Ironman Mallorca 2016 – KLYT On Tour!

KLYT – The Kilbirnie Loch Young Team, a loose collaboration of cracking lads who swim together at Kilbirnie Loch in North Ayrshire, Scotland to prepare for Ironman triathlons. Well all accept big Ally who now only does sprints and novelty events! (to be fair he is a sub 11hr Ironman who at the moment has knee problems). Its an honour, pleasure and a pain in the arse to be part of this “team” of mostly over 40 has-been pretend athletes, the banter is fierce but the bond is strong and six of us were to head to Ironman Mallorca for yet another dragging of ancient bodies over the longest of days!

Recently we had all taken a major kick up the arse when our latest recruit Ross Toole had ripped up Ironman Wales, one of the toughest and hilliest Ironman courses on the circuit, in an amazing 11hrs 17mins in his first attempt at the big distance. He is only about 17 (29) though so I didn’t really count and we all agreed between us that we could individually kick seven shades of shit out him in a square go. He is now calling himself the “Dragon Slayer” and its safe to say that the Ironman bug has truly bitten him and all banter aside I look forward to racing and training with him some more, he is a great addition to the squad! One day when he is a grown-up and if his mummy lets him he might even be fast like Stevie and Ally.


KLYT pre-race or the Chernobyl survivors club day out?

So myself (Pedro), Stevie (Mr Awesome), Martin (Juan Leg), Rosco (Ming), Brian and Iain all went to Mallorca to race the Ironman on the 24th September. As per usual we were about as organised as a badly organised thing with only myself and Stevie staying in the same place having decided to take our families for a cheeky wee all-inclusive week in the sun.

So the rest of this drivel is a race report of sorts, however if you are after a serious blow by blow account of the Mallorca Ironman then don’t read any further, you would be wasting your time! No instead here is the inane ramblings  of a middle of the pack joker doing his best to impress his wife and boy and not “be shite.”

My main objective this year was to improve on my debut IM at Barcelona last year, this would be no easy task as the bike in Mallorca is a far stiffer test than the pan flat course I had previously completed. Last years swim was 1h 27m, the bike 5h 41m and the run 5h 11m. I knew that I wouldn’t match the bike but the swim and especially the run had definite scope for minute savings. I started training in earnest last December concentrating mostly on my running and was going strong until the end of February when I tore the planter fascia in my left foot and spent the rest of the year nursing and managing the injury. Its great testament to the NHS and especially my foot guru Euan McGivern that I managed to keep going, completing the Hoka Highland Fling 53 mile trail race and then IM Mallorca despite the injuries best attempts to screw me over.


I arrived on Mallorca the Wednesday before Saturday’s race and stepping off the plane I started to sweat like a fat kid with a free run at Willy Wonka’s!  Feck it was hot, pale skinned Scottish guys aren’t designed to live in such climates never mind race!! Was I going to melt, and I mean melt not merely over heat, on the marathon?? I imagined getting to the finish line to hear ” Pedro you are an empty bag of sweaty skin as opposed to an Ironman!”



Day one, getting the base tan.

So on to the race but before that a quick word about my 9 year old Fergus, competing in his first Ironkids. What an experience, massive crowds, using the official red carpet and finish line and a T-shirt, medal and number all for 5 euro. Well done Ironman!


Flying with his Ironman visor!

Race morning, up at 5.15 quick cold breakfast and off to the transition one to pump up tyres and fill water bottles. Hear the announcement over the tannoy that the water temperature has dropped to 24.5c overnight and the previously banned wetsuits were now legal. Skip a happy skip back to the hotel and get my wetsuit. Ya dancer!! I am a shite swimmer and this is good news. Prepare bike and off to Juan Legs apartment near the start line to meet the lads and our wives and kids who are now up and ready for a long day of cheer leading. Ming as per usual booked accommodation about 20 minutes before boarding the plane. His hotel is a mile along the beach and initially he refuses to believe that wetsuits are now legal insisting that we were “ripping the pish.” We convince him and his day goes from 140.6m to 142.6m as he sprints away to get his neoprene. He makes it back in the nick of time much to our hilarity however I promise no one was laughing at him as he tried to pull his wet suit on to his sticky, sweaty skin. Honest…..

As the emotions build towards the start, Stevo starts to bubble, he always does. Me? I just had a pish in my wetsuit. The gun goes and we start the slow shuffle to the start line. I spot my wife and Fergus almost waist deep in the water cheering like mad so I try to make a dramatic dive in, its still to shallow and I land on the bottom and try to wiggle quietly away into the deep like I meant it.

I swam shite. No excuses, just shite. 2.4km to an Aussie exit on to the beach and then 1.4km to finish in a time of 1hr 29m. The only upside being I kept it under 1hr 30m and seeing my family at the Aussie exit was a real boost. I looked at my Garmin, I had swam 2.7m and extra 0.3. My sighting was poor, I breathe to the left and the bouys were on the right. I had a lot of catching up to do!!


I don’t know why I am smiling as my swim was shite.

I got a fancy new bike this year, an Orbea Ordu Gold. A brilliant bit of kit, but now I had to justify what had been a major expense. As soon as I got on and started peddling I felt strong. One thing about being a mediocre swimmer is you have plenty of folk to chase down on the bike and I passed almost 500 on the bike leg. The course is basically a figure of eight with Alcudia in the centre and in the most part the tarmac was good and the course was rolling, not flat but the ups and downs in the first half were minor and by the time I was back in Alcudia at half way I was averaging nearly 21mph. I passed Ming at 17 miles and gave him some abuse but not to much incase he caught me on the run! Coming through Alcudia it was impossible not to spot our throng of support with Karen, Jac, Rhona and the kids gathered behind a group of saltires cheering wildly. I don’t mind saying I had a lump in my throat and the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. But out on the second loop I had to go up the 17.5km climb into the Mallorca mountains to Lluc. This was to be the biggest test of the day and it was the element that was making my bike time estimates total guesswork. Speaking of elements as soon as I hit the bottom of the climb the heavens opened followed by claps of thunder and forks of lightning. It was the heaviest rain I had ever been in, and as I climbed into the mountain the thunder got louder and the lightning strikes closer. It was terrifying!! However I am Scottish and hills and rain are everyday things and at least the rain wasn’t cold and coming sideways at me!! I just ground it out to Lluc were the tarmac was bone dry and I started my descent. The climb had cost me 2.4mph on my average speed and I would have to put the hammer down to regain some off it eventually finishing with an average of 18.3mph over a tough 112miles. Straight after the decent the rain started again and it didn’t let up until into my second lap of the run. The only other thing on note on the bike leg was the blind right hand turn in Muro that went into a 20% short climb that seemed to catch everyone out with the clunk of chains rattling up gears ringing out. Oh and I pee’d on the bike. For the first time ever. I missed a toilet stop and was getting a bit desperate, I figured I was soaking anyway so I stood up and lent to the side and after tricking my brain into thinking this was normal behaviour I let go. It came streaking down my shorts and legs and with the assistance of the pouring rain and my bike momentum flew off behind me. I truly hope it hit the Swedish boy behind me who had been drafting for the last seven miles despite being warned my the motorbike mafia. Bike time 6hr 2m.


