Photo by Rob Sara
By John Lenehan
‘My legs were destroyed but I kept running and didn’t give up.’
Edinburgh AC athlete Amanda Woodrow has won battles with anorexia and sepsis in the past, so when the going got tough at the 2023 Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km road race, nothing was going to stop her . . .
The ACP event, seen by many as the pinnacle of UK and Irish ultra-endurance running, features international-level teams from Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The annual event rotates around different venues in the UK and Ireland, and was held this year in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, in April.
Woodrow, a 34-year old psychology researcher and qualified athletics coach, originally from Fife, long-time resident of Edinburgh, and now based in the Borders, was making her debut at the 100k distance and representing Scotland for the first time.
She completed the race in a time of 8 hours and 39 minutes, finishing fifth overall and second Scottish female.
Along with her Scottish team-mates Emma Murray (8:26) from jogscotland Kintore, and Portobello RC’s Catherine Cowie (8:52), the Scotland women’s team were triumphant, returning home with the famous ACP trophy.
Selection for the Scotland team followed Woodrow winning the 2022 Scottish 50k road race championships, clocking an impressive time of 3 hours and 47 minutes.
Amanda had also competed successfully in several other ultra-marathons, run the West Highland Way three times, and completed an epic Land’s End to John O’Groats running challenge.
Amanda with team-mates Catherine Cowie and Emma Murray celebrate ACP trophy success
However, the 100km Anglo-Celtic Plate race didn’t go exactly to plan for Woodrow, in what were unusually warm conditions in Northern Ireland.
‘It was an early start and the first half of the race was fine, I went through halfway in under 4 hours,’ she said.
‘But in the second 50k, when it warmed up, I got a bit of heatstroke and sunburn. I started being sick and couldn’t keep any nutrition down. With 15k to go I was destroyed, but I kept running and didn’t give up.
‘It wasn’t the performance I had trained for and hoped for, but I’m delighted to have finished. It was an incredible experience, and to win the Anglo-Celtic Plate with my Scotland team-mates was amazing!’
No stranger to adversity, Amanda has battled…