Monday, 18 June 2012

To make this clear, I honestly do not know where I had the thought to run 95 miles from an affluent area in Glasgow called Milngavie to the Outdoor Capital of Scotland called Fort William.  My fantasy started in 2008.

All great plans are formed from a dream and that was what I thought this was, a fantasy, never in a million years could I possibly train to put my body through such punishment.

let me take you back to 2008, in an intensive care unit in Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow.  ( May I add I was not a patient but a nurse.) I spoke to a Consultant in the Unit and explained to her I was interested in running the WHW Race.  The look on her face was one of the funniest things I have ever seen, I knew what she thought.  "How on God's earth, could this fat, overweight, chain smoking, pasty faced specky, bald thing, ever contemplate to run 9.5 metres let alone 95 miles."  So that put an end to my dream, for 5 minutes.

2009 I watched the adventure show, with a golden virginia, hanging out my mouth, dominos pizza in hand,beer in the other, thinking "yeah next year I'll do it" I think I'll aim for sub 17 and beat the 2 superhuman men Scott Bradley and Richie Cuningham hands down.  Oh and not forgetting the mental dutchman that decimated the pack half his age that took a handful of chocolates before sprinting out of Kinlochleven.  I was amazed and hooked at the thought, as I took another draw of my fag, drank some guiness, ate some more cardiac arrest inducing Texan Barbeque, farted, burped and said to myself "Right fatboy your training starts tomorrow."  However it never started til 2012.

Speaking to people who have done endurance events, the principle is always the same as exemplified by John Knayston on his podcast, "Slow and Steady wins the race,"  I spoke to a woman who had done an absolutely mental endurance event called Iron Man.  I told her I wanted to run the race but didn't think I had the fitness in me and mental capacity or toughness.  This said woman aka nutter, asked what I did, I explained I was a nurse in a neonatal unit in Glasgow.  We got chatting and she explained a tick list as follows need to build your base fitness.........check. I can do that.
2. you need to be to on your feet for long periods of time.........check try looking after a toddler who gets up at 5am look after him all day, go to a nightshift, then look after said toddler all day next day total time not slept and on feet..... 41 hours.
3.  When the going gets tough dig deep..........check. you need mental toughness to look after critically ill neonates.
4. when the going gets tough smile.........check I can do that.

Fast forward to 2012, Packed in the cigs, got more bald, stayed comfortably overweight, running 10k- 10 miles every 2 days. With a little more research over the past few years I have come to a number of conclusions.

1. Yes you need to have a good base fitness.
2. Incorporate Hills in your training.
3. Use the knowledge out there on the website
4. You really need to have a screw loose somewhere.
5. Ultramarathon running is suited to somebody of my ahem build aka chubiness as I will never be Sub 17, Sub 18, or even Sub 20 but Sub 35 hrs springs to mind.

I have joined the facebook page and been watching what everyone in the family is doing ie Stalking.....facebook stalking. To see what people are doing and how they train. In all honesty I take my hat off to each and every person running the race, there support crews, support runners, marshalls, event organisers everyone involved needs a mention.

I will be cheering people on at the start on 23rd June 2012 at 1 am with a coffee and a pie in hand. I honestly hope in my heart of hearts I am on the start line one year from now in 2013.
When I watched the adventure show It was just a fantasy at that point.  Speak to me now face to face, watch my training, watch my forget that comment. you will see how focused and determined I am to get to the start line and finishing by slapping my hands on the door on the leisure centre in Fort William. What started as a dream now is an obssesion.

I wish everyone a good race, enjoy it and "Slow and Steady wins the race."


  1. I've added your blog to the whw blog roll.

    All the best with your journey.

  2. It's a life changing race. Best of luck over the next year.

  3. Welcome to the family that is the West Highland Way, the most crazy and beautiful bunch of people I've had the privilege to rub shoulders with.
    P.S. this race will change you life I guarantee it!
    Fi xx

  4. Good luck and I hope to see you in 2013. With a goblet.

  5. Am amazing goal to have. Good luck with your training x

  6. Yippee! Another nutter to join the clan. Welcome aboard :-)

  7. Thanks for accepting fat man into the family PS congrats to deb mc I heard you smashed the race on the news well done good job

  8. I resembled the Fat Runner. In 2009 I had slimmed down enough to get me my Goblet. Now I resemble the Fat Runner. It can be done. It will be done again. Meet me at registration Fat Runner, or come and help me at Balmaha. (No running required, just marshalling.)

  9. ok mate i'll see you at registration whats your second name?