At 7.2km long and 330m high, this was my kind of hill! Having previously done Tinto, Red Moss Kips race and Largo Law, I knew that this one would be for me. I met Rob at his house in Penicuik, to discover that it was just him and I running this one………Andrea had to work late. No pressure for me then………having to keep up with the Robster hill legend! We set off by car with our Maoam’s in plentiful supply. It was a beautiful day, about 23c and warm at approx 5.00pm……….it was a roaster 🙂
The journey to Muirkirk was beautiful, even with Rob’s fast driving, and the conversation was flowing. We arrived in Muirkirk in time for our 7.00pm race, and in time for a much needed toilet stop. Race registration was the usual for me……..stomach churning, quickly count the number of fellow runners, talk like a budgie to everyone and anyone in the vicinity because I’m full of nervous energy, ask if it’s going to be marshalled, and say over and over in your head “please don’t let me be last”. The Cairn Table Hill Race runs from the village of Muirkirk to the peak of Cairntable, one of the highest hills in Ayrshire, and back again. Out and back hill races are my favourite hill races, as my navigation skills are a lot to be desired (that’s another story).
About 50 runners lined up at the start. We were off. It was a fast start, and as usual I tried to keep up with the proper hill runners…………not the wisest decision. The first mile was very boggy in sections (as I discovered big time), with a series of wooden duck boards and bridges to ease progress over the worst of the mud. For some reason, I never found these wooden boards or bridges 🙂 Most of the rest of the route is on good paths, which get rockier as you reach the summit. The summit is topped with a huge cairn, triangulation pillar and direction indicator. Rob passed me on the downhill, as I was making my way up the hardest bit of the hill………..I think I was walking, but as soon as I seen Rob’s purple and white vest tearing towards me, I started to run (to look cool). I reached the top, glanced at the Isle of Arran and Ben Lomond in the distance, and then got myself ready for my favourite bit of any hill race……….the downhill section. After flying down the hill I arrived at the finish line, was greeted by Rob and his smiley face, and given a medal and a bottle of water for my efforts. I can recommend this hill race to everyone…………the views are to die for at the top, especially on a roaster of a day that we had the pleasure of getting 🙂
Race results to follow (once they’re posted)