I am one of the Race Directors for the Glen Ogle 33 Ultra Marathon which takes place each year in this area.
Along with my friend Bill (hence BaM racing) we first organised the race in 2011 and it’s been growing in popularity each year. Ultra marathons are anything over the distance of a normal road marathon and are generally held off-road on hilly terrain.
Being in Scotland we’re spoiled for great routes and scenery to run through which is why we chose this particular route. We’d both cycled over the viaduct at the top of the glen many times and thought it would make a great place to hold a race. Normally we start and finish in Strathyre. However about a week before this year’s race the rain was unrelenting and it wasn’t long before Loch Voil burst its banks. Our car parking and finish areas were left underwater and, although water levels there subside very quickly, the situation with very wet ground might well have been a recipe for disaster. With a lot more rain to fall and more to come down off the hills, we knew we had to move the race to give runners some time to make new travel & accommodation plans.
With 3 days to go until the race started we swung into action. With such limited time the internet proved a very useful starting point. From there we got some contact names for people involved in the Community Council, the local 10k running race and other events. Everything quickly came together once we’d explained our predicament and people couldn’t do enough to help. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, particularly as we were just cold-calling them out of the blue asking for help with an event which was only a few days away.
The response was overwhelming, both in the days leading up to the race and on race-day itself. Our biggest worry was that, due to the re-planning and short notice, we’d cause chaos in the village itself on Saturday and impact those of you who live and work locally. I really hope we didn’t inconvenience you and can only apologise if we did. Feedback from those of you we did speak to on the day was very positive and it was great seeing the runners coming over the bridge at the Falls, along the main street and finishing in Breadalbane Park with its stunning backdrop.
We’d like to say thanks to each and everyone of you in your village for making us feel so welcome and for bending over backwards to help us out at such short notice. Special
thanks in no particular order must go to PC Andy Fleming, Pete Waugh, Trevor and Kate (Outdoor Shop), Julie Rhys & hubby Owen, Fiona Boath, Fiona Kennedy, Anthony Dowling, Duncan MacDonald and Alan Petrie from Stirling Council. We couldn’t have done it without you.
With an eye on next year’s race, we’ve out-grown Strathyre so would like to make Killin our new home. When we started the race we thought we’d struggle to find 50 runners who were daft enough to enter a 33 mile race in November, but this year we had 248 starters. We’d love to hear from you if you can think of a way to get involved which would benefit the community of Killin and help put on a great race experience for the runners.
Please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call. We’ll start to get in touch with you all in the New Year and hopefully we can work something out which will make this another local event that Killin can be proud of.