A small but elite band of runners assembled in the cold but dry morning. The usual haggling took place over handicaps, but Eddie MacDonald’s word was final. Numbers were up this year to 24 owing to the lack of competing events.
Conditions underfoot were quite icy in parts up on the Drove road, so some care was needed this year after Baddingsgill Reservoir.
I was off 0 handicap, meaning I was expected to do 50 mins . I was set off with Debbie Macdonald and Ewan and Holly Burns but managed to escape at the top of the first climb. I passed Robin Thomas by the farm gate. After that it was a bit lonely but I had to keep an eye on the track to avoid the worst of the ice. I passed Eddie MacDonald just before the turn where the track becomes very rough, but thankfully no ice.
A quick wave to Keith Weston marshalling at the top and then a blistering descent again having to negotiate ice fields.
I looked back, and saw the red vest of Paul Burns some distance behind. I made a spirited attempt to increase the pace, but out of the blue Ray Ward stormed past me at the final gate with only 500 odd yards to go, followed by Don Naylor and Al Hart. Paul also passed and did well to catch Al Hart.
I finished 5th , less than 1 minute behind Ray and pretty close to my predicted time.
Thanks to Lothian Cycle Club and Ferranti AAC, who assisted with handicapping and timekeeping.
Results and more reports below