Sunday, 15 July 2007

Day 9 review - Another scorcher.

I don't want to dwell on the fact any more than I have to but it was difficult seeing Katy and Jack leave for Newcastle at Perth station this morning. See my previous post for more thoughts on this matter.

I spent quite a bit of time this morning patching my feet up and it didn't really make that much difference. Although they were no worse by the end of the run.

Burnley Keith arrived soon after Katy and Jack departed and I was able to start running at midday, just south of Pitlochry.

On the way to the start (about 15 miles away) we drove past a couple of hikers who did not look as if they were having a good time at all. They were dressed for winter with full back packs and the sun was shining high in the sky! I mentioned to Burnley Keith "I wonder if I could catch them up". Burnley Keith spotted them several times during the afternoon at various points on the A9. Each time they looked more and more fatigued.

As soon as I got to the first banana stop, at 8.8 miles, I reached for the pain killers. When these kicked in I was able to put in a few quicker miles. In fact, the next 10 miles were done at a quicker than average pace. This was really pleasing as the temperature reached a very sticky 21 degrees at the height of the day. This just told me what I've been saying for months. i.e. I'm accustomed to running in most conditions including heat. Although it starts to get a bit daft over 22 degrees.

Burnley Keith did a good job scouting ahead and finding all the B roads and the optimum route to Perth. I had another banana stop at 18 miles and decided to try and claw back 1.5 of the 4.5 miles I was behind. This would mean that I would be running another marathon distance for the 8th day in a row. But it would be worth it if I could get back on track.

Being 4.5 miles behind the scheduled plan may not seem like a big deal. However, I simply do not want the standards to slip. Also, as I've stated before, I feel I need to allow for more contingency. After all, there are 27 days left and anything can happen between now and Lands End.

The journey through Perth was very straightforward and as I started to climb out of the city at the 24 mile point I started to feel that there was very little distance left between myself and Edinburgh. In fact it should only take me another 2 days to pass through the 2nd major milestone on the route (after Inverness).

I haven't managed to eat a great deal over the last couple of days but by the time I reached the 26.2 mile point I was famished. Burnely Keith and I drove to base camp 5 and called in at a local curry house on the way. I must say that the prawn on purri, chicken madras, musroom pilau rice and peshwari naan that I ordered was excellent (see the picture above!). Goodness knows what kind of effect it will have on me tomorrow! I'd better take a roll of toilet paper with me just in case!

Oh and if you were wondering (and you were) about those 2 cheesed off hikers. I managed to catch them up in Perth. The secret? I just imagined that they were mackem hikers!

I must, once again, say a massive thank you to all those people who have made pledges today or taken time to send me an encouraging email. I get an update on new pledges about every 6 or 7 miles via my mobile phone. This is one of the reasons why my morale has remained so high during the first 9 days on this mad run.

Thanks also to a band called The Exiles who are sending copies of their CD's to me for inspiration on the run. I'll hopefully get these on my iPod in time for the 2nd half of the run. The music is very much Toon based and will be a useful tool to have in the locker. Samples of the music can be heard at

This is Mark Allison signing off from base camp 5 in Kinross. May tomorrow get me as near to the Forth Road Bridge as is physically possible.