Carnethies in the Lairig Ghru race; some photos from Charlie Ramsay
Boulders, lots and lots of boulders….and some boulders
Ina’s report –
“…and remember this is a race!” These were the parting words of the race organiser before setting off.
Patricia and I were the two ladies left of five who had initially signed up. We were a little nervous at the start. Due to travelling abroad some of our training had taken place in hot, humid, crowded, and culturally sensitive places, and did not quite meet our plans.
However, after fretting about the amount of food and water to take along and the cut-off time (1.5h to cover 14km to Derry Lodge or be sent back to Braemar), we set off and arrived at the lodge with 10 minutes to spare. From then on, we relaxed and ran along nicely in almost perfect weather conditions. We climbed the pass and overtook a couple of runners struggling with knee pain. The dreaded field of scree was wet and therefore slippery at times. It took us a good while to cross, setting us back a fair bit. Much more pleasant running was to be had on the downhill through the lovely Rothiemurchus Forest (mind the roots). We made it to the finish in exactly 6 hours (according to our monitors), happy and elated. The damage: a couple of black toe nails, a bloody ankle, some lower leg bruises, a very sore IT band. The fact that we were talking about tackling a mountain marathon during the last few kilometres is an indication that we had some energy left and we could have been a little faster. Running together and not racing against each other proved to be rather enjoyable. Perhaps next year, we could aim for a faster time with the knowledge we have gained and still be able to gaze at the amazing scenery.
A big fat thank you should go the race organisers, the two estates, the mountain rescue team, and the Mountain Café in Aviemore, but also to the many individuals who cheered us on, offered home-baking, fruit, nuts and drinks at crucial points, and Patricia’s husband.
Matthew Curry’s report –
Sunday 29th of June saw 148 runners set off from Braemar to Aviemore through some stunning countryside for this race. It was an early start on the drive up from Edinburgh at 7am. The weather looked promising but the MWIS report and geography meant that we would get at least four seasons during the day. I had read a lot of reports about this race, and having never done this race before I felt it would be prudent to read them carefully. I decided to follow from Captain Iain’s report his stowing of a bar of tablet for the latter stages of the race, and how glad I was for it in the end! I also read advice of not going all out too much for the first 10 miles, I meant to heed this but, I, well I didn’t!