Flying into Alcudia at half way.

So onto the run. Dry socks and a swig of flat coke got me ready to go and I set out with some trepidation. The wheels came off for me in the marathon in Barcelona last year with only my decent bike time saving the day and giving me a reasonable overall finish. I didn’t expect to have much in my legs after the hills on the bike and as I said earlier injury had curtailed my running this year with only 450miles in 8 months covered. However the first mile was completed in 8m 20s and the next three in under 8hrs 40s!! I realised that this pace was suicide and I eased back a bit still covering the first 10k in under 55 minutes and seeing Mr Awesome Stevie a lap ahead and a half ahead of me and flying! I also passed Martin who was struggling with his knee and would later develop massive blisters and on the second lap I saw Iron virgin Brian, I tried to get him to run with me but he had a pale look to his face and I left him to fight his own battle.. The second lap didn’t go as well and I started to feel sick every time I took on food or liquid. Rhona got me salt and some Gummy bears and I quickly settled and managed the second 10k in under an hour. After that I never looked back, the dip that I expected never came and I ran surprisingly strong keeping below the 10 minute mile target I had set myself. Three miles from the finish I passed Iain and it gave me the final boost to push on hard and finish strong. I couldn’t believe it but I covered the 26.2 miles in 4hr 24m, a whole 47 minutes faster than Barca!

I have no doubt that this was down to my own hard work however with the help of Holly Hodge at “Its Nutrition” I had shed 6kgs in the months before the race and that really told! Maybe I should loose some more….



Cruising to the finish line.

I hid the magic carpet grabbed a Saltire of my screaming family and floated to the line stopping only to make sure “Peter you are an Ironman” was shouted over the tannoy for the sake of my wee boy. I made an arse of it if I am honest, I always envisage showboating down the chute, high fiving the crowd and jumping about but the finish line always seem to draw me like a magnet. I just sort of crossed the finish but I did it in 12hrs 14 mins a PB by 17mins on a tough course!!!

I got me medal and tried to speak to my family through the metal fencing but my legs went and I was pestered by some kind medics who wanted to check I was alright. I bluffed them that I was fine and met Stevie in the finishing area, he had stormed it in 10hrs 51mins, unbelievable, take a bow sir, take a bow.


I waited for Iain, then Ming and Juan Leg to cross the line and cheered Brian into his last lap, but I was done and we headed back to the hotel for a couple of beers and celebrations with the family. I now regret not waiting for Brian to finish but sorry mate, I was done in.


Myself, Stevo (Mr Awesome) and Ross (Ming) celebrating.

So a great holiday and a great race spent amongst friends. Does it get any better?

A quick word of thanks to Mrs Me for the support on the day and for letting me train constantly with never a moan (aye right). It felt great to finish infornt of her and my boy for the first time, truly wonderful. The support from all the girls and guys on the day was amazing and a special shout out to the Millar girls who were all over the course providing a massive boost to all of us!


Here are the KLYT times for the record

Stephen Hill aka Mr awesome 10.51.49

Pedro Dorrington aka Epic 12.1413

Iain Anderson 12.25.16

Ross Clougherty aka Ming 12.47.36

Martin Millar aka Juan Leg 13.35.56

Brian Smith aka The Salt Shaker 15.20.10

Well done lads!











Ding Ding The Highland Fling (seconds away round 2)!


Myself in the yellow jacket and 3/4 length shorts starting out on the 53 mile journey.

I have waited over a week to write this race report, I left it that long on purpose. Tapping my inane ramblings into my laptop I wanted to wait until the pain in my legs had subsided and my memories were purely of the over whelming emotion and achievement of the day. Be under no misapprehension the Highland Fling  is a brutal race, 53 miles of unrelenting trails with 7500 feet of climbing thrown in for good measure, it takes a special kind of mad eejit to run it and as this was my second year in a row. I clearly am that eejit and should have known better!


The bit above ^^^ was the intro by the way, the rest of this rubbish is about the race, those of a sensitive disposition (or a decent grasp of the English language) should stop reading now.


My build up had started great but then fell into disaster, last years attempt at the Fling was my first attempt at an endurance running race and I struggled in at 13hrs 51mins, enjoying every single second of that very long time. It had been a tear-stained roller coaster of a day  and I was determined to have another go and hopefully crack 12hrs. I am predominately a triathlete and competed/completed Ironman Barcelona last October before running the excellent Glen Ogle 33 5 weeks later. Glen Ogle went well, and although I wasn’t fast, but a time off 5hrs 49mins showed a wee bit of promise. Que the Fling, I had my finger on the entry button the night it opened and sold out in an hour (testament to Jonny Flings excellent race and team) and I had bullied my brother Dougie into have a go at his first ultra. We were to be joined by the usual suspect’s Stevie and Tim with local super athlete and fellow member of the Howwood massive,  Jim “I weigh two stone wet through with Irn Bru bottles in my pocket” McPhate. Training initially was excellent, I ticked over through November before paying my annual attention to the “Marcothon” in December. Come January I was feeling fit and training stepped up with vengeance, long runs on the West Highland Way being flavour of the month and it was clear I was streaks ahead of last year and able to match the pace of most of the above named motley crew.

