dirty 30's

My nighttime habit may have saved my life

This is a creepy experience by reddit user CarveAPumpkin

This happened two nights ago, so I’m still replaying it over and over in my head. I thought this would be a good place to share.  I’m a pretty predictable person, with a predictable schedule, so I’m not sure if this was a random occurrence or if someone knew my nightly routine.

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Town Business
Keak Da Sneak
Town Business

Keak Da Sneak- Town Business
Came from Favor Street hit well
Cuz Big Hugh and Wendell got the purp-el
Bitch in the car thick from Stockton
I told her “Turn the party out”
Cuz me no cock block ya
Beat knockin’ got my weed in seven tre
Make the right on Bancroft
The town crank everyday
I’m in the east ridin’ and smokin’
I’nmy scraper makin’ paper
There’s no place like Oakland
Just livin’ in the city is a serious task
So I gas, break, dip and gas

We like to swing ‘em in the land of the sideshow
Work and pistol in the car we don’t ride slow
We take the po-po on one
Get away, hit the studio, another song done
Don’t stop man just don’t quit
I write my verses in the bathroom so I know they the shit

Sebrany, Walnut, 98th, Brookfield.
800 block, 70’s, Seminary to the Ville.
Habeas Court, Dirty 30’s, Murder Dubs, Foothill.
McArthur, Bancroft, E-1-4, to the the Hills.

The Lochalsh Dirty 30

Ultra Marathon number 3 of the year took me south west, beyond Fort Augustus and along the magnificent A87 passing the pleasingly pointy five sisters of Kintail to Glenelg, a wee town on the edge of the Scottish mainland and the start of the Lochalsh Dirty 30.

It’s confession time dear readers, I saw that the course record for this 30 mile circuit was just under four hours. I read a report from a hiker who had completed the report which informed me there was “a few thousand feet of climb” over the route. 2000 feet of elevation over thirty miles…in under four hours? I could kill this…I could actually win this!? Whilst I have approached every other Ultra with a combination of humility and dread, I was complacent about this race. The shortest distance of the 5 Ultra’s I’ve chosen for this year and one that doesn’t attract a lot of big names in Ultra running…should be easy.

I am a moron.

The Lochalsh Dirty 30 was insanely difficult. Significantly tougher than the John Muir Way earlier in the year, and with more technical difficulty than the Highland Fling. I was humbled by the Dirty 30 and will never be complacent about an Ultra Marathon ever again.

I should point out that the Dirty 30 is a ‘Challenge’ rather than a race…you can opt to run it or hike it and there were a combination of runners and hikers at the start line. There were some VERY fit people at that start line. After a very funny race briefing, we set off from Glenelg on tarmac. Lovely, smooth, flat tarmac along the banks of Loch Alsh itself, mountains loom on either side of us, but I fly along, far too quickly for me, I’m actually up with the top pack, banging out a mile every 7 and a half minutes. I’ve fallen the sirens call of the flat tarmac, so it came as shock when we turned off the road at about the 2.5 mile mark and hit trails.

It rained pretty much all of last week, and the rain water was draining from the mountains, often the trails are the route of least resistance so the paths become rivers and swamps. In one section we battled through a pine forest, the trail was non-existent and we waded knee deep through the mud until the forest spat us out on a hillside that wound its way upwards for around 500ft before returning us to see level and tarmac at about the mile 10 mark.

With the famous Eiliean Donan Castle visible across the loch, I spun my tired legs back up to a half decent pace on the tarmac and spent the next six miles looking at the mountains that towered around me. The road was flat and I refueled on Jelly babies and water at the Letterfearn rest stop before continuing down to Shiel Bridge. At mile sixteen the road ended and the trail returned, twisting and climbing upwards, with every few feet of climb, the trail become less recognizable, wetter and steeper.

In a little less than two miles, over broken ground, the dirty thirty climbs from sea level to 1500 ft. It is one of the toughest climbs in a race that I have ever encountered. The Devils Staircase during the Glencoe Marathon took us higher, but over a longer distance. As my watched beeped to celebrate mile 17, I looked up to see another mile of almost sheer hillside before me, I honestly considered pulling out. My ankles and calves have never been so sore, the fast start, the bog, the merciless climb…each hurt in a different unique way.

But somehow, I kept going. I got to the top and marveled at view. I can remember the top of the devils staircase and the headlong descent on good trails down to Kinlochleven during the Glencoe Marathon. Sadly this downhill was not so much fun, the trail was just broken rocks and heather, making speed impossible. Legs rendered useless by the climb couldn’t muster much speed anyway. I ran out of water at some point on the descent and risked a refill from one of the many mountain streams.

Eventually it levelled out and the trail improved. For great chunks of this race I was alone, perhaps a few runners on the horizon in front and behind me. At around mile 23 that all changed, I was joined by Shirley a runner from Forres, very close to my home town of Nairn and we exchanged stories and cheered each other along for the next five miles. It was fantastic and she really raised my spirits for the final push.

I finished the Dirty 30 in six hours and eighteen minutes.. It was far from my best effort, but a brilliant lesson in humility. It’s a great race…with only water and the occasional jelly baby up for grabs at the feed stations, so make sure you’ve bought plenty of food. But aside from the limited menu, it’s a little gem in the running calendar and I may well be back next year.