Sunday, 17 June 2012

Race # 4 - The Cateran Trail "55" Mile Ultramarathon

Scottish Ultra Marathon Series

The Cateran Trail 55 Mile Ultramarathon


Saturday 19th May, 2012

The 55-mile Cateran trail follows many of the old drovers’ paths through the heart of Scotland.

Race Event Information
The following information was taken from the official website
The route goes clockwise down the east side of Glen Shee. You pass Forter Castle, around Auchintaple Loch, by Loch Shandra, through Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth. From there the route uses the official alternative through Den of Alyth, West Tullyfergus to Blairgowrie. The course now rejoins the main trail via Bridge of Cally, Kirkmichael and Enochdhu then over to join the trail which leads you up Glenshee to the highest point in the race which is a 400 metre climb, enjoy the view on a clear day at the saddle then descend to the finish back at the hotel.
Map and data taken from my Garmin Forerunner watch
The following data was taken during the race. However, my watch battery life was drained after "12 hours & 46 minutes" of running and resulted in only capturing "50 miles" of the race. Booooo......

Time 12:46 Hours - Distance 50:15 Miles - Calories Burned 6,698
My actual finishing time was 13:56 hours.  

Route - Drop Bags & Check Points

This is where the runner can leave a bag containing personal "Hydration & Nutrition". This also doubles up as an official Check Point. This is where the runner gives the Race Marshalls there race number, so that they can be tracked during the race.

Start & Finish - Spittal of Glenshee.

DB1- Dalnagair Castle - At approximately (6 miles).
DB2 - Kirkton of Glenisa - At approximately (15 miles).
DB3 - Den of Alyth - At approximately (26 miles) - Marathon distance.
DB4 - Blairgowrie - At approximately (31 miles).
DB5 - Bridge of Cally - At approximately (38 miles).
DB6 - Enochdu - At approximately (49 miles).

The night before the race, I car shared with my friends Phill Owen, Anna Seeley and David Hetherington, doing our bit for the environment. !!!!

This was my first attempt at the Cateran Trail Ultramarathon and I have heard lots of wonderful comments. About the beauty of route and the friendliness of the people. You know what?, the comments were 100% correct!!!. Upon my arrival I received a very warm welcome, which I immediately felt part of a great team.

After a few beers that night, obviously just enough to settle the pre-race nerves. I set my alarm clock for 4 am, where upon wakening I quietly tooked into a "Tuna & Sweat Corn Pasta Snack". Not that I'm at all greedy, it was the start of my pre race nutrition. This was quickly followed by Porridge and Eggs served for breakfast at 5:30 am.

Just before the start of the race at 7am, a race briefing was delivered by Karen Donoghue - Race Director followed by a casual walk down to the starting line.

The weather on the day was good with lots of sunny periods. As this was my first experience of running 55 miles, I settled in to an easy pace that I believe I could maintain for long periods of running. I was pleased with the planning of my nutrition and hydration as this had resulted in me feeling strong and fresh throughout the race. Towards the end of the race on the final decent down to the finishing line. I did my usual 100 metre sprint finish over the finishing line.

Race briefing

The starting line, where all runners were starting to mass before the "3 2 1" Gooooo

Wonderful and unspoilt highland scenery. This is why I love trail running in Scotland !!!

The following photographs were taken on the day of the race and supplied by my good running friend;

 Karen Robertson.

The final 100 metre sprint over the finishing line

Me and my running friend David Hetherington at the end of the 55 Mile Ultramarthon and still feeling fresh. I believe that we could have easily pushed out another 10 - 20 miles!!!!!!

At the end of the race there was a presentation, where I was presented with The HighLand Quaich - "The Cup of Friendship". This was a very proud moment for me !!!

My race number

On behalf of all my fellow runners and myself. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Volunteers, Marshalls, Management and Club Members. For their kind hospitality and professionalism shown throughout the entire event. This was a great day to be enjoyed by all.

The following statement made by my chosen charity, Pawz for thought.

NEWS We are very pleased that Darren Barnes and David Hetherington will be running the Cateran Trail Ultramarathon, a 52 mile race held on Saturday the 19th May, in Scotland, on behalf of Pawz for Thought. Yes, that's a double marathon! They have been training hard (including running the recent Sunderland marathon) and getting lots of people to sponsor them. You can also make donations directly to Pawz for Thought, by selecting the blue PLEASE DONATE button on the opening page of this website. You can find out more about extreme running and the training involved, by visiting We wish Darren and David good luck and fine weather on the day, but we know that it's the months of hard training that will lead to their completion of such gruelling race.

My chosen charity for 2012
"Pawz for Thought"
“Keep on running & be inspired”
Darren Barnes
Follow my running activities on Twitter @enduranceruner

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