Late February I ran the utterly brutal Glentress trail marathon, organised by the Gestapo it was a hard day out but again I ran well, closing the gap on my faster friends and came away feeling satisfied. I woke the next day in agony and spent a week hobbling about with serious pain in my left foot. It eased off a bit after 7 days and a tried a short run but broke down after five miles. I had torn the planter tendon in my foot! Long story boring the 9 weeks leading up to the Fling involved no running lots of ice and stretching and ten days before hand a trip to a specialist at the Southern General. I was provided with a insoles for my shoes, shown how to strap my foot up and given a big nippy injection of cortisone into the injury site.

So the morning of the race loomed up and smacked me in the face, I hadn’t tested the foot preferring to give it every chance to heel. I genuinely didn’t know if I would manage 53 steps never mind 53 miles!!

My long-suffering wife gave us all a lift to the start and was later to pick us up at Tyndrum, cheer us on, feed us and generally look after us. What a hero!

Dougie had been cool calm and collected in the run up to the race but the smell of nerves was leaking from him as the count down to the start commenced. Jim was in the sub 10hr pen and we were not to see him again that day as he finished in a spectacular 9hrs 35mins. Well done mate. Tim preferred his own company but Stevie, Dougie and I decided to bash out the first few miles together. Off we went and thankfully my foot gave me no immediate pain as we snaked out of Milngavie town centre. That was the least of my worries as a tripped on a tiny tree root half a mile into the run falling flat on my face giving the lads and many others a right good laugh. It must have been really funny as they were still laughing as we rolled in to Drymen (12.5 miles) in a sensible but strong 2hrs 4mins. Quick sip of water and we plodded on stripping layers as the sun started to climb into the sky for what was to be the only good dry day of the week (John Duncan how do you do it?). We climbed steadily up Conic Hill pausing only for an excellent team photo with a beautiful back drop of the snow-capped Lomond hills.


The three amigos!

By now my legs were stiff and sore with my quads burning and groin aching, I had kept fit through cycling but my lack of running miles was showing and I knew I was in for a testing day. We traipsed into the first CP at Balmaha (19.5 miles) in excellent time but I faffed as I taped up a toe that was rubbing and took on some food however we left as a threesome although I knew that this wasn’t to last much longer. Over the next couple of miles I started to struggle to hold on to the pace and was continually loosing 4,5 and 6 meters at a time. I decided to ease back and run my own race with the boys soon out of sight.

Walking the hills and running the flats I came into Rowerdennan (27miles) in 5hrs 27mins, 18 minutes up on last year. Some nice guys from the Glasgow Triathlon Club filled up my water, I stuffed a banana and custard in my gob and quickly left with minimal faff, whilst snacking on some pretzels for salt. The next 7 miles are my favourite on the course with some good power marching up a steep forestry road giving a bit of respite from running before some lovely run-able trails appear. I made the Inversnaid CP still up on last years time and was told as I came in that Tim, who is a much better runner than me wasn’t far ahead. This really lifted me and wondered if I may catch him, it turns out that unknown to me at the time I passed him at the CP as he was in the medical tent vomiting a Jackson Pollock painting into a bucket!


Leaving Inversnaid was the first sign of any problems for me as I started to get stomach issues and 2 miles down the track puked my guts up feeding the fish in the loch a horrible mixture of pretzel, dry fruit and gels. It settled me though and I got ready to grind out the difficult mixture of running, walking and scrambling that the loch side provides here. It went better than expected and soon I was at Dario’s post were I allowed myself a reflective glance back down the grandeur of the loch. Someone had left a wee inspirational note on a rock at this point and it was the first time I had to put my emotions in check. The next couple of miles saw my condition and mood come down dramatically and for the second year in a row I came wobbling into the final CP at Beinn Glas farm. I rang my wife to give her an update and embarrassed myself with a bit of pathetic sorry for myself call. I sat down filled up my water and gave myself a bit of a slap. I met a marshal that I knew at the CP and he told me that Stevie and Dougie were not that far ahead which was confirmed by a call to my maw who was tracking us online! Refortified I was up and running again and was a full 22 minutes ahead of last years time. I knew the final 12 miles would take 3 hours or more but once moving I felt stronger than last year and vowed to myself I would run every bit of flat trail.

I hit the roller coaster hill in the forest  above Crainlarich which was the site of my darkest moments last year were I had averaged 20 minutes a mile and had thought about hiding in the trees until mountain rescue came to end my pain! However this year I was faster, 3 and 4 minutes a mile faster and I hit the road crossing with 3 miles to go at 12hrs 25 mins, I could virtually walk a PB if I wanted!! Ok it wasn’t the sub 12hrs I wanted but under the circumstances I was overjoyed! I crossed the road and called my wife telling her that I was 45minutes or less away. Stevie had crossed the line in 12hrs 8mins and she hung up shouting excitedly that Dougie was on the red carpet. He finished in 12hrs 24mins, well done Dougie what a great introduction to Ultras!!



Dougie tells me that he wasn’t emotional at all.

I ran the last 3 miles, well shuffled them and then had a wee greet at my welcoming committee of my wife, wee boy Fergus and my parents half a mile from the finish before drinking in the red carpet with my boy. I finished in 13hrs 8mins, a PB by 43 minutes!


Medal, t-shirt (great colour this year), beer, soup (best tomato soup ever) shower then home swearing to my wife that I was over the Fling and wouldn’t be doing it again.

See you next year then!!


The Glentress Trail Marathon – 5hrs 32mins, one fall but no submissions!


Jim, Tim and myself looking forward to 26 miles of utter brutality in -5 degrees!

Its taken my eight days to write this report partly because I am a lazy sod and partly because it has taken me eight days to recover!

This was the inaugural “Glentress Trail Marathon” and was organised by the excellent High Terrain Events team. If I was to sum up the race in one word it would be brutal! Whoever designed this course wasn’t loved as a child and would have made the Gestapo look like rank amateurs when it comes to torture.

