Sunday, 18 October 2009


At 12.28 I completed my 250th lap, or 100 km in distance, and left the track. I had been having a number of problems since 10.30 or so: I had been violently sick a couple of times and couldn't keep any food down; because I couldn't take food I was really struggling to run at all and was having to walk; and as I walked I was getting really cold in the near freezing conditions. So I decided to cut my losses, get to 100 km and decide that was enough. As I sit here at Dave's at 3 am, having had a hot bath and some Weetabix, I have no doubts it was the right decision. There was no point at all walking round a track for another 11 and a half hours, probably risking hypothermia.

Thanks to everyone for all their messages of support, but especially to Dave, Lee, Hannah and Jamie who put up with some very cold conditions without the slightest moan. I'm huegly grateful to you.

I'm sure I will have a fuller report in due course. On the positive side at least it wasn't a DNF - it was just a bit less distance than I had hoped for.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

When the going gets tough....

He's digging in now. I won't share the photo the Pirate sent me of the trackside pizza but needless to say he's having difficulty keeping food down now! I spoke to him a wee while ago and he's running 3 laps then walking 1 lap. Target is to beat Perth total.
Ali x

10 Hours

As we approach 10 hours here at Tooting the relentless pounding of the track and the tedium of going round and round and round and round is having a negative effect on many of the runners. Dejected faces are abound and there are athletes vomiting here and there. Our man has emptied his stomach of the
Stewed apples and rice pudding that he took on board a while ago. He continues to push on, however. With 211 laps under his belt it seems achieving 500 laps might be a wee ambitious. Therefore there has been a redirecting of effort to achieve a PB for a 24 hour race. This looks very achievable and Ian is rockin' in 24th place. The man currently at the front of the pack, Paul Fernandez is haring round the track and seems not to have broken stride yet. Some people are simply machine-like. Other WHW Family present are Rachel and Ian McCuaig, Aileen Scott, Paul Hart and Ray McCurdy. Ian has been told of all the kind texts and calls. Thanks all and log in again soon.

7 Hours

Through the seven hour point and Ian is still going well. The minor roller coaster of highs and lows appear to be continuing as the minutes become hours and the laps mount up. Ian has just completed 165 laps in 7:22:25. This is slightly outside the plan but Ian has decided to not be driven by his goal but to keep moving forward positively. It's likely that we'll be back on track after a few strong laps. The first casualty of the race, a young fella whose support crew were next to us, has retired with a gammy knee...oh how I know how that feels. It's dark now and the track is floodlit. Either the night time, the artificial light or a chat with his lovely wife has had a fortunate effect on Ian cos he's shifting like Mike Mason with an Essex Constabulary cop car in his rear view mirror right now. Get in Ian!!

6 hour sock change

Ian is going through a wee bit of a tough spell. All messages of support gratefully received. He doesn't look good here but he'll pick up again in a wee while. I'm hoping to speak to him soon.

Ali x

More photos

After 5.5 hours

Postion 24

Looks a bit chilly Mrs Mac

The Pirate

5 Hours

At 5:01:48 Ian completed 120 laps of the Tooing Bec running track. He's been running well but is in a tough spell right now. It seems that the highs and lows of an ultra run occur more often on the track but maybe are less intense. Only Ian can answer that and I ain't gonna ask him the noo! We had a wee discrepancy earlier with Ian insisting he'd done one less lap than we'd recorded. A check with the official lap counter confirmed us correct. Ian has employed a Fiona Rennie suggested system of lap counting by moving an elastic band from one finger to another each time a lap is completed.
When the band reaches his pinky he knows he's done a set of five laps. Ian forgot that the sixth finger on his left hand might render this system inefficient. Laters.


Ian at the start

Ian at 2 hours 40 mins

Thank you Hannah. The Pirate is a numpty!
Ali x

3 Hours

Three hours into the Tooting 24 hour track race and Ian is going well. At the three hour mark he had completed 73 laps which places him in 23rd place and one lap up on his plan. He stopped and walked for a bit to take on some food care of the race. Some rather bland rice and vegetables. After 4 hours of running there will be an about face and the runners will change direction around the track. The weather remains cold but dry. Log in again soon for the next instalment of Ian's 24 (just had a thought- if the track was a giant treadmill driven by the runners' effort there would be enough energy produced to keep me warm...brrr!)

1 hour 40

1 hour 40 minutes gone. Ian has completed 39 laps and is 1 lap ahead of his plan. He's running well and seems comfortable. The weather is chilly but dry.Brian McIntosh and Eilidh are here cheering Ian on too. This supporting at
a 24 hour track race is pretty intense. Lap counting, feeding, seems to happen about every 400 metres!

Friday, 16 October 2009

T minus 12:05

Collected from the Heathrow Airport with military precision timing.
Scuttled off to Ashtead to be fed and watered by The Pirate and Mrs Mac.
Kit check completeted.
I'm now off to bed.

Hic! Err.....this is the Subversive Runner, Hic. Ian is in his bed like a good ultra runner. Me and Mrs Mac are necking wine.

Ian is lucky to have me in his corner, coz the Pirate was AWOL from the Team briefing.... the boxing is on the telly!!!
Alarms are set for 8am. Team Beattie are primed and ready to go.
Mrs Mac

Sunday, 11 October 2009

My plan

It's less than a week now until the 24 hour race. Rather than just run and see what happens (like I did last year in Perth), I've decided to try and plan things a bit better. I've made a note of the main things below, trying to use what I learned last year, particularly from some of the more experienced runners:

Pace - my plan is to run at the following pace:
Hours 1 to 4 - 24 laps an hour (i.e. 6 miles per hour pace);
Hours 5 to 12 - 22 laps an hour (5.5 mph pace);
Hours 13 to 18 - 20 laps an hour (5 mph pace);
Hours 19 to 24 - 18 laps an hour (4.5 mph pace).
If I manage to keep to that plan, it would give me 500 laps (which is exactly 200k). If I can get a few laps ahead in the early stages then that would be give me a bit of scope for 'error' later, but in some ways I think the most difficult part might be the first 4 hours.

Eating/drinking - I plan to do this systematically: I'll have a drink every 20 minutes (then walk for a few seconds afterwards) and I'll have something to eat every 2 hours (then walk for a bit afterwards to let it digest). I plan to stick with this strategy for the full 24 hours if I can; eating every 2 hours should be enough to keep me going. I don't think I'll bring much food with me but just eat the food provided by the race - they seem to be providing a wide range of food and drink.

Clothing - I plan to wear my tracksters from the start and probably not change then for the full race, unless I need to. I found last year in Perth my legs felt better being covered, and after a while it was quite difficult to get changed because my legs were really sore. However I do plan to change my socks every 6 hours, as I think this will help prevent blisters. I'll wear the same shoes throughout. In terms of tops, I'll need to see how cold it is, but will probably put my number on a vest and wear that over the top of a warmer top - it means I can change the warmer top but won't have to mess around changing a number from one vest to another. I'll have a couple of waterproof tops with me that I can wear if necessary.

Blog - I've set up this blog specifically for the 24 hour race, to let people know how I am doing. Hopefully Dave or Lee will be able to update it on a regular basis with the latest information, so please have a look!

Not long now...