Grant MacDonald


251.373km in 24hours. I’m still pretty happy with that.
— Grant MacDonald on the Barcelona 24hr
This is not the aftermath from my Sub Arachnoid brain haemorrhage, this is what 24hr races do to you.

This is not the aftermath from my Sub Arachnoid brain haemorrhage, this is what 24hr races do to you.


My route into running...I’m a late starter, I didn't have a particularly healthy lifestyle in my 20s! When I hit 30 I thought I'd better get myself into some sort of shape. I had vague memories of really enjoying xc running at school, so I joined my local running club. I loved it straight away, and had a couple of happy years doing everything from hill racing to 5k races and marathons. In 2011 I got sucked into Ultras for no other reason than there was a race called Clyde Stride that started round the corner from where I lived at the time. It seemed like a good enough reason to go and run 40miles. Little did I know where it would lead.

My route into ultras started with Clyde Stride in 2011. The following year I had a bit of a breakthrough when I won Glenmore 24hour race and my love affair with running around in circles began. I started to take things a bit more seriously with a road 100k and the Spine Challenger. However my body had other plans and I suffered a Sub-Arachnoid brain haemorrhage while out running at the beginning of 2014. It was a pretty close shave but I made a full recovery and in a few months I was back determined to make the most of a 2nd chance. I set my sights on getting the qualifying standard for the GB 24 hour team. It soon became apparent to me I would need a bit of help to get there. I sent an email off to Paul Giblin to see if he was up for helping me. I am delighted he took me on because (spoiler alert) he got me to the GB standard. I couldn't have done it without the support of Paul and all of Team Pyllon who all push each other on to great things.

I think Sage Canaday coined the phrase “any surface any distance” to describe his running, I quite like that, so I’m going to steal it. Variety is good, my ideal training week has a long run in the mountains at the weekend and a fast track session during the week

251.373km in 24hours. I'm still pretty happy with that. That was my distance at the Barcelona 24 hour race in December 2018

My sole goal for this year (2019) is the 24 hour world championships in Albi in October. We have a great GB team, and it will be great to run alongside James Stewart, another Pyllon Racing team mate running for GB. I think if we all run to our potential we have a good chance of a team medal. Once that’s done I will start thinking about plans for next year.

I had to give up my place in Big's back yard ultra due to its clash with the world champs so that is a possibility next year. Tor des Geants is something I am itching to do as well. I am really tempted by James Elson's 100mile track invitational too. I really want to do Zegama at some point too. F*ck me I mean, there's no shortage of fun things to do is there? I just need to keep the body healthy to achieve a few of them. But ultimately I just really like training. As long as I've got a slightly scary goal to train for in the near future then I'm usually pretty happy.

“any surface any distance”
— Grant MacDonald