So anyway training had been going well and with the Hoka Highland Fling looming a few of our loose collaboration of a training group entered this race as a warm up event. The night before I took my now familiar pre-race bout of insomnia and Tim picked me up at 0630 on race day with me looking like I had been dragged backwards through the preverbal hedge. We picked up Jim and set off on the 90 minute journey in crisp winter conditions. I hoped to sleep on the run down to Peebles but pre-race excitement was bubbling and the banter was flowing and in no time at all we were parked at the Glentress mountain bike park in -5 temperatures. Perfect conditions and certainly better than the pissing rain!

On the way down the chat had centred to a degree on times we thought we could do. I went for five hours knowing the course to be hilly but having never run a road marathon (only done ultras and a marathon at the end of an Ironman triathlon) I had nothing to base it on. However when we arrived at the car park and looked at the rolling Borders hills in front of us I laughed and added on an extra 30 minutes! I was looking forward to running though, I was fitter than I have been at years and had been working with a nutritionist to shed weight and was 4kg lighter than this time last year. (Thanks Holy at Not quite at racing weight yet but by some minor miracle I am getting there!! I even got a medium race t-shirt this time rather than my usual large!

The marathon had 175 entries with the half and the 10k having more, but we were first off with the start delayed for a chilly 15 minutes to allow folks to register and a head count to be carried out. The atmosphere was friendly and it felt like a typical “ultra” with loads of encouragement and banter.

Off we went a few hundred meters up an inclined tarmac road before swinging ride onto trails past a wee loch and then up onto a Land Rover track. The track was about two miles long and I was running well, keeping Tim, who is much quicker than me, within sight. “This is going great” I thought before we turned right up a hill and then entered the forest. What followed can only be described as 6 miles of climbing through technical and narrow forest trails!! Great to run on and the type of terrain I enjoy but it was hard going. Around the 4.5 mile mark the first of the half marathoners started to pass me. They had set off 15 minutes behind us and could afford to push that bit harder however it was a bit of a grind to constantly get out their way on narrow trails. It might be better to give the full distance guys a longer start next year?

The race was two half marathon laps and as per normal I had tried to visualise the course based on no knowledge of the area whatsoever. I had decided it was two laps each having a 6.5 mile climb followed by 6.5 miles gently down hill to the finish line. At 6.5 mile on the first lap I was devastated to find that I still had half the hill ahead of me. Jeezo……

Eventually we exited the forest and reached the top of the hill to be greeted with views that alone were worth the entry fee!


We ran over the top of some moor land and then started to snake down hill on narrow frozen grass paths. Whack, down I went. Even with Salomen Speedcross trainers I was struggling to keep my feet and I took a sliding fall, landing on my shoulder which I twisted painfully. I dusted myself down and picked my way along the trail looking on jealously at the guys and girls who were able to bound like springs down wards. I don’t have the ability, bravery or knees to follow suit.

At least after 9 hard miles we were heading down the hill though…………………….

A mile later and back in the woods this loomed up ahead of me!



The picture doesn’t do it justice but believe me a 100m long steep drag backup through the woods was the last thing I needed. With that we wound back to the start and I finished the first lap in 2.28. I realised that I hadn’t been eating or drinking properly due to concentrating on the technical trails and I was starting to bonk and had the shakes, I had food and water with me but went straight to the refreshment table and inhaled some bananas, sweets and half a litre of coke.

There was no way I was completing the second lap at the same pace and resigned myself to the fact that this may be a six hour day, and worse than that I now knew what lay ahead! I set out with the “ultra” mentality in mind, determined to run every inch of the course that I could but to survive by walking the hills. I was pleasantly surprised to find that once the food hit my system I was running fairly well. Yip it was hard and yip at times it was slow but I was making relentless forward progress and starting to pick up a few places in the field.

I eventually stumbled over the line in a time of 5.32, only 20 minutes behind Tim who had ran a very good race which for me was progress. Jim had sailed round in an unbelievable 4.23 but then he only weighs two and a half stone so that’s fair enough.

It was a great race on a challenging course and I would recommend it to any runner. It did nearly break me though and with only eight weeks until The Fling I am nursing very painful Planters Fasciitis and have only managed a painful 5 mile run since. Hopefully I can get it sorted and see some of you out on the trails!



Post race broken face.



The Curtain Falls On My Year Of Challanges – A Quick Thank You!


My success was fuelled by you all!

Well what a year 2015 was for me! As many of you know I set myself a series of endurance race challenges in order to raise money for the Renfrewshire branch of the National Autistic Society who assist and support local children afflicted with various autism related conditions. Personally this is a cause close to my heart having witnessed how the condition has affected my nephew Ethan and my relationship with him.

So this is a quick resume of my races (you can of course read previous blogs on them) and a thank you to all of you that sponsored me and provided kind words of support and encouragement!

March – The Mighty Deer Stalker, a 9.5 mile night time cross country running race. With cold river crossings, knee deep mud, scree scrambles and thigh burning forest climbs this is a tough race. This was my third time competing in it but the first time I have done it whilst fit. I smashed my PB by an hour and for the first time beat my wife Rhona over the line! A good solid start good solid start to the year.


Rhona at the top of the Deer Stalker scree slope!

April – The Hoka Highland Fling, a 53 mile cross country ultra marathon that follows the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Tyndrum withover 7000ft of climbing. This nearly destroyed me! 13hrs and 51 minutes of relentless effort. Finishing was one of the highest forms of euphoria I have ever experienced. Never again I said at the end of the race, I am doing it again this April!



June – Arranman, a half iron distance triathlon. First triathlon of the season and possibly the hardest half iron distance in Scotland? A had a disaster of a swim in the sea of Lamlash. My goggle strap burst and I swam almost blind in a rough sea swell taking an hour to complete 1.2 miles a swim I normally complete in 40 minutes. I came out the water exhausted and pissed off but buried myself into the tough 56 mile round Arran bike in a very decent 3hrs 19 minutes and finished off with a passable half marathon cheered on by my wife Rhona and boy Fergus. Total time was around 6hrs 37 minutes, not my fastest but decent on a tough course after a poor start!


