Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Frank's Valentine Run 2017

Frank's Valentine Run 2017

Dentdale 2017

Dentdale 2017

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Criffel Hill Race 2017

Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

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London Marathon 2016

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Highland Fling Relay 2016

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Moffat 15k 2016

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Screel Hill Race 2017

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Santa Run 2017



The West Highland Way Race 2019

03/07/2019

Two members of Dumfries Running Club lined up at 1am on June 21st to take part in the longest and hardest race, the 95 mile West Highland way race. Seb Pflanz was at the start line in Milngavie for his fourth attempt and for Laura Broatch this was her very first time at such a difficult challenge.

Having pulled out two years ago at Glencoe Seb’s primary goal this year was a finish, with a smile on his face. His team included wife Mary and fellow runner Allie Wilson, both of whom had supported him on many previous ultras, as well as Dalbeattie runner Jeannette Shennan, who had her first taste of ultra support. The conditions and weather forecast were great, and Seb settled into a very comfortable early pace. Having met his crew at the forest above Drymen he felt strong going over Conic hill and into Balmaha by Loch Lomond. A quick shoe change there and then on into the 30 mile unsupported section. He realised he’d pushed the pace a bit too hard when he struggled with solid food after Rowardennan, but easing off a little helped settle his stomach. A brief chat with Les Hill at Inversnaid was very motivating, and the rough section to Beinglas seemed to pass easily.

After Beinglas Seb hit what turned out to be the low point of the day. A combination of stomach cramp and tired legs meant relatively slow progress for the next 10 miles. The descents in Ewich forest also caused an injury of his right knee, which made sustained running impossible for the rest of the race. Meeting the team at Auchtertyre was a huge boost, however, and utilising his long stride he was able to race walk, actually gaining a few places on the way to Bridge of Orchy. The climb over “Jellybaby Hill” to Inveroran went well, and passing the 100 km point at Victoria Bridge his motivation was very high. Crossing Rannoch Moor and approaching Glencoe his frame of mind couldn’t have been more different to what it was 2 years ago, when he withdrew at that point: The focus now was on the finish, and he was keeping to his sub-24 hour schedule. Newbie crew member Jeannette joined him over the iconic Devil’s staircase, and whilst his knee was now very painful on descending Seb continued in great spirits. Another slick checkpoint performance by his team meant leaving Kinlochleven just after 8 pm – 5 hours to get to the finish in sub-24. Allie was now on the trail with him, and the two reminisced about her WHW race four years earlier, when Seb had been in the support role. The Glory Leg – the last 15 miles to Fort William – lived up to expectation; a truly stunning sunset reflected on the Mamore summits, the party atmosphere of the Lundavra checkpoint team, and then the focused progress through Nevis Forest and down into Fort William. Sadly his knee didn’t allow Seb to run on that last section, and despite walking at 13 minute mile pace he lost a couple of places in the last mile. That didn’t, however, dampen in any way the joy of crossing the finish line in 23 hours and 5 minutes , adding a third goblet to his WHW collection. He couldn’t have done it without his amazing team, who not only sustained him with food, fluids, hugs, kisses and high fives, but also were extremely slick in their checkpoint routine – a huge thank you to them, as well as the DRC members supporting other runners, who piled on the encouragement along the route.

 

Laura had a good run up until Balmaha but after that she fell twice on the way to Rowardennan and had a few stumbles. She started feeling queasy a mile from Rowardennan and was sick all the way to Auchtertyre Farm checkpoint at 51 miles. She managed to keep something down here for the first time all day and carried on with the support of her team of her husband Jimmy, Sue Jeffrey, Andy Dickson and Jodie Dempster. Laura started to pick up the pace a bit from here and managed to gain a few places along the way. However it all started going wrong again when she got pain in her leg by

the Bridge of Orchy but she didn’t let this stop her and carried on over Rannoch moor and came into Glencoe as the sun set. Over the devil staircase and onto Kinlochleven was tough as it was in the dark and Laura was into her second night. Her leg was very painful by this time but she just kept moving and made up a few places on the run into Fort William even though every step was painful.

Laura was so excited to cross the finish line in a time of 32 hrs 38 minutes despite tendonitis in her leg which was causing the pain. This wasn’t the race Laura had planned for but it is impossible to predict what happens on the day. Laura was delighted with her fantastic support team who helped her through the race and she was not sure she could have finished without their help.

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