Ultra Tales Issue 12

Ultra Tales Issue 12 contains event reports from the following races Zion 100, Cotswold Ultra, Evesham Ultra, Iznik Ultra, South Downs Way 50, Marathon Des Sables, CTS Exmoor Ultra, Highland Fling, National 50/100km, The Oner, Thames Path 100, T60 Night Race, Brecon Summer Ultra, TNF 100 Australia, North Downs Way 50, Hardmoors 110, Weald Ultra, Grand Union Canal Race, Enduroman 50, The Severn Challenge, Northants Ultra, Comrades, South Downs Way 100, Endure 24 and The Wall.

In addition, there are runners profiles from Chris Baynham-Hughes, Ewan Dunlop and Ellen Cottom.

There are interviews with Paul Navesey and Edwina Sutton after the SDW50 wins and Mark Perkins after his SDW100 win and interview with Elite US runner Mike Wardian, a Paddy Buckley Round report and the usual Marathon report section.

Tolquhon Castle And The Drove Road To Tarves

Tolquhon Castle has to be one of the most picturesque of ruins. It’s one of our favourites and, with the sun beating down, we decided on a picnic in the ample grounds of the castle. Loads of space for Harris to run around and totally enclosed, perfect in terms of safety. Harris loved exploring the ruins, climbing the large steps, with myself or Leanne close at hand just in case!

On leaving, we had intended to head to Prop of Ythsie for a walk. However, I noticed a sign at the far end of the castle car park and decided to check it out. The sign indicated that an old drove road existed, leading to the nearby village of Tarves. Harris was in need of a sleep so I strapped on the carrier and we set off on the route.

With the temperature in the mid 20s, it was hot work, especially with the extra weight of Harris strapped to my front, but we soon arrived in Tarves, stopping off at the Post Office for refreshment, before heading back towards the castle.

Had I known in advance the terrain underfoot, I would likely have changed out of flip flops as the path was quite overgrown and rough in places. However, it was a lovely scenic route, surrounded by butterflies for most of our journey.

Don’t be put off by the ‘path’ that takes you out of the castle car park. It soon improves and you will find yourself on a considerably better trail.

Definitely one to return to and, from online investigation afterwards, I discovered that there are a number of old routes in Aberdeenshire that I had previously never heard of.

Forvie Beach

The forecast this weekend was for torrential rain and it did eventually come, but in all honesty, I was expecting far, far worse. Anyway, with that forecast in mind, we decided to keep it local, and to get out and about really early.

Forvie fitted the bill perfectly and it’s been a short while since our last visit so it would make for a nice change of scenery. From the utter lack of people at Forvie, it would appear that most people had decided against venturing out.

Had I remembered that it was Tern mating season earlier, I doubt I would have opted for the Croozer. No other buggy would have coped and, even with the Croozer, we had our work cut out. Had we been able to stick to the beach route that we normally use things wouldn’t have been quite so bad. However, with nesting season upon us, you are forced to take a short-cut, cutting off a chunk of our normal route, that involves a considerable amount of time in the dunes.

At one point Leanne was pushing me while I pushed Harris! It certainly made for a good workout! I don’t know if it was the undulating terrain or the beautiful scenery but Harris decided not to fall asleep until the very end of the walk. As such, I opted to walk to Newburgh, along the handy path with connects Newburgh to Forvie, meeting up with Leanne (& the car) again at the far end of Newburgh.

A useful discovery was that the Croozer fitted assembled and upright, with the exception of the handlebar, into the back of our Alhambra. Handy to know that we can leave it assembled when moving between locations, providing there’s not much else in the back of our Seat Alhambra.

Within minutes of loading up the car with the Croozer and a newly awakened Harris, the skies opened up. Talk about perfect timing :o)



The North Face Enduro 13 On Sale

Update 21st July 2014: looks like the stock of The North Face Enduro 13 packs has gone already as the link no longer works. Hardly surprising they sold out at that bargain price!

A quick posting from me. Have just spotted The North Face Enduro 13 on sale at Blacks, down from an RRP of £65.00 to £45.00. An excellent pack for long distance/ultra runners with easy access to two rear mounted bottles and ample storage space.

Highland flings: Paul Giblin And The West Highland Way Race

Paul Giblin has done it again, with yet another article in the mainstream press. This time, it’s The Guardian’s ‘The Running Blog‘, with an article entitled ‘Highland flings: Paul Giblin And The West Highland Way Race’.

“The West Highland Way race represents an ultra-running challenge in the beauty of the Highlands, and for Paul Giblin it was one he embraced, by breaking the course record.”

Run, Walk, Cycle Scotland