July – Police Service UK Olympic distance triathlon championships. Lovely course in the Lake District of England. Personal best in the swim but a tough bike and run section seen me over the line in 3hrs. Not great but acceptable on a hilly bike course with a cross country run that included sections of running on a sandy beaches.

August – Aberfeldy Half Iron distance triathlon. I love this course! The swim was cut short due to cold water however I had a storming bike run taking 20 minutes of last years time to finish the hilly 56miles in exactly 3 hours. For the first time in a race I got off the bike before my training buddy Stevie! I had my best triathlon half marathon to date but even with that Stevie managed to reel me in with 4.5 miles to go. Finished with a time of 5hrs 35 minutes. Delighted!


56 miles of cycling almost done.

October – Ironman Barcelona, 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run. My whole year had been leading up to this!  1hr 27min personal best in the water, 5hrs 41mins averaging 19.98mph on the bike and 5hrs 11 marathon. Finishing total for 140.6 miles was 12hrs 32mins, I can still scarcely believe it! It couldn’t have went better and the only place I could have shaved time was in the run but that was purely down to a lack of experience. Ironman Mallorca has been entered for September 2016!


November – Glen Ogle 33, a 33 mile ultra marathon. I finished the season off with a jog round the amazing Perthshire scenery in Glen Ogle. I ran well completing the very hilly mixed terrain course in 5hrs 49mins despite weary post Ironman legs. It did cost me a toenail though!



I am presently finishing my year off with a 31 day “marcothon” running challenge, my knees hurt and I am tired but its been a great year.

I thank you all, your kind sponsorship raised £1355 for a great cause, this will be brought to well over £1600 with gift aid. You have made a huge difference to a lot of children and the funds raised will assist in starting a one of a kind youth club in for autistic teenagers in Paisley. So if you sponsored me, encouraged me, trained with me, supported me or even babysat my boy to let me train then you have my gratitude!





I am racing next year but purely for myself, no sponsorship required! Keep up the kind words though and if you can be bothered then you can follow my poorly written musings of my race blogs!



The Glen Ogle 33 – A Race Too Far?

Four miles in and starting to enjoy the race!

Four miles in and starting to enjoy the race!

The Glen Ogle 33mile ultra is a cracking event but for the first time since I stopped being a fat pie I had no real appetite for a race. Ironman Barcelona had come and gone 5 weeks before hand and with it 18 months of focus and determination. I had come crashing down from my “A” race high having not only completed my first Ironman but also surprising myself with a decent time of 12hrs 32ms. With Glen Ogle looming I went into training 10 days later but my body didn’t thank me, going back to running only was difficult and after 2 x 6 miles and a 9 mile I pushed out a 15 miler with Stevie 3 weeks to the day after crossing the Barcelona line. Stevie was flying on that run and the last 5 miles crushed me! I decided to rest for the final two week run in to Glen Ogle and only ran a 6 miler on the Monday before to break in new race shoes.

On the Wednesday morning I woke up feeling ill, gunk was coming out my left ear and my balance and hearing were affected. A quick trip to the quacks led to a diagnosis of an aggressive ear infection, a prescription of Amoxicillin and orders not to run………………..

So obviously I ran.

DNF there is no shame in those three letters although to date I have never had one, I am sure it will come to me one day but I would rather see those letters next to my name than DNS. So at 5 am on Saturday morning I picked up Stevie and we rocked up to Killin and as soon as I registered the love came back. The atmosphere of the other runners and the thought of the challenge ahead brought my mood back to buoyant and I looked forward to running.

Stevie boy and myself around 18 miles in.

Stevie boy and myself around 18 miles in.

We met up at the start in Breadalbane park with Kevin, Greg, Tim and Ross and the banter began. Kevin and Greg would be competing in their first Ultra with Kev’s longest race to date having being some novelty race he called a “half marathon” or something along those lines. Their focus had been on this race and they had trained hard for it but it didn’t save them from savage ribbing! I am proud to say though that they both went on to have a storming day.

So with the skirl of the pipes we set off, 350 or so dafties trotting up Killin main street and into the woods. Using a bit of experience and savvy Stevie and I marched up some pretty steep hills only running the flats to save our legs for the miles ahead. It was a brutal start to the race but at mile four as the terrain changed to some flatter cycle track I got in to my stride and began enjoying the running and strangely was still in tow with Stevie. We chatted, ran and ate, crunching up the flat easy miles in sub 9 minute pace and were soon onto the road in to Balquhidder and the 13 mile mark. By now my legs were starting to tighten and I was struggling to keep hold of Stevie, it was also bouncing it down with rain and a funeral cortege passed me adding to my darkening mood, even the dead where travelling quicker!

I dug in and got back to Stevie and we walked a hill as I took in a gel that injected a bit of life. A great wee stop at check point 3 in which a lovely volunteer filled my water bladder as I faffed, put on a jacket and ate my weight in chocolate and shot blocks. I felt better and a glance at my watch showed us to be at 3 hours, a sub 6 hour finish was well on the cards which cheered me up no end as I didn’t think my legs and body had that left after a long hard season. So with my jacket on the rain obviously stopped and we hit the monster hill across the A85. Two miles of tramping up a never ending forestry track followed by the same down the other side and we were back on to the cycle track and on our way back in. I had a problem though, those shoes I had “broken in” with a six mile run 5 days before hand were a different brand than normal. I usually run in Asics but was giving Sketchers Ultras a go, great on the flat so far and really comfy but they had a wider toe box than I was used to and my big toes were slamming in to the front of the them on the steep down hills. I knew I was doing damage!

Doh, school boy error.

So we snaked up the switch back hill on the cycle track and hit the 26 mile mark around 4hrs 30ms and spied Kevin and Greg ahead of us. We tried to sneak up on them but Kevin turned round and saw us! I immediately felt sorry for him as when he seen us he was at that very moment struck down with cramp and twinges forcing him to grab his leg, limp, walk and make funny faces all at the same time. Greg? Well he just s**t himself. Quite literally actually as he set a course record of “visits to the woods” with four in one day!!!!

