High­land Fling Ul­tra, 2014

SAM MUR­PHY, 48, RYE

Runner's World (UK) - - Shirt Tales -

‘If ever I’ve “earned” a race T-shirt, it is this one. The High­land Fling (through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park, Scot­land, was my first (and still only!) ul­tra­ma­rathon event. Train­ing didn’t ever re­ally get off the ground and I al­most with­drew from the race, but I even­tu­ally de­cided to go ahead. That was not the best de­ci­sion I have ever made. Fifty-three miles of chal­leng­ing ter­rain isn’t some­thing you can coast through un­pre­pared. From around 30 miles in, I suf­fered – badly. I fact, I al­most pulled out a num­ber of times, I got lost, I cried, I be­rated my­self and at the fin­ish I felt hum­bled and bro­ken. Days later, though, I re­alised I’d learned two valu­able lessons. One: I’d sur­vived it, de­spite the odds, which made me tough. Two: run­ning chal­lenges de­serve re­spect. I’ve never gone into an­other race so un­pre­pared.’

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