Hill races can be a navigation nightmare, but the Red Moss Kips race provides a beautiful circuit with visibility for miles on sunny days (like yesterday) – it’s impossible to get lost. I’m not exactly famous for my navigation skills but this time I excelled, even for my own standards. It takes a genius like me to start one race and finish another – all in just under 1 hour! To my own defense, I was perfectly aware that I was running in the opposite direction to the route indicated on the map (so was not really lost), but picture this series of unfortunate incidences (not to be used as a ‘golden rule for race navigation’):
- Be sufficiently confident that you can find your way through the Pentlands with your eyes closed, so you don’t bother looking closely at the map
- Only listen to the route description of the race organiser with half an ear. So if he mentions a ‘sharp left turn’ don’t worry – it will be obvious which turn he means
- Look closely at the ground while running so that you only see the runners in front of you and miss any runner that may join you from a different direction
- When you reach the top of West Kip, follow the runners taking a sharp left U-TURN (‘ah, that must have been the sharp turn the organizer mentioned!’) although you bloody well know that this is opposite to the route on the map.
- Draw the only possible conclusion one would reach if ALL runners (carrying race numbers) in your vicinity confidently take the u-turn and absolutely nobody takes the direction you think is right: I must have the wrong map (or more precisely: my husband must have handed me the wrong map)
- Even when the first doubts creep in, keep going as the new route is nicely downhill and easy.
- Suffer the consequences by serving as the evening’s entertainment for the Carnethy runners who completed their handicap from Nine Mile Burn to West Kip and back. See excerpt from their blog (http://carnethy.com):
Meanwhile, in a place far far away, a race (The Red Moss Kips race) was minus one runner.It is not the first time that Carnethy has led someone astray.
The very runable route was enjoyed by all as we ran up the “Eskalator” (Strava Segment) past Spittal farm and on over Spittal Hill.
As we ran over Green Law we could see a long string of runners heading up The Kips. We seemed to be climbing faster than them as I ran past Davie Duncan and, turning at the top, I noticed Big Al approaching from the east having chased the pack.
The descent was fast and furious and soon we were all back at Nine Mile Burn, but one runner looked a little confused. A female runner (name with held to avoid embarrassment) had been led astray by the Good looking Carnethies and had chased us back to end up only 4 miles (in a straight line) from where she should be.
The only silver lining for the Harriers is that I didn’t wear my Harriers vest – and may refrain myself from doing so in the next few races.
Congratulations to all proud Harriers who completed yesterday’s race in the baking heat. Sorry if you had to wait and look for me. Thanks to Fran and Alan for giving me refuge. Finally, apologies to Rob for doubting you – I should have known that you’re never wrong!
[Rob note: What a plonker]