In any event I had decided to do an ultra marathon in Europe. I looked around at a lot of events, but decided on G2E for several reasons. It wasn't large, but it wasn't the first year either. It looked doable, and I read good reviews about it. I also liked the thought of going to Scotland. Since I was injured last year, I've only run one marathon and two half marathons. So I knew it would be a difficult run. The race is 55 miles. And I knew I wasn't trained to run it fast, but still I felt like I could finish within the 12 hour cutoff.
My training went fairly well. I mostly followed the marathon training with the runners training for the Memorial Marathon. I did add in one 30 mile run. I ran to another city and back. It was kind of funny because I had to do this run on a U S Highway, and a lot of people driving between the cities know me. So during the next few days people were asking me if I had run to the other city and back.
The trip fell into place. I was flying on American, and set up my flights so that I had decent seats, and a big plane for the long flight from Dallas to London. I chose an apartment converted to a hotel because of the proximity to the race start. Race day was Saturday, April 6th starting at 9 a.m.
I left Oklahoma City Wednesday, April 3rd around 5 p.m. and Dallas around 9 p.m. I was flying on a Boeing 777 which I had flown on before to South Africa. The 777 has personal entertainment centers even in coach. You can watch movies, T V series, or documentaries. My flight to London was 9 hours long. I arrived at London's Heathrow around an hour late. I missed my connection to Glasgow, but flights were leaving about every two hours so I made the next one. No problems in Glasgow airport, a cab ride to my hotel and I was ready to settle in around 7 p.m. I was hungry and asked the lady at the front desk for suggestions within walking distance. Dinner, then to bed to try and get acclimated to the new time zone. Scotland is six hours ahead of Oklahoma time.
The next morning I got up and set out to find the starting point for the race. With one slight mistake I was able to find the start at Ruchill Park.
Confident I could find the start the next morning I prepared my gear and outfit for the race. I had a running vest to carry the requirements for the race. A headlamp, space blanket, cell phone, and water proof jacket were all part of the required "kit."
I didn't sleep well the night before. But I chalk that up to jet lag rather than neveousness. I got up, got ready, and walked to the start. There were plenty of people already there. Checked in, and waited for the start.
I finished in 11:37:55, 65th out of 75 finishers, and 89 starters.
There was a party going on in a nearby bar, but I decided all I wanted to do was get back to Glasgow, shower, and go to bed. I got directions to the train station, bought my ticket and took the just over an hour trip back. Took a cab to my hotel and crashed. This was a very low key but well run race. I'm glad I did it and thank all those who supported us in the endeavour.
My trip back to the U S A was fairly uneventful. Some flight delays, but I made all my connections and my bags arrived when I did.
The only reasons I can think of as to why I bonked and never got over it are that I was under trained and undernourished. I only took gels, and wasn't averaging one an hour. The aid stations only had water and an energy drink which tasted more like an electrolyte drink. But I finished, and I finished within the time limits. For that and the fact that I finished with no injuries I'm thankful.