Today I just want to say a massive CONGRATULATIONS to Tom and his pal Ivor, who yesterday completed The Highland Fling: a 53-mile “ultra” race along the first half of the West Highland Way. The race starts in Milngavie, and passes through Drymen and Balmaha, before traversing the East shore of Loch Lomond, moving up through Crianlarich, and finishing at the By The Way hostel in Tyndrum (a familiar landmark to anyone who knows the West Highlands). It took me three and a half days to walk that distance . . . they were hoping to cover it in less than eleven hours.


Tom and Ivor have been training for this epic undertaking for months now, running long stretches of the Way every weekend, in all weathers. It was Tom’s first “ultra” run, and also the first time that he has been involved with a race where I could literally walk out of the front door to cheer him on, which in itself was quite exciting. There was a small supporting crowd outside our house at the crack of dawn, complete with a fiddler who played strathspeys and hornpipes as the runners went by.


The weather was kind and the going was good. Taking it slowly, and consuming large quantities of gels, energy drinks and malt loaf as they went, they did really well. Tom completed the race in 9 hours 45 minutes, and Ivor in 10 hours 30 minutes, both of which are terrific times. And after a few beers, a fish supper, and a good night’s sleep, they are both in remarkably good shape.


Congratulations, Tom and Ivor!

44 thoughts on “Highland Fling!

  1. i’m thinking that Ivor’s left foot must be recuperating in a bag of ice. No idea about the packet suspended from the ear, though.

    perhaps Tom’s feet fared better because they were clothed in socks hand-knit by Kate? it’s possible that hand-knit socks might be the magic no-blister solution for all long distance runners.


  2. It is a matter of considerable regret to me that malt loaf is not available in the US. Perhaps if it was, I too would be able to run that far.


  3. congratulations tom and ivor! well done!! i bet those beers and fish dinner tasted spectacular! we have a beautiful (difficult!) 50 mile (though i think it’s now 55) ultra trail race every november here where we live, in the santa barbara back country. my husband is an ultra runner too, you can see a bit of what it’s the course is like here :
    just in case you might like to run in california!


  4. Please give Tom and Ivor a resounding high 5! Totally amazing feat that is twice the marathon, and their times were terrific. My son-in-law competes in the Iron Man races here in the states and it is not
    comparable as they swim 4 miles, ride their bikes 112 miles and then run the full marathon.His times are very similar as well. What fantastic athletes these gents are!


  5. That is just amazing….dedication and concentration (two things you and Tom have in common!). Congratulations to both runners.


  6. That just proves my theory that people in handknitted socks can outrun any man wearing a carrier bag….

    Congratulations to the pair of them :)


  7. Congratulations Tom & Ivor ! Amazing accomplishment !! (( I secretly dream to be a runner, but will remain just a walker…. plodding along the ridge and wooded paths with my dog while knitting))


  8. As I head out on my measly 12 mile run (ok, winds are 34mph right now and I do have a marathon next weekend), I will think of the WHW Fling and hope we can run it someday. Congrats and hope that they can enjoy the well deserved day off. Are those blue striped socks something you made for Tom? Not sure what Malt loaf is but if makes me faster, I will eat it. Happy running and knitting!


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