The Pentland Skyline 2017 (The Support Crew Report)
Sunday morning 7.30am, a day in the life of a runners spouse starts early, the pre race healthy breakfast toasted bagel, poached eggs and a cup of black English Breakfast tea carefully prepared the night before, thrown out the window in a sudden change of pre race diet to a slightly less healthy fried egg and bacon doubler with tatie scone chucked on top just for good measure, meant another trip to Lidel to wait on the 8am opening for the bacon as unfortunately this was not available in our well stocked sports nutritionists larder.
Fortunately due to the close proximity of the race start at Hillend Ski centre a mere 20 minutes drive away we could relax for a while as the race start was not until 11am, or at least until Tracy decided it was time to leave as she wasn’t sure how many pee stops would be required before she started.
So of we headed at 9.20am sharp, making good time to find us at Hillend at 9.35, 1 hour and 25 minutes of pee time available.
Parking was under strict supervision by the organisation this year after last years poor choice of parking by competitors delayed the race by 45 minutes causing scores of other race spouse to freeze on the hill tops whilst waiting for the race start, although this did not effect us as we were so early, we had the choice of any space we liked.
Registration faultless and swift left Tracy plenty time to look and study the very expensive Skyline Buff she had already decided to buy the week before. It was at this time I was thankful for the early arrival as the news was broken that she had no money and I was swiftly sent to the cash line at the petrol station to get money for this beautiful drawer filler.
A quick coffee for myself and the 1st of the many pre race comfort stops for Tracy in the Steading Bar and the use of the comfortable changing facilities helped pass the time.
So back to the registration area to wait on the rest of the Harrier runners, Billy Colvin, Sadie Kemp, Michael Greens, Allan Dunbar, Gregor Gorjanc, and little Miss Hilly Harrier, Gillian Cairns along with Tracy P of course. It was sad but true that many of the old men of the Skyline where unable to make the start, due to……… Well, old age. Rob Wilson, Stuart Sanderson, Chris Downie, Duncan Ball to name but a few feeling the fear from the new young blood in the club and the other old guy Billy Wiz Colvin.
So to the start, changed slightly from the previous year slightly further left hill reps base camp, making myself and other poor spectators walk up a steeper slope than the normally accustomed to a summer Thursday evening. Some amazing sheep dog work on the hill, Molly and I managed to gather all Harriers around for the pre race photo.
226 hill hungry runners poised on a start line, with an almighty challenge ahead, it was not long to go, just the safety briefing, slightly longer than the Jedburgh DON’T BE A DICK chat, and the horn blew bang on 11am for what I have to say was one of the quietest race starts I have seen, no shouts of HBT, just the shuffling of feet before entering an almost orderly single file climb up the side of Caerketton Hill. Gone from view time for me to relax a while before heading to my one and only vantage point at the base of Castle Law hill, car parked already Billy and Michael through as I was parking the car, time to see a few runners pass with the occasional face plank coming through the kissing gate it was time to warn runners of the easily missed trip hazard it was time to warn the fellow runners with shouts of mind the step. Seeing everyone through safely apart from
Mrs G Rumpy that failed to heed the warning and blamed me for my poor marshalling abilities after her epic long belly slide across the the gravel path.
Safe in the knowledge my running buddies made it through the gate without eating tarmac and stones, plus a chance meeting and quick chat with Mrs Ultra Queen Marshall and The amazing Mrs Fran Jones I left to head back to the finish knowing everyone would be looked after by the purple and white scattered throughout the many miles ahead.
Back to just above the finish line to watch the runners home,
1st Alexander Chaplin, Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds 2.2812
2nd Alasdair Anthony, Ochil Hill Runners 2.37.01
3rd Dessie Flanagan, Carnethy 2.39.06
1st Lady Charlotte Morgan, Carnethy 2.59.13
2nd Shona Robertson, Shettleston 3.02.57
3rd Zoe Harding, Edinburgh Uni Hare andHounds, 3.03.56
60 Michael Greens, 3.22.58
70 Billy Colvin, 3.26.45
122 Gillian Cairns, 3.44.09
146 Gregor Gorjanc, 3.54.13
178 Allan Dunbar, 4.07.01
197 Sadie Kemp, 4.23.50
216 Tracy Philp, 4.44.11
A Grand day out, now time for a beer