Scotland Coast to Coast 2013 Race Report Part 1

I know I was supposed to do the review of the Total Warrior 10 mile event before posting a review of the Scotland Coast to Coast but <insert poor excuse about work here>. For those that are desperate to hear more, the 10m was almost exactly like the 10k Total Warrior Course except it was four miles longer. Two miles of which were up a fell and two miles were down a fell. We mainly walked the up and ran down the down. During the down I fell over and did a spectacular forward roll, only shrieking slightly whilst doing so.

The up and down part of the extra four miles  featured my favourite two marshalls** ever, after the one that looked like Deputy Dog and was handing out hugs during the Wall. Instead of doing the usual, over enthusiastic ‘woo-hoo, well done guys’ line of marshalling. They just asked, in a very northern way “yawreet?’, to which the only possible answer was “aye’.

That was the beginning of August, the next thing on the event list was the Scotland Coast to Coast, so we had about six weeks to prepare for the 105 mile run, cycle and kayak from Nairn to Glencoe on the 14th and 15th September. Unfortunately Seanie was still recovering from the Wall <insert chanting of ‘never, ever, again, ever here> and could only recommence training two weeks before. My preparation was marred a tad by the odd work trip or four. Mainly fairly brief sojourns into Africa but topped by almost two weeks on the west coast of the USA, getting back only four days before having to head north for the C2C.

Normally, jet lag doesn’t bother me. Sleep as much as you can on the plane and don’t go to bed until a normalish time the day of your return is the sound advice that usually never fails. I’ve no idea why, perhaps it was cumulative travel fatigue but coming back from this trip, but when I most needed to recuperate, I was hit badly by the jet lag fairy. Who kindly stole at least four hours kips from each night, mainly between the hours of 0230 and 0630.


To the event!

The C2C starts on the east coast of Scotland, right next to the North Sea in Nairn.

This is very, very far away. No matter where you start from.

The team rendezvoused in the Lake District on the Thursday evening, not too far from Shap, the home of Total Warrior. This meant we could met up with some local buddies before heading even further north on the Friday. Obviously the idea was to set off early. Obviously I needed to do a quick stop off at a local bike shop for necessities like new pedals, inner tubes and mud guards.

In hindsight we should’ve added spare brake pads.

Anyhoo, off we set and many, many hours later got to the hotel.  The general plan was to get registered, drop the bikes off and hit the jacuzzi, A plan which was then scuppered after our support driver inadvertently broke my bike seat*. So a quick trip to Halford’s took place instead, which is like a jazuzzi in no way shape or form. However it did mean I got the chance to buy what turned out to be a life-saving bike bag for the cross bar.

First stage of day one was a run from Nairn to Cawdor. Cawdor only seven miles and mainly flat, or at  least up a very slight incline as we traced the

Having not simply walked to Cawdor, I'm knackered

Having not simply walked to Cawdor, I’m knackered

River Nairn upstream. It was lovely but mainly single track which meant you could only go as fast as the runner in front. Fine for me, but it must have annoyed the hell out of some of the racing snakes.

Some things you might not know about Cawdor Castle; One, Shakespeare’s Macbeth became its thane after killing the incumbent, this did not happen in real life. Two, Cawdor is pronounced exactly the same way as Mordor; and finally, much like Mordor, one does not simply walk into Cawdor.

No, even if one  is knackered, running on empty and still has a 48 mile bike ride plus a bit more running and a bit of a kayak paddle ahead.  So we trotted on and made Cawdor in about one hour 40 minutes. There we picked up the bikes and set off on the road bike stage.

Or several hours of pure hell as I fondly remember it

More to follow in the next exciting instalment of Scotland Coast to Coast 2013 Review Part II.


*This was down to the inherent weakness of the screw holding the seat in place, not his immense strength. Our support driver was neither Bruce Banner nor Clarke Kent.

**My least favourite marshall ever was the lovely old fellow on the Wall, who said, “you’ve only got five miles to go but it’s most down hill so it feels like four”. Was it bollox all down hill, it felt exactly like the five uphill miles it was.

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