Great Scottish Run

My friends and I wanted to do a run together. Which was very fitting since the last trip we did together was my very first half marathon which set me on the path of running. We picked out the Great Scottish Run as it would make for a nice trip to go to the Highlands as well.

We flew to Edinburgh and got ourselves checked into the hotel. From the beginning, Scotland did not show off its best weather. It was rather cloudy with the clouds hanging low and threatening to rain. That didn’t stop us from taking a little quick tour of Edinburgh and especially the castle which sits in the middle and towers above the city. It’s a really impressive castle and a really beautiful inner city.

The day after we got our rental car and after a bit of getting used to driving on the left side we got out of Edinburgh and started driving to our first destination, Fort Augustus, at Loch Ness with a small lunch break in Newtonmore.

From the very beginning, the Scottish Highlands was very striking to me. As someone who loves mountains, I really enjoyed even the drive there. The winding roads where you would have mountains on one side and a loch on the other side. At Fort Augustus we got out to see the famous Loch Ness but Nessie was not in a playful mood that day and we didn’t get to see the famous monster. After Loch Ness we drove to Glenfinnan to see the famous viaduct which is most notably featured in Harry Potter as the viaduct which the Hogwarts Express drives across. The viaduct was beautiful and really made for some awesome pictures. We discovered that a train would pass if we waited just a bit longer so we waited and hoped to see the steam train that would pass. But no luck as a small diesel powered train drove by instead because the steam train only runs once a day. We drove to Fort William to our hotel.

After a good night’s sleep, we got some Scottish Breakfast (which is just like English Breakfast) and got going. We needed to get to Glasgow to return the car but the road there is one of the most touristed roads. And I could see why! It was running through this amazing valley with mountains on both sides. We saw more lochs of course and even drove down this small road which was featured in a James Bond movie. We saw a waterfall and an even bigger loch and with all of those impressions, it was a bit sad coming back to civilization and Glasgow where we returned the car, got dinner and went to sleep early in our hostel in anticipation for the race the next day.

Race information

Goals

  • Finish – Completed

Pictures

Splits

  • 5K – 00:30:23
  • 10K – 01:02:30
  • 15K – 01:32:47
  • 21.1K – 02:09:03

Training

Barely two weeks after the Berlin Marathon, I focused on recovery and especially having been sick, it was time to take it easy and not get sick again. So I had done no training at all.

Pre-race

My friends and I got up early to pick up our race numbers. Luckily the entire city was still asleep so we jumped into a coffee shop and got caffeinated and then headed for breakfast. I got a particularly heavy breakfast but since I had about two hours to digest it but it was very good.

Race

After Berlin where I deflated so much in the second half, I was feeling extremely well. Of course it didn’t help that the biggest uphill section was in the beginning but thanks to my Stryd power meter I set a constant level of power output instead of trying to keep up with the pace I wanted to have throughout the race.

After the first about 7K of the course which was winding around on highways and roads we hit a stretch of park which was really great. I greatly enjoy it when the route changes a lot in that there’s always some new noticeable thing to look at or some nice nature. And the first stretch were boring roads and highways so the change of scenery was appreciated.

The weather held pretty well so far. It was sunny but cool so I never really felt like overheating which is how I prefer it. It was also very different from what we experienced the days before which we were pretty happy about. Somehow there was no wind either which would have made it very miserable given the temperature. The weather changed a bit about 13K in when it rained for about 10 minutes. The rest of the course I just spent time getting myself dry again which luckily the sun helped with.

The end of the route was really beautiful with running alongside the river and made for a nice finish.

Post-race

I got my medal and met up with my friends again. We went out for burgers and headed back to the hostel to rest. We did go for some active recovery in the afternoon by going to Glasgow University and then onwards to a few pubs. 

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