The boys were glad to see us and it gave us all a lift as we teased the next mile or so out together. Stevie’s pacing had been impeccable so far but I could no longer hold on and I slowly fell out the back of our wee group. Kevin and Greg fell to a similar fate a mile or so on as Stevie stretched away. I kept the other two around 50 – 100 metres ahead and at this stage thought my experience of grinding out the harder final miles would see me catch them. However a mixture of their fitter running legs and the fear of being caught by fat Pedro saw them hit the final down hill 4 miles before me. My toes were battered by now and I knew I had no chance of catching them so concentrated on keeping a decent pace with sub six hours still in my grasp.



A last wee push had me back in doing a sadistic loop of the park (whose idea was that!) to cross the line.

So after not really feeling the love in the run up I ended up having a great day, a finish of 5.49 and probably the best I have ever ran. Great pacing by Stevie really helped and being the uber athlete that he is I know that he could have pushed on at any point and I am grateful that he tolerated me so long!

All the guys had could times with Tim breaking five hours and then puking and Ross beating his previous effort. a special word of praise to Kevin and Greg though, first go at an ultra and a finish of 5.43 on a tough hilly course.

So thank you BaM racing team and your brilliant band of volunteers you host a great, friendly race in stunning countryside and all for a measly 22 quid! See you next year.

Kevin mocking me with a slow hand clap.

Kevin mocking me with a slow hand clap.

Ironman Barcelona 2015 – Pass The Brufen Please!

Basking in our glory - Team Barca the day after the race.

Basking in our glory – Team Barca the day after the race. (Martin, Myself, Stevie, Ian and Ally)

10:30am on the 1st of January 2014. I am standing on the bathroom scales with a massive whisky hangover, holding in a fart that I don’t trust just to be a fart. I am staring down at a digital display that mocks me with 14 stone 11.5 pounds. I am a fat bastard, how did I let this happen? Time to get to work!

08:45am on the 4th of October 2015. I am standing on a beach at Calella near Barcelona, 12 stone 13 pounds clad in a wetsuit and concentrating on the surf in front of me. Twelve minutes later I am swimming and my Ironman Barcelona has started.

In the intervening 22 months I had worked hard, 4 half iron distance triathlons, 3 sprints, a standard, a half marathon and a 53 mile off road ultra marathon had been completed along with a shed load of training. I wasn’t yet at my target weight with ten pounds or so still to drop but I was fitter than I had been in 15 years.

Enough of the past though, this isn’t an audition for the X factor and the back story isn’t important, no elderly relatives died in the making of this triathlete. This is a report on my big race. Ironman Barcelona.

First and foremost Ironman events are not cheap, the entries are around £450 and there are plenty of other non-branded iron distance events around. However if you are a triathlete and you can afford it then do one. The razzmatazz and pageantry that goes with them are fantastic. Cycling on closed roads, excellent organisation, great crowds and what can only be described as the best finishers experience in modern sport. Then there is the training, its relentless, you have to be focused and selfish. Family time drops and you need your other half to buy in to your dream. The ability to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run 26.2 miles one after the other doesn’t just happen.

So training behind us Stevie (aka Mr Awesome, aka the wank that got me into this) trapped up at Glasgow airport on the Thursday before the Sunday race for the early flight to Barcelona. We checked our bags and bikes and had breakfast, excitement starting to bubble over despite the lack of sleep. Arriving at Barcelona airport we paced the floor like expectant fathers waiting for our bike boxes to arrive. Would they arrive? Would they arrive in one piece? Would my re-occurring dream of standing watching the component parts of my bike arrive one by one on the rotating luggage carousel come true?  You could smell the fear leaking from Stevie!

The bikes arrived and we picked up our hire car and faced my biggest fear of the week, driving abroad! Driving the forty miles to our hotel were the scariest thing I have ever done. I swear the sweat was dripping  from my elbows and arriving in Calella I informed Stevie that he could forget about a pre-race drive of the bike course as I was parking the car in it wouldn’t be moving for a week.



We checked in and the went straight to the Ironman village to register for the race. This was when the size of the race hit me. The village was huge and I admit to feeling a wee bit emotional as I picked up my race number and pack including the Ironman branded rucksack that looked so cheap that the Chinese factory that made it may have outsourced.

We planned to spend the rest of the day resting up but boredom and excitement drove us mad and by that evening the bikes were built and transition bags packed leaving us nothing to do on Friday other than meet up with Ally, Ian and Martin and their respective families who had flown in late on Thursday night. This merry band included Richard and his wife. Richard had broke his arm 8 weeks before the race and had withdrawn but decided to come and lend his support. Cheers mate it was appreciated!

I got to meet Ally’s boys again having first experienced their company at a half iron in Arran earlier in the summer. They are great lads and their cheers and support in the race was brilliant, however his youngest was determined that I should take him along to the nudist beach just out of town so he could see some “gazongas.” I explained that the “gazongaz” would be on leather skinned elderly Germans and crushed his dreams in one fell swoop.

Saturday Morning had us attend at the race brief and the excitement really began to ramp up, 2000 eager and nervous triathletes crammed into a marquee to hear a list of rules we already knew, I guessed the rest, like me, just wanted to drink in the atmosphere and pass some more time before the race. At half past four we racked our bikes and returned to the hotel to run over our race plans for the 1000th time. Stevie is a veteran of two previous Ironman races and has been a fund of knowledge and sounding board for me. “Forget about times and concentrate on just finishing” was his advice and of course he was correct however I also wanted to put in a good first time performance and was targeting a time of 14 hours something.

In one piece and ready to roll.

In one piece and ready to roll.

Bikes racked and time to relax.

Bikes racked and time to relax.

I never really slept that night, fearing missing the alarm and with the noise of the busy resort outside my window sleep was a stranger to me. Bleary eyed I ate breakfast at 0600hrs, the hotel had been kind enough to open the dining room especially for triathlete guests but their choice of foods was strange. Bananas yes, but early morning pasta? Yuck.

Bike checked, tyres pumped up, wetsuit on. I am standing on the beach ready for the rolling start, I have seeded myself in the 1.24 – 1.35 pen and Stevie who is quicker than this has decided to start beside me. All around peoples emotions are taking over, some are crying some laughing and the excitement is palpable. Personally I was trying to keep my emotions in check, I had refused to phone my wife before the race fearing I would breakdown, I just wanted to get in the water and get going. The days leading up to the race had seen massive waves and chop but today there was only some swell and a breaking wave on the beach to get through. Loud music pumped up the throng and the line snaked forward for the rolling start. A quick man hug with Stevie (his idea I think he fancies me) and then a jog forward and a dive into the waves. Ironman Barcelona had started…..

