The day did not start well. Cold wet snow falling, Andrea’s tennis being cancelled and me having to put up with her grumpiness as she realised she had no choice but to run Chapelgill – a rather ridiculously short sharp race of 2.6kms (390m).
Kevin was chauffeur for the day and drove us and Duncan to Glenholm, just south of Broughton. Chris made his own way as he said he was going running in the Pentlands afterwards! Did he? (hmmm – I wonder?). Although the snow got thicker, the road was passable and when we got to the car park, there was a rather muted cluster of runners waiting for the 3pm start.
The snow was a few centimetres thick at the bottom of the slope and Chapelgill Hill was not to be seen as it was hidden in the mists above. As we were early, we had plenty of time (and needed to anyway) to go for a jog to warm up. Most people decided to run up the first main steep slope. It soon became apparent that no one could stay upright and that controlled falling down slope would be the name of the day. Part of me started cursing the “individual” who had chosen this race as a Grand Prix fixture and found myself hoping that a snow storm would hit the Alloa Half Marathon the next day.
When the race started we all dutifully sprinted off up the hill (well – I did anyway). At first, I thought I was doing amazingly well as there were only 4 people in front of me. I then realised that another cluster of runners were ahead and to the right in the mist (Duncan included) – bugger! The ascent was really tough. As we went higher the snow got deeper and it was a definite advantage to follow the footsteps of someone in front of you. It only became easier when we got close to the summit where the snow was not deep at all due to the stiff cold easterly wind blowing it away. One lone Carnethy marshal was busy taking pictures of us all (see below) at the summit. The run down was not much easier. A mixture of deep snow and heather made loping along difficult and the lower slopes became extremely slippy and I think most runners spent much of the time on their backsides.
Despite the conditions, the race was a good laugh and I think we all enjoyed bouncing down the last slope. It was not a day for PBs. The winner (26:55) was over 7 minutes slower than the race record (18:50).
Results from only 31 runners:
Duncan Ball (6th): 28:58
Rob Wilson (13th): 31:44
Kevin Anderson (22nd): 36:57
Chris Downie (24th): 37:35
Andrea Wilson (27th): 38:55
The good news is that yet again, Andrea admitted that running is much more pleasurable and less complicated than tennis!!
Now only to persuade her to run the Deuchary Hill Canter on the 31st.