Why? I asked myself this question during the 14-16 mile section of the Glencoe Marathon as I climbed up to the Mamore Range of mountains, a 300 meter climb in a mile.
Spurred on by the number of people who believed in me and kindly donated to COPS, I battled through the climb, at times knee deep in peat bogs. The relief of seeing the trail disappearing in an approximate descent towards Kinlochleven and the halfway point lifting my mood, if not my legs.
Running a marathon in a kilt was interesting, I’ve never had so much attention from marshalls, fellow runners, spectators and hill walkers; albeit a lot of ladies seemed disappointed I wasn’t a true Scotsmen, but the thought of 26.2 miles of chaffing brought tears to me eyes.
The course lived up to its billing as the UK’s toughest marathon, mainly running along trails, with some miles pioneering across knee deep peat bogs – I nearly lost a shoe on a few occasions – while some of the paths were made of loose stones that your foot sank into and shifted with your weight.
My finishing time of 6’11 was just outside my target of 6 hours, but given the course I was pleased with it.
The highlight, other than raising cash for COPS, was between 14-16 miles, when I had sunk into a mental and physical hole; the water station with a cheese board on offer.