Ring os Steall Skyrace 2022 – 6th

I started running in December 2013 to loose weight, stop smoking and minimize alkohol.
In 2014 I joined Lochaber Athletic Club.
In 2015 I became a Running in Fitness Coach, 2016 Athletics Coach.
In 2016 I entered my first Ring of Steall Skyrace. Finished 35th with the time 05:06:05.
In 2017 I gave it another shot. Finished 65th in 04:58:13.

Lot’s have happened in these years with lockdown involved and me getting focused on my passion for running and the outdoors. Working really hard building a family, learning new skills and completing projects.

In 2022 I entered the Ring of Steall Skyrace for the 3rd time.
Finished 6th overall with the time 04:15:54. 43min faster than 2017 result!

How did it go?
I knew I need a plan. I need to race my own race. Knowing what my body is capable of and knowing the race route will be my asset!
I was doubting if I should start in the Elite Wave. But I was worried I will get stuck behind some slower runners and won’t be able to pass them on narrow ridges and run at my best.
“I will give it a shot, I might get just put in my place the hard way.” I thought.

A lot of people take off too fast on the first long uphill and downhill. I knew I had to keep it steady and with a cool head. The race will start from half way back to the finish! Exactly from lower falls in Glen Nevis all the way back.
Being in mid pack in the past I seen people struggling from there all the way back.
I studied my past times for sections, studies my recent reccy times for sections I’ve done on route. I made up a realistic and dream schedule. Just to keep myself excited. What if I have some superhuman powers I don’t know about?!
I wrote the times with a sharpie on my wrist next to my watch.
This is my race. Me and the time.

Start. Too fast, I had to slow down on the first uphill, this is going to be crazy. “Let them go” I thought! Hoping to catch them later. Up on the Devil’s Ridge, over and down keeping it steady.
On the way down I passed Scott Brown, he shouted I am 15th. “Wow this is good! Thanks! They will start to slow down any minute now! I will get them.” I shouted back to Scott.
Time to get the big guns out now.
On the way down I overtook 2 runners before the checkpoint. Later another pair on the road.
I managed to keep them behind but they were only 300m behind me!
At Steall Falls I had the last massive climb ahead of me. I spotted lots of runners on the uphill already!
“I will get them all one by one” I said to myself! Game is on.
I didn’t overtake anyone on the first long climb but I kept them all in sight. Still being chased by the 4 runners I overtook not long ago in Glen Nevis.
Then It started to happen.
1 more ticked. Then LAC club mate Callum Frazer on the climb to Am Bodach. Last climb of the day!
“Well now I have to keep it up!” I thought!
On the way down from Am Bodach I caught another 2 runners running together. Then another one and one more! I could tell they were done!
I was so happy to see that my predictions worked! I knew how they are feeling as I’ve been in that situation previously myself and it’s nothing I wish anyone!
Now Is all out. 6km do finish line keeping my position. Callum is still behind but his downhill abilities are amazing and he can catch me anytime.
I didn’t look back ideas pushing it as much as I could.
Passing hikers, spectators, marshals cheering me on.
Finally there it was, the road! 600m to finish line.
No one cought me! Keep your gard up I said to myself. Race is not over, push now!
Over the bridge waving people to keep the atmosphere up.
Everyone was so welcoming to see everyone finish.
I checked the time above my head crossing the line. 04:15:54 absolute madness.
Then I heard it. “Our 6th runner over the finish line…” Through the speakers. They meant me! Tears pushed into my eyes. I couldn’t believe it.
I’ve done it. And done it really good.
I raced my own race. I raced my dreams. I raced myself. I chased my own times.
It all came together.
And I will not stop here.