This event was a transfer from my original entry for Craggy Island, which now clashes with the Pentland Skyline. They way things were lying it was going to land AFTER the ArranMan Middle Distance Triathlon, which is not the order you want, but in the end injury forced we to defer that anyway. So my first Standard (or Olympic) distance event was upon me and, predictably, I wasn’t fully fit. Since running at Dechmont Law in June, what turned out to be a lack of warming down on a cold and wet day, has turned into a few weeks of achilles problems and I’ve hardly run at all, save for a couple of 5Ks on the back of two sprint triathlons in the meantime. However, the upside was my swimming was coming along, and the Monday night sessions with kindred spirits (bestpartday.blogspot) have seen me become pretty confident in the water, albeit I’m not the fastest.
Although not a Munro at just 840m, Ben Ledi sits alone towering over Callendar so the chance to take part in a mountain ‘run’ just over an hour from Edinburgh was quite enticing. This was the 4th Ben Ledi race organised by Skidaddle, http://skidaddle.org/events/ben-ledi-ascent-2016/ , a local non for profit social enterprise to encourage outdoor sports in the Trossachs and was well marshalled and set out. There were 5 Carnethies that I could see among the 83 competitors which given the many other races on this weekend was a reasonable turnout with many local clubs represented. The weather was benign – dry, overcast, light wind though to the midges liking as well. The race started near the Strathyre log cabins just off the sustrans cycle route and lured you into a false sense of ease with a fast blast along wide forest trails before hitting the unrelenting uphill tourist trail to the summit, which having climbed 700m in under 5k I was glad to reach after about 42mins. Unfortunately there was little time to appreciate the fantastic panoramic views over the Trossachs before hurtling down the aptly named Stank Glen as the race took on a more technical and boggy feel before finishing jelly legged on some tree root laden single tracks.
Graham Gristwood broke Prasad’s record with a time of 51.23 – 3 mins ahead of Richard Simpson, ruining everyone else’s SHR percentages. Liam Brady was 5th and best placed Carnethy in a very respectable 58.12. I came 15th in 1.05.06 and surprised myself by being the first V40 in my first competitive outing in this category though was over 2mins behind Daniel Theaker, the V50 winner! Fanni Gristwood made it family double celebration winning the ladies race by an even more emphatic 7 mins in a 1.03.33.
All in all, a well organised race on a very accessible mountain that a offered a good variety of terrain and scenery.
Full results here http://skidaddle.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Ben-Ledi-Results.pdf
When the inaugural Ochils 8 Hill relay race was announced a few months ago, with teams of three each covering a single leg, we thought it presented an ideal opportunity for Andrew, Iain and me to run together as Carnethy – Team Gilmore.
And so on Sunday 24th July we arrived in Alva in good time along with another 24 teams for the start at 12 noon. Carnethy were further represented by a strong team comprising local Ochils expert Mark Johnston, Dessie Flannagan and Stewart Whitlie.
Each leg was to start and finish at Johnstone Park all with the same steep descent from Wee Torry but with different climbs and distances beforehand. The eight hills in the race title comprised of the Nebit, Midhill and Wee Torry on Leg 1, Wee Torry from Alva Glen on the shorter Leg 2 and the Nebit, Craighorn, Midhill and Wee Torry on Leg 3. http://www.ochils8relay.co.uk/
The Tripou Trail in Severac D’eglise was a truly wonderful race with a choice of 11or 21km courses. A very competitive trail race in lovely French country side. The route provided a mix of good forest trail some excellent sections through narrow forest climbs and a very fast 2km downhill finish. Cali finished as first vet in her category and I managed third in my class.
A remarkable and unique aspect of the race was the class for disabled athletes. They formed part of a team comprising a carriage and up to 6 “bearers”. How they managed to get around quite a demanding course I have no idea . These teams competed on both short and long courses.
This event is an excellent opportunity to savour the atmosphere of racing in France and I would recommend it to anyone who is the area at this time of the year.
Bob and Cali
Lovely evening in between big dramatic showers. Alan Hoggs photos here.
