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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Glasgow, UK
    Posts
    1,293

    TR: Highland Trail 550

    In 2021 I had to scratch from the race just 30 miles short of the finish. My left ankle/foot was slowly giving up on me throughout the whole route and I finally decided to call it rather than destroy myself just to get to the finish. That was my first time dropping out if an ultra, it weighed heavy on my mind for most of the year. I mean, I wasnít that down or anything, but it gave me a bit of extra stress leading to this yearís race.






    I rode a different bike, had knowledge of the whole route, and felt like I had better fitness than last year. Stoked! I was shooting for a finish time of anything less than 5 days. Pipedream Sirius, 32x20, 120mm Pike, 200mm dropper, 800mm Stooge Junker bars, 2.4r and 2.6f.











    A group start this year, as opposed to starting in covid-safe waves in 2021. Itís a lot more fun to have a grand depart and itís nice to socialise beforehand. The nervous energy floating around was very present, something that I actually really enjoy. People seem to go out so fast on these races, I like to hang back and ease into the route. The first couple of days can really take their tole if I start out too hard, I prefer to try and fall into my own rhythm and not get caught up in the excitement of racing.






    The terrain on the first day is mostly double track, there is some really nice singletrack around Ben Alder though - highlight of the day.






    The weather on the second day started promising but eventually gave way to windy conditions, head-windy. On and off rain. The phone stayed hidden away after that, no pics for a while. I ran into a guy that was bike touring around the UK with his partner. He was wearing a Wasatch Backcountry Alliance jersey that caught my eye and we got to chatting. I want to say that I had met him in Salt Lake in my previous life but couldnít quite place it. Small world!




    Only pic from day 3. Punchy double track about to give way to 3 hours of hike-a-bike.


    I pushed on through the Fisherfield section deep into the 3rd night.
    Scouting mission earlier in the year - https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ield-Freak-Out


    Cutting sleep was something I was planning to play with. Itís a game that Iím not sure if I understand how to play yet. For some reason I keep trying to learn. I told myself that I could push it a bit if I was feeling ok. With a finish being my main goal, I didnít want to jeopardize that with something as pointless as sleep deprivation. If it started to have a negative effect on the big picture I would scale it back.




    I slept on this gravel beach for and hour and half on the third night. No pad, no bag. Just a dirt nap, wearing all my layers. The days are really long in late May/early June. Things start to get light around 3am. I was seeing double when I woke up.







    These horses were being majestic as they enjoyed the morning views. Made me smile.






    Torridon



    According to the organiser, these were the wettest trail conditions in the 10 years that the race has been going.












    Glen Affric. End of Day 4



    Scottish Redwoods
    https://www.scottishredwoodtrust.com...-redwood-story



    Glencoe. Almost back




    Trenchfoot









    Crawled my way back uo to watch some people finish. Dude has a bloody face and shit-eating grin!

    Overall, Iím couldnít be happier with my ride. I hit my goal and ended up with a time of about 4d10h. More importantly, I wasnít completely destroyed at the finish. I had some aches and pains and whatever, but no big injuries or anything like that. Part of me wants to see if I could do it in under 4 days. Maybe Iíll give it another go in a couple of yearsÖ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    8,558
    dude! amazing and burly. well done.

    the trenchfoot photo comes out of nowhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    3,166
    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    dude! amazing and burly. well done.

    the trenchfoot photo comes out of nowhere
    Toes leelau would be proud of!

    Nice work dude! I need to get over there and do that route one of these times.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    in the brew room
    Posts
    2,128
    Wow! Nice work!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    The Fish
    Posts
    4,075
    Cool indeed.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,948
    Awesome, nice work. I would love to do the route someday, but would probably need at least double the days :-).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    6,296
    Awesome Mike, good work! So how much did you sleep? You don't mention sleep at all till night three, and then only an hour and a half?!
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Glasgow, UK
    Posts
    1,293
    I think I had about 10 or 11 hours of sleep total across the 4 nights

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    6,296
    Damn that's pretty hard core, nice work Man.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    between campus and church
    Posts
    8,603
    Fantastic. Thanks for sharing your ride with us.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NCW
    Posts
    3,926
    hell yeah, that's some rad scenery

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
    Posts
    15,321

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    93108
    Posts
    2,565
    Incredible.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    slc
    Posts
    15,913
    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post
    Damn that's pretty hard core, nice work Man.
    Seriously.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    205
    Love the highlands riding stoke, thanks for posting

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