I don't want this race to be forgotten. After the initial ultra in March 2008 under a different organiser, I along with a few other people urged Dario to take the race over and give it a bit of whw style oomph on the organising side and that he did in 2009. I wanted to take the race off his hands when he got it up and running after the initial year as it was so close to the whw race. I knew he wouldn't part with the race easy though and i wish the circumstances i'm taking over the race under were totally different.
I probably know the Cateran route better than anyone that was involved in the race this year (even Dario who got lost many a time). I did my longest solo training for the Devil o the highlands last year on it as well as some whw training for this year. I've twice done the 23 mile race on the route, I’ve supported runners a few times on the initial ultra in 2008 and some folk doing training runs for this years race. I doubled/tripled up as marshall/drop bagger/supporter for this years race.
It's a fantastic, varied and tough race and I’ve got lots of funny memories from training on my own and reccying the new race route last October with good friends and with Dino and Dario supporting. It's the place I lost my fear of sheep but unfortunately I’ve still not conquered the fear of huge highland cows like Hamish. I've been chased by dogs, nearly stampeded by a field of young cows, had a stand off with a bull at a fence, seen limbs from dead animals scattered around the place, stuck in a field with hundreds of sheep not budging an inch, I’ve tiptoed through hundreds of tiny frogs, frightened by big birds that live in the heather, been watched by hundreds of deer in the dark going over Glenshee at 10 o'clock at night, their eyes glowing in the head torch (think it was deer anyway), squished many a black slug, been stuck up to my knees in the bogs...............and fallen in green cow poop twice. Hence the "poopy" nickname.
I can't promise the race will be run in the same style as this year's but I’ll do my best to make it a great event with my own quirky style. I won't be hand colouring in race numbers but I got quite attached to the spray paint can so that needs to stay!! Ethos got to be small, intimate, safe, tough yet fun and to keep the landowners as happy as possible, and of course a place to eat and enjoy some refreshments right after.
Karen D :-)