report by:  Robert Bruce


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