The swim went well. Well enough for me anyway! I couldn’t string ten lengths together 20 months ago so I am never going to be the best swimmer. The water was warm and buoyant with my suit holding me high making for great swimming conditions. The swell was ok and sighting was easy. I quickly realised that the rolling start had lead to a lot of folks telling white lies about their swim times as I passed loads of folk. The buoys were marked at 500m distances allowing me to check my progress which was consistently good. In what seemed like no time at all I was at the beach ready to get out, I stood up and was knocked straight on my arse by a wave, stripping me of all dignity as I flopped about like a distressed marine mammal. I saw hand reaching out towards me and I feared it was Green Peace trying to drag me back to sea but it turned out to be a “catcher” helping me out. On my feet I stole a glance at my watch, 1.27. 1 Fecking 27!! A personal best by miles for me, I was delighted and my confidence soared, all those cold days pounding up and down Kilbirnie Loch had paid off! I jogged up the beach feeling like an actual triathlete and was greeted by the raucous cheers of Richard and the others. Thanks guys it meant the world.

Quick change and on to my TT bike.

The course was billed as flat and mostly it is. Its two 45 mile laps followed by a shorter 20 mile lap and a mile or two back into the town. The North end of the course had hills, well long drags equating to 2500 feet of effort over the bike leg. I just got my head down and peddled. In my dreams I thought I might get a 6 hour bike, in my wildest dreams and Stevie had warned me about going to fast. My first lap was covered at an average of 20.8 mph, oh shite I am going to fast, should I slow down? I felt great and thought f**k it just keep going. I saw Stevie coming the other direction about 3.5 miles before the turn, he was flying and looked great and this cemented my desire to keep pushing. The second lap saw my average dropping to 20.3 mph and other than swallowing a banana badly causing me to vomit on my legs and front forks I still felt great! The crowds were gathered at the hills and the support was excellent especially from our wee Scottish manic cheering squad.

Going like the wind or suffering wind, you decide.

Going like the wind or suffering wind, you decide.

The last 20 miles or so saw my average drop to 19.8mph and I clambered off my bike in a total of 5.41. I had no punctures and no trips to the jam packed penalty tents that many drafting bastards had suffered. The drafting was outrageous at times and the whistle of the motor bike refs could be heard frequently.

Out of T2 in 2.30 I looked at my watch, 7.23! Jeezo this was going better than I could have imagined I was invincible!

Then I went running…………….

I walked the first five hundred metres or so swigging a bottle of Pepsi and grabbing a chat with Richard. I soaked in the atmosphere and then started to run. I ran the first 11k’s far to hard leaving me done in and for the first time suffering doubts. Richard told me to slow down but to keep running and I did. Shortly after that I was joined by Josh from the East Essex tri club and we teamed up for a bit of company. This was the best thing I could have done, the miles ticked over and although the pace wasn’t exactly furious we were moving consistently well and I could feel my strength building. The third ten kilometres are supposed to be the hardest, a time when many Ironmen are visited by demons of doubt and suffering but I felt great. I was getting stronger and Josh encouraged me to go on by myself. Not a chance my new friend! I knew I was finishing and that was enough, I didn’t trust I had the discipline not to go on to hard and burn out again and anyway we were doing well together so why change it?

Myself and Josh crunching out the miles.

Myself and Josh crunching out the miles.

Just over five hours saw me 1km from the finish and Josh and I said our goodbyes, we each had our own dreams of the finish line and neither involved a six foot male triathlete dressed in lycra and covered in sweat, snot, puke and gels. I pushed on and found myself at the start of the finishers shoot. I put my hat in my pocket and pulled out the large Saltire I had carried and draped myself in it. I had pictured this moment for 11 long months and I had planned to stroll to the line all gallus high fiving the crowd, well that was the plan………

Instead I lost control as the line pulled me like a magnet for an over excited idiot and I ran, stumbled, cheered and generally made a fanny of myself jumping over the line and punching the air in one go! Oh and I ran in to some guy was was shouting “PETER FROM SCOTLAND YOU ARE AN IRRRRONNNMANNNNNN.”

Brilliant just brilliant, and believe it or not fatboy slim had got to the line in 12.32!

This needs no words!

This needs no words!

Stevie, who had crossed the line in an amazing 11.14, was waiting for me and was over the moon and beaming with pride. Cheers Stevie, you more than anyone know how hard I worked and this would not have been possible without you.

Ally had come in sub 11 hours (how the feck do you do that), and Ian and Martin had also managed 12 hour times. Success for the team all round!

I finished the race by puking into a bin for 40 minutes then taking photographs and phoning my family. My phone and facebook was going mental with photographs of my crossing the line and messages of congrats as well as several running commentaries of my days progress online. Thanks guys your support meant everything.

I phoned my wife, both she and my wee boy had seen me crossing the line on the live feed and both where in tears! They had been pacing the floor all day following the live updates and posting my progress. It was probably easier running the race and next year I am taking them along! I really regret not having them with me to share the moment.

The rest of the week before flying home on Thursday was spent steaming drunk by the pool eating crap with Stevie. In fact as I type this I am having chips! The Ironman blues have kicked in already but I have a 33 mile ultra marathon in three weeks so the training resumes tomorrow.

Finally with the help of my friends I have raised over £1350 for autistic children in Renfrewshire and I thank each and everyone of my friends that helped me reach that amazing total!

The bold Stevie, he only weighs four stones.

The bold Stevie, he only weighs four stones.

Ta Dah!

Ta Dah!

PS I got an Irontwat tattoo in Spain.

Sorry mum.

Sorry mum.

There must be easier ways to earn a medal – The Hoka Highland Fling 2015.