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From the startline at the Sligachan Hotel the conical bulk of Glamaig looks formidable and unrunnable but not so for Finlay Wild, early leader and current race record holder, as he surged up the hill with a 70 metre lead gained in the first 200 metres of the race. Leading the long, multicoloured snake-like line of runners following behind was Brian Marshall – previous nine times winner of the race – with each of the front runners hoping to be one of the likely small handful to get up and back in under an hour. Glamaig Hill Race is described in the book 500 Ultimate Running Races as “one of the toughest races in the Scottish Hill Running calendar” and the race is not one for the faint hearted, with the risk of rock falls from above and the fear of taking a tumble on the unforgiving screes on the descent. Undeterred the runners climb upwards and disappear into the mist.
For the vast array of spectators and the marshals from Carnethy Hillrunning Club seemingly inured to the heavy rain, it’s now a waiting game to see who will emerge from the mist first. The expectation is it will be Finlay so there is some surprise when the first figure spotted is wearing red and not the white and blue of Finlay’s home club of Lochaber. Could Brian be on course to retake his crown? But no, the runner is not in the race and it is Finlay who comes over the horizon and speeds across the boggy moorland to take his fifth victory in 47 minutes – only three minutes outside his record – to be followed minutes later by Brian. Including these two, only six runners finish in under an hour. One, Deeside’s Alan Smith has finished the race under the hour more than 20 times since the first race in 1988. In a unique family treble in the this race, brothers Iain and Andrew Gilmour crossed the line in 5th and 6th place with dad Neil just 10 minutes behind.
Of the 108 who set off in this toughest of races, incredibly all finish, some bloody and bruised, all muddy and wet but most ecstatic and exhilarated at having completed the race. In this its 28th year, the David Shepherd Memorial Glamaig Hill Race is a homage to Harkabir Thapa a visiting Ghurka who in 1899 ran up and down the mountain barefoot in under an hour, and a remembrance of David Shepherd who in conjunction with the Campbell family of Sligachan came up with the concept of this classic race.
Results and more… Read more…
Small field this month, probably due to the holidays.
Muggy conditions but good footing. Unfortunately the paths are starting to get a tad overgrown.
Great run from Mike, winning it this month. Mark D started but twisted his ankle on Dunsapie and dropped out. Hope you’re fit for the next one.
Next handicap will be the 1st August.
On a slightly different vein, I will be taking early retirement at Christmas time. Is anyone interested in taking over the organising of the handicap and results?
Harry, Matt Jones, Charlotte, John Hammond and I took to the Ochils for the Dollar Hill Race on Saturday. The weather was bright, with showers, but warm enough to run with a vest despite the odd splash of rain. The route was a typical Ochils run – runnable hills once you’re actually on them, but getting onto them is usually a painful process. A quick headcount, kit check, and we were off along the road to Dollar Glen, John taking his position near the front of the pack. Harry, Charlotte and I not too far back, and Matt just behind. Ascending through the glen, we pop out of the trees and onto the hillside for the main climbing event: an unmarked trudge up the very steep tussocky section of Saddle Hill. Blurgh! I’m rubbish at this, and can only watch others stream past and hope that the summit comes quickly. It doesn’t. No matter, once onto the more runnable sections I try to reclaim some ground on Harry and Charlotte. Three hills come and go, and I’m still no closer to catching them, but finally make some ground on the second-to-last hill of Andrew Gannell. I get ahead slightly, but Charlotte has other ideas and bounds past on the descent to Kings Seat. Yet more slogging up the hill to catch her, getting ahead again albeit briefly.
