At fairly short notice I decided to take up a new running challenge. Called the Great Wilderness Challenge in fact. This annual event takes place in the north west and for the first time since 2010 I decided to try and raise some sponsorship for the Catch a Dream Fund operated by the charity I work for. i.e. Carr Gomm.
It was quite an experience. I travelled up on Friday 23rd and stayed with George and Christine in Dingwall overnight. George and myself were up early to get to Poolewe for the registration just after 0900, where we met up with Susan, Nikki and Vicky from the Carr Gomm crew. Was delighted to meet Kathleen (Dunballoch) at the registration. Nikki and myself headed up to the start at Aultbea on buses, to be met by the indefatigable George who was milking his 'I just broke my leg' status and had managed to get premium parking at the start.
Fifty seven of us headed up into the hills, over rough track for the first five and a half miles. I fell and gashed my knee but was able to carry on ok. There was worse to come! At the five and a half mile stage you have to 'run?' over the appositely named 'bad bog'. This involved getting up to your calves in mud and the severe cramp that came with it! Hmmmm..running? I don't think so. Jumping over mounds like a demented goat more like.
After the bog it was all downhill once your shoes had emptied themselves of mud and water from the bog. I got on a great pace and all my strength came surging back on the last mile. I only realised later that the man I had been running along side was also Murdo MacLean (from Aultbea). At the registration I had been asked was I the 54 year old Murdo MacLean or the 48 year old one!
At the end of it all I finished a respectable 12th in one hour fifty three minute and forty seconds. More importantly at the time of writing over £1400 has been raised for charity. I have some very good and generous friends. Will update this blog on the final total raised.
The photos have already been up on FB but they say there's no such thing as bad publicity!
Enjoy the photos and thanks to all who sponsored me.