Thee is nothing dodgy about meeting other men at 5am in a railway station car park! (Tim Ross and myself prior to the start)

There is nothing dodgy about meeting other men at 5am in a railway station car park! (Tim Ross and myself prior to the start)

As I type this I am broken. I am shuffling about like a pensioner and my “nipsy” is so chaffed I feel like I have been passed round the showers in an all male prison. I am, however, full of pride and self achievement having yesterday completed the Hoka Highland Fling Ultra race!

The “fling” is 53 mile race along the West Highland Way (WHW) from Milngavie near Glasgow to Tyndrum in the Highlands. Its basically a double marathon across country trails with 7500ft of climbing thrown in for good measure. Most WHW walkers take around three days to cover the distance in the “Fling” you have a cut off time of 15 hours to complete it!

This started for me last October when my fitness freak mate Stevie Hill entered me in the race. He had done it before as had my other training buddy Ross, they had felt the pain yet decided is was fair to throw me into it! Not being much of a runner I started training in December and under Ross and Stevie’s constant berating and bullying built my distance’s up to 24 miles at a time. I covered about 400 miles and along with the others our focus seen us training in the wet and the cold through the winter. It was not braw but determination not to make an arse of myself pulled me through.

Coming down Conic Hill around the 19 mile mark.

Coming down Conic Hill around the 19 mile mark.

So I will try and keep this brief. 5am saw me at Milngavie train station along with Ross and Tim (another member of our training gang I met through this stupidity) and despite a lack of sleep the excitement and adrenaline kept me awake and focused. The race goes of in waves a couple of minutes apart, the sub ten hours first then ten to twelve hours and then the rest. I should have been in with the rest but sneaked in with the faster Tim and Ross so that we could start together.

The first twelve miles is fairly flat and takes you to Drymen and a water station. I would be capable of running this in under an hour and forty minutes but I knew pacing would be crucial and held my speed back to save energy for later and arrived bang on schedule in 2 hours ten minutes. I took on some water and a mouth full of flap jack and cruised by. The next eight miles would see us really hitting the cross country trails including going over the Conic Hill. I kept to my plan and walked the hill before trotting down to the first feeding station at Balmaha approximately 20 miles into the race. I took five minutes and faffed, refilling my water bladder and having a bite of a sandwich and some nuts. My triathlon buddy Willie was there taking photos and posting Facebook updates for my friends and family and grabbing a chat with him was a welcome distraction. I pushed on feeling remarkable fresh and strong but after a punishing hill four miles later I had my first wobble. I have heard of marathon runners hitting the wall but this was more like a helicopter pilot dropping the bricks and mortar on me from on high! I slowed my pace for a mile took on some food and gels and pulled myself together and shortly after that I was passed by Hannah from my triathlon club who was running a leg of the relay race. She gave me a wee hug and some words of encouragement and it really got me going again. I ended up coming into the second feed station at Rowerdennan feeling quite together again and it dawned on me at this point that I had completed my first trail half marathon, marathon and trail marathon all in the one day. This was the have way point and I knew then I was going to finish, hey I only had another marathon to go! I was also given a massive mental boost by being surprised by my parents waiting to see me!

Half way there and looking not to bad!

Half way there and looking not to bad!

I had covered half the race in around five and a half hours and was starting to think I might manage a time of around twelve and a half hours but I knew I would start to really tire and the terrain up ahead was slower and more technical than what I had covered to date!

The next seven miles or so to Inversnaid were my best. I felt strong, walking the hills and running the flats and descents just like the lads had trained me. The section flew by and I was soon at the feeding station but by now I was struggling to eat and I needed the calories. The energy gels were beginning to sicken me and I was getting by on seeds and dried fruit. I left the feeding station fairly quickly and this is were my race really started. The next section was horrible it was a relentless scramble through a rocks on a section of path following the loch side. It made for hard going and the running was sporadic, this was completely knackering and by the time I reached the final feeding station I was a mess. I wobbled in and noticed that a couple of the marshals were taking an interest in my condition and I was worried that they wouldn’t let me continue but bless them they filled my water made me eat and sent me on my way. I had twelve miles to go and had slowed considerably after the last section, I was still running but I knew I had a serious hill to come and it was playing on my mind. Stevie had fallen ill with a virus in the run up to the race and had with drawn. I wasn’t aware but he had driven up and was waiting at the 42 mile mark for me. Fortunately I was running when we met and he had a bottle of Pepsi for me! I cant tell you the lift I got from him, it was immeasurable. Despite what I say to his face he is a good guy really, even if he is faster than me, fitter than me and from Yorkshire!

The look of a haunted man. (Taken at 42 miles by Stevie).

The look of a haunted man. (Taken at 42 miles by Stevie).

A couple of miles later the two and a half mile climb through the forest at Crainlarich started. It really was time for one foot in front of the other relentless forward progress. I have never been so jaded or sore in any event and I had to pull myself through it with sheer determination. I got through it though, you have to don’t you? And with that it was four miles to the finish. I was determined to run in and normally this would take me half an hour but I was down to a shuffle and I had to grit my teeth and accept that it was going to take double that. I was passing people though and it looked like my early pacing plan had paid off. With half a mile to go I saw my son Fergus and my wife Rhona waiting for me and the emotion of the day spilled over. tears were streaming from my eyes and I was bubbling over with pride, excitement and pain.

Fergus helping me in!

Fergus helping me in!

I few minutes more and I passed the pipers playing near the finish (more bloody tears) and with that I was in the finishing shoot, onto the red carpet, crowd cheering and high five-ing, cow bells clanging and Stevie, Ross and Tim giving it ladly for me! (more bloody tears and some snotters aswell)11198897_917058924984285_723278612_n

53 miles, 7500 feet and 13 hours and 51 minutes earned me the hardest medal I have gotten to date. Do this race If you can. The scenery is stunning, the marshals and organisation are beyond reproach and the camaraderie of the event is second to none.

Still standing!

Still standing!

So yeah I am broken, stiff and sore with cuts, bruises, blisters and an arse like a butchers window but it was all worth it – probably!

My knee support may have been cutting it to me a tad.......

My knee support may have been cutting it to me a tad…….

In running this event my fabulous friends and family have helped me raise £600 to start a youth club for autistic children in Renfrewshire. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.