Rob Roy Challenge

Jun 29, 2018


Well, we survived… but only just.

Firstly, Gladman Scotland would like to thank everyone who made a donation and sent good luck messages, as it stands we have raised £2135 for charity. We really appreciated the support.

If we had any doubts the challenge wouldn’t be as hard as it sounded, we were wrong. The reality of it all certainly sunk in after 5 miles of running uphill.

 

At around 8 am, we all set off on the 14-mile run. It was agreed at the start that we would do it at our own pace, and that was confirmed when some of the team shot off like rockets. The run was mainly off road and for the most part, all uphill. There was a mixture of forest tracks, bridle paths and footpaths along the way. Thankfully, the weather stayed fine, and the views over the mountains certainly made the run slightly enjoyable. After 10 miles of running uphill, just before the descent, there was a strategically placed food stop. It was key to stock up on food and drinks because, after 4 miles of downhill running, it was straight onto the bikes.

Over the space of an hour, the team made it into the transition area, ready to embark on 56 miles of cycling. Those who had looked at the course beforehand knew that the first 10 miles were not going to be pretty, it was near enough all uphill.

The road to the top of the first climb saw members of the team chopping and changing positions. It was a test of strength to pull yourself up to the top. Once the route went over the hill, there was a fast descent down into the valley. Along the valley floor, there was a strong headwind, splitting up the team even further. After a short burst along the valley floor, there was an ascent up to Loch Rannoch. Here marked the start of the loop around the loch. Albeit in different positions, the team were well ahead of their personal targets and were ahead of the majority of the competitors. Despite the headwind for half of the journey around the loch, the lack of climbing was welcoming. The tailwind on the way back round certainly helped to recharge the batteries.

Again, for those who had looked at the route, they would know that there was a climb from the loch back up to the first summit. The gradient of this climb had been seriously underestimated, after 45 miles on the bike, it was a hard slog to get to the top. As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down, and that killer of a climb at the start of the cycle was about to become a lot nicer with a continuous downhill. With top speeds of 42mph, certain members of the team were not holding back on the descent and saw an opportunity to beat their target times.

As the descent leveled off, there was a tricky 2 miles left before the finish. In the grand scheme of things, 2 miles seems nothing. However, after 54 miles and coupled with a headwind, that 2 miles felt like a forever ending road. As the road turned back into Kenmore, the finish line and massage tent was in sight.

Each member finished the course successfully and in one piece. Looking at the results, each member of the team had smashed their individual targets. Out of 231 competitors, some of the team finished within the top 50 and some even completed it in under 7 hours!

Well done to the organisers and participants, it was a fantastic day and most importantly a significant amount of money has been raised for charity.

From all of us at Gladman Scotland, thank you.

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