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Selkirk Ultra and a Half

Something new I learned this weekend......Never ever listen to Dean when looking to do a new race. Do the Selkirk Ultra he said. It will be fun he said. I patiently explained that I didn't do the whole 26.2 mile thing anymore and that an Ultra was even further. He said no problem there's a Half! Hmmmm I was tempted. It was an Ultra and that was something new. It was only a half so really not an Ultra at all! The Borders are a bit hilly but hey how bad could it be.....

I decided it was worth a shot. I made my way down to the shire staying with the Carrs the evening before. Their hospitality is legendary and I also picked up some new pre-race wisdom. Dean does a bit of pre-race meditation. An interesting approach which I believe helps your positive focus. Not sure what this has to do with a green bucket but it seemed to be an important part of Dean's pre race ritual. He took it with him in the car to the race.

We set of to Selkirk through the beautiful Borders countryside. The weather could have been better......the clouds were low and the drizzle steady. When we got there we were greeted by Laura who had been training hard for her home half and Mhairi who had quietly entered the half as well without as much as mentioning it to the coach..... A select five CAACers were to undertake this first running of the Selkirk Ultra, the Carrs doing the whole thing whereas us mere mortals were sensible enough to just do the half.

Before we went to start we had a final look at the map. It all looked fine and those tightly packed squiggly lines indicate some undulations, but hey how bad could these hills be. Local expert Laura warned us that this meant a pretty steep climbs and some technical decents. Then it was time to start. I ran with the Carrs for the first few miles. When the hills started they soon took off. I struggled up a hill which didn't seem have no end to it. For it only to be followed by a decent that had no end to it...... A challenging and incredibly scenic course taking in woodland, hills and some more rural idyll followed. All I can say this was a tough fourteen miler. I somehow got myself through it and even managed a top ten finish. How Gillian and Dean got themselves through double that distance I'll never know. They are absolute stars! This is a tough course and they didn't only finish Gillian was first lady and Dean picked up an age catagory win too. Brilliant just brilliant. Laura and Mhairi also did incredibly well to get themselves through this tough race.

This definitely is the race for you if you like the hills and trails. Susan you'd love it! To all Ultra runners, you are just absolutely brilliant! Just doing a half has given me some insight into just what it takes to be an Ultra runner......

Dean Carr's picture

I really don't know how Ultra

I really don't know how Ultra runners do it, I was pretty much on my knees by the end. I can't even comprehend Susan running the West highland way race next month. Even though the course didn't appear to be quite marathon distance according to my Garmin but the 4000ft of climbing certainly made it Ultra. The course was pretty much the same as the Mountain Bike Marathon, so some of the descents were steep and "Gnarly" as they say. It was certainly an experience !!!!
Victor's picture

Like you, Dean, I have to

Like you, Dean, I have to take my hat off to Susan and other ultrarunners. The Devil o' the Highlands was 43 miles and 7000+ ft of climbing and it bust me for ages afterwards. The idea of doing 50+ miles before I started that is quite incredible. Well done to all 3 of you. Can't say I'm anxious for more ultra-experience either!!