It's been a wonderfully chaotic and fun-filled end to 2012 and start to 2013 with much drinking, eating, and general socialising. Oh, and a bit of this sort of thing....
more fantastic pictures from the fireballs)
In any case it seems like a good time to very briefly look back over another year of running and forward to what's coming up, much of which is looking similar to last year...
As in 2012, the first big race of 2013 should be the D33 in March. It's going to be difficult to better my big birthday PB from last year but a small improvement would be nice - looks like there'll be a lot of familiar faces there so looking forward to a fun day.
A few years ago, April was the month of Balmoral, but more recently became the month of the Highland Fling (which I was delighted to complete in 2012 after a 2011 DNF). In 2013, I'm planning to be at the Highlander Mountain Marathon - as ever, the goal will be a couple of good days out in the hills with a mate and a respectable finish.
In May, we'll be back at the Spital of Glenshee for the wonderful Cateran Trail Ultra. I'm already looking forward to this and really want to improve my time as I feel that I've not performed my best at this race in the last two years. Looks like there will be a decent Stonehaven crowd there so another big party at the finish.
Which takes us to June and the West Highland Way Race - last year, I was very happy and proud to help the mrs on her way to Fort William and that lovely goblet. This year, I'm planning to do a similar job for my good mate Minty who I am absolutely sure will do brilliantly - so much so that I'm going to have to train hard just to be in a position to keep kicking his arse up the trail, even though he'll already have run 50+ miles by the time I can join him. Rhino (with mrs s in support) and Jo will be representing Stoney and Mike R will hopefully be up the front somewhere so, once again, it should be a very sociable weekend.
July and August are likely to feature a couple of smaller, local races (Ballater 10K possibly) but will mainly be about preparation for my main event in 2013 - the Glenmore 24 hour race in September. It was wonderful to watch the end of the race in 2012, especially seeing Minty complete his 100 miles, a feat I hope to emulate in 2013. In all honesty, looking at the last couple of years results, anything over 90 miles would probably be a good distance for me, but triple figures would be amazing and with the right training and the right attitude, I'm hoping I can do enough for Ada to give me the horn. Not sure if the distraction of my wife's birthday starting half way through the race will be a good thing or a bad thing but I do feel sure it's going to be another fun weekend with a whole bunch of great people.
And after that, nothing. At least, nothing planned so far so I'll just wait and see how things look. In 2012, I had the GMC in November (and thoroughly enjoyed it) but that won't be back until 2014 now. Maybe, I'll be looking at some disorganised runs in the mountains, or walks with friends and family - let me know if you've any good ideas for places to go, things to see, etc.
Whatever happens, I hope to have a lot of fun in 2013, do some new things and spend some time with friends (old ones, new ones, and ones I haven't met yet). I hope you all have a great time this year and achieve your goals.