The Devil O’ The Highlands is a 42 mile point to point race along the West Highland Way from Tyndrum to Fort William.
I’ve always wanted to do the race for no other reason than the name sounded exciting. Who wouldn’t want to race the Devil?
This year I fancied doing a race that would challenge me as much as an IronMan distance event but without the faff of the swimming and biking. So I entered two ultra marathons. A 50K warm up (https://twinbikerun.com/2019/04/01/john-muir-way-ultramarathon-part-1iain/) and this race.
I drove up with my wife the night before the race. Registration was quick and easy. I was all done in less than five minutes. This left plenty of time to pop to the Real Food Cafe ( https://www.therealfoodcafe.com/) for some dinner.
They had an impressive range of sweet treats but I’m not sure if a Creme Egg donut is appetizing or an abomination !
At the start of the race a women next to me said. “I’ve not trained for this” I looked at her. She looked very fit. She looked like she should be on an advert for a gym as an example of what would happen if you went to the gym and trained every day for a year.
She then said, “I’ve done nothing since The Highland Fling (a 53 mile ultra)….other than three marathons and loops of Glencoe every morning before work. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this.”
If she did not think she could do it then I was f****d, as I’ve not done any marathons and the only loop I do in the morning is a breakfast bowl of Honey Nut loops.
Oh well – there was nothing more I could do! At least I’d made it to the start line fit and healthy. I had a plan that I was confident would get me to the end of the course.
I would run the 10K to Check Point 1 in bridge of Orchy in 60 minutes. Run the 10 miles to CP2 in Glencoe in 2 hours. Run the (hilly) 8 miles to Kinlochleven in 2 hours and then run/walk the rest of the way to Fort William in 4 to 5 hours.
I just had to trust the plan….