Red Wine Runner

A Scottish Running Blog

Meet Rhona

Welcome to Red Wine Runner!

west highland way race 2015

I’m a runner currently living in Scotland with a passion for running, racing, and writing about both. In this blog you can read about my journey from doing a 10k for charity to doing ultramarathons for fun, and everything that came in between. I post about my training and write reports for all the races I do. Recipes and book reviews occasionally slip in too, and usually one or two pictures of cats. I juggle my training with maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and enjoying life with my husband, Kynon, and our cat, Saskia.

In January 2010 I decided I needed an outlet for stress and also a new hobby and my journey to becoming a runner began. I ran my first race in May 2010 to raise money for Willows Animal Sanctuary, but in crossing the finish line that day, I realised what my body could be capable of and wanted to do more; run faster, go further, train harder. At the start of November 2010 I took a jump towards a new goal by signing up for the Great Scottish Run in September 2011 – a half marathon which takes place in Glasgow – and set up Red Wine Runner to write about it.

Striving for the finish!

Finishing my first 10k at Baker Hughes 2010

 

Throughout 2011 I found my ambitions stretching further and further. By the time the 2011 Great Scottish Run came around, I had completed five 5ks, three 10ks, two 8 mile trail races, one 10 mile race, five half marathons and had finished my training for my first marathon – Loch Ness. At the start of the year I would have never dreamed I could be capable of so much – I truly learned what I was made of, and one important life lesson: Impossible is nothing.

In 2012 I improved my times in all distances and also completed my first Ultramarathon at the D33 in March.  After hanging out with a bunch of ultrarunners, longer distances started to appeal more so 2013 was another year of new challenges as I trained for the Hoka Highland Fling, a 53 mile ultra on the West Highland Way in April. I also completed 3 more marathons including Paris, and cracked the 4 hour mark at the Moray Marathon in September. 2014 saw me concentrate solely on Ultras, with the D33, Highland Fling, Cateran 55 and the 73 mile Great Glen Ultra filling my Spring season, and the Glenmore 12 hour race in Autumn.

In 2015 I completed my first West Highland Way race. I’ve been involved with this 95 mile epic adventure since crewing for my friend Mike Raffan in 2011; after two years of crewing and two years of working on the sweep team, I was delighted to get my own chance to aim for the legendary crystal Goblet. After finishing in under 29 hours, I went on to finish the Devil o’the Highlands Footrace in August to become, as of 2015, one of only 24 women to complete the West Highland Way Triple Crown since records began in 2007. The Triple Crown challenges racers to achieve finishes at the Highland Fling, West Highland Way Race, and Devil o’the Highlands within one calendar year. The races take place within a 14 week period, and there are only 117 recorded finishers.

In 2017 I will be participating in a selection of Scottish ultramarathons once more, and concentrating on running my fastest marathon yet at the Chicago Marathon in October. You can read more about my current goals and race schedule on my RACES page.

 

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At the end of 2012 I decided to join a running club and am a member of Stonehaven Running Club.

Moray Marathon 2012

Finishing the Moray Marathon 2012; knocking nearly an hour off my marathon PB.

Finishing my first ultra - D33 2012

Finishing my first ultra, the D33; 2012

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Finishing the 53 mile Hoka Highland Fling; April 2013

Achievimg my first sub-4 marathon at Moray, in 2013

Achieving my first sub-4 marathon at Moray; September 2013.

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Finishing the 55 mile Cateran Trail Ultra; May 2014

Finishing the 73 mile Great Glen Ultra, July 2014

Finishing the 73 mile Great Glen Ultra; July 2014

west highland way race 2015

Mile 54 of the West Highland Way Race, 2015

west highland way race 2015

With my goblet, after finishing the 95 Mile West Highland Way Race; June 2015.

All images and texts published on this website Copyright © Rhona McKinnon 2010 – 2017. All Rights Reserved.
No images or text published on this website may be copied, republished or distributed without permission of the author.

7 Comments

  1. Hi there
    Just wondered if you had ever thought of coming along to the athletic club? We have a road running group that meets at ASV 18.30 every Monday and Wednesday. Good way to get your speed up via track reps, hill sprints etc. Theres also the Lynx pack, meets Tuesday and Thursdays at 12.30, mainly olds guys mind but quite a few of your Uni colleagues! I’ve been running for years, everything from 400m to marathons and still love it.
    Cheers
    Alan

    • Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your comment! I’ve considered joining a running club but I’m not too sure about it yet, I’ve seen the Metro runners meeting at ASV and whilst they look a bit intimidating and professional I’m sure they’re lovely! I found out about the Lynx pack recently but I don’t think I could do running in the middle of the working day. A couple of my friends are in Stonehaven RC (despite not living there) so that’s maybe one to consider as well…
      Who knows! I’d like to meet more runners locally though and it’d be a good way to do so 🙂

  2. Rhona,

    What a fantastic blog – very inspiring! I shall pass it on to friends and also to a group I coach each Tuesday evening at 6.30pm. You are more than welcome to come and join in. We started last year when a group of 40 people signed up to run NYC Marathon for Dreams Come True and The Archie Foundation. It was a first marathon for many of the group and it is great to see a lot of them are now training for Berlin in September. We usually have between 5 and 20 people and the location varies each week between ASV, Hazlehead, Seaton Park. If you wanted to be added to the mailing list just give me a shout on myles_28_edwards@yahoo.co.uk

    Cheers and good luck!

    Myles

    • Thanks for your comment Myles – I’ve only just seen this as it was caught by my spam filters. That sounds like an interesting group you coach – I run quite frequently around Hazlehead and I’ve seen running groups training so maybe that was you guys…

  3. Hi Rhona, Great blog. I started running – again – late in 2009 after doing the Glasgow and Edinburgh marathons way back in ’86 and a few years ago signed up to Lothian running club after meeting a few enthusiastic club members at the finish line of the West Lothian half marathon. Most running clubs have a wide cross section of abilities and a variety of sessions which really help improve performance over all distances so don’t be shy or feel you’re not good enough. Its a great way to get good advice from folks that have running deeply ingrained in their blood and it certainly has helped my motivation if it has ever been lacking.

    hope you enjoy Forfar half. Ice skates were more the order of the day last year but good grub afterwards.

    keep on running 🙂

    • Hi Paul,
      I was wondering what prompted your comment about not being shy or feelings of inadequacy within a running club but then I just re-read my reply to the comment two above yours and I get it now! That was nearly two years ago – I am now a member of Stonehaven Running Club and love it. Joining a club is definitely the best thing I’ve done for my running. I was already friends with so many of the SRC crowd that it was a natural progression.
      R

  4. Hi Rhona
    I have been following the RWR for a while now, but only just got around to reading your blog. Wow! an impressive journey and bling haul from 5k to multiple ultra runner. I started running again in 2012 having dabbled for a couple of years in the 1980’s when I did my first half marathons. So I went straight back into half marathons again and the GSR 2012 was my first for 25 years!!, since then I have progressed via half to full and this year I am doing my first ultra. I have quite a good training programme (although by my own admission I don’t do enough cross training) but I wonder could you give me a couple of tips on transition from marathon to ultra.
    P.S. As a result of reading your blog I am committed to updating mine today …

    Many Thanks
    Mick

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