Finally the summit of King’s Seat, comes into view. I congratulate myself on a race almost done, but it’s not quite that simple. It’s the last hill, sure enough, but the descent goes on forever, looking at my GPS afterwards I see that almost a third of the race remains after the summit – it’s a loooong descent. Charlotte skips by, lighter than air, making my previous slog seem utterly futile, while I continue my wobbling trudge down the hill. Not long after Grant Baxter of Ochils does the same, he’s certainly the better hillrunner having topped the tough climb before me and is flying down the long descent, but there’s still around half a mile of flat tarmac ahead before the finish. It’s sad to say that my hillrunning strengths are limited to short stretches of flat tarmac, but you can only play the cards you’re dealt, so I managed to sneak ahead to claim a better position in the queue for the cakes. John was 4th, Charlotte was first lady and 8th overall, I was 9th, Harry was 3rd Vet50 in 13th overall, Matt was 28th and 2nd fastest Jones. The 1st Jones, and overall winner, was Kristian Jones of Dark Peak, who romped round the course finishing around 7mins clear of 2nd placed Kenny Richmond.
Excellent race, great cakes at the finish – many thanks to the marshals and organisers!
While all the other kids were off playing at the Eildons SHR championship race, or maybe preparing for the Seven Hills of Edinburgh, I decided to take a short trip over the Forth for the Largo Law hill race. I had been thinking of doing the race for much of the week, but was still undecided on the day. The weather swung it though, it was a nice day and worthy of a trip to the seaside. Also, it was nice and short, which is always good.
So, “nice and short” never really works out that way, I don’t know why I say these things. It usually means, “heart-attack sprinting and a-lot-longer-than-you-think”, and that’s exactly what I got. The first mile or so was a rapid run round roads and forest trails, and I watched 7 Hills & Beers veterans Thomas and Jonny Knox fly off into the distance. Once my breathing settled down I managed to catch Jonny, and was gaining a little on Thomas, but then came the problem of Largo Law itself. It’s pretty steep, and I don’t do steep, so down the field I tumbled, Jonny bounding past me like I was standing still. No matter, it was a nice day after all, and if I ever looked up from my feet I’m sure the views would have been lovely! Back off the Law, I tried to reclaim some ground pushing hard along the grass covered trails with a little success. It was very pleasant running along thin trods, brushing past chest height grass and catching a few people. I caught sight of Jonny on the run-in, but was too far behind to get anywhere near him. Ah well!
Afterwards I remembered that I’m allergic to grass, chest height grass falls into that category too, and that was probably the reason why my legs looked like they’d been flash-fried in oil. It was all I could do to sprint to the nearest shop for some antihistamine, or an epi pen. Either would do, really, anything to stop MY SKIN BURNING LIKE HELLFIRE!! I sat through the prizegiving eating an ice cream to cool me down, and swallowing handfuls of piriton like they were pick n mix. Thomas scooped third place, Jonny first MV50, Michael G of Porty claimed 5th, these three were the only people I knew so they all get a mention! I finished 7th, which is my best ever result other than the Oldhamstocks Flower Show (2nd, btw). Fast lad Ben Hukins won the race for the third year straight, and Jennifer Cruikshanks won for the ladies. Charlotte’s female record is still safe, though! Many thanks to Anster Haddies for a great wee race!
I have wanted to run the Seven Hills for almost as long as I’ve lived in Edinburgh. Okay that is only four and half years, but I was quite excited to finally get the chance this year. The day started off quite cool waiting for the start on Calton Hill. Carnethies milled about forming teams (A team, AA team, XX team, AAA team), discussing routes (turn right and go down the really dodgy bit, I tried to ignore any new route ideas I hadn’t recced) and posing for a photo. After a warning of what was closed (turnstiles) and what was open (alottments near Reid Memorial Church) and which golf courses were ok to run across we were off. At some point early on the sun came out and for once I felt my choice of vest only was wise (as a Canadian I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the popularity of shorts, gloves and vest in snow). It was actually dare I say it… HOT! I’ll blame the heat (and the hills) for my gradual decrease in pace as the race proceeded. I also opted not to get stuck in the turnstile or climb the wall at Pollock Halls. However, I am sure that my route choice did not make a huge difference in my overall time. Great day out with prizes won by Stewart Whitlie (4th overall and 1st V50) and John Hammond (5th overall) and Carnethy A: Stewart, John and Nigel Shekelton (1 st team).
Carnethy Results: Read more…