Available now on iPlayer. It’s excellent! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pw6ht
Archives for March 2015
I had managed to blag an elite entry to the inaugural World Tower Running Championships at the spectacular Torch building in Doha, Qatar and with the globe’s best tower runners flying in my main aim was to vaguely justify my status, which meant making it through the first heat.
My secondary aim was a re-match against ‘local’ runner Andi Jones. The top 30 men from the first heat (time trial) would progress through to a second heat later that day (also time trial). The combined times from the first races would then determine the positions on a starting grid for the same 30 in a mass start final the following morning.
The fact that I had to assume the recovery position and spent the next hour thinking I was going to puke confirmed I hadn’t left much in the stairwell after heat 1. My official time was 7.08, a depressing 51 seconds behind the leader Piotr Lobodzinski (Poland), but only 8s and one place behind Emmanuele Manzi (who’d beaten me in my only other tower race, in Dubai six weeks earlier), and most importantly 26 seconds ahead of Andi. My time put me in 10th place which was great, although I now started to wonder if I’d gone too hard. This was confirmed in heat 2, just the 30 floors this time, but my legs were still trashed and my time of 3.55 was just enough for 15th place, meaning I slipped one place to 11th on the starting grid for the final and only just maintained my 100% record against Andi (by one second!).
From a Grand Prix style grid the final started with a 200m sprint gently climbing to the hotel lobby where an ornate staircase funneled the runners towards an internal fire escape. It was then up 30 floors, before exiting the stairwell, running half way round the building on a terrace, entering another fire escape and then 20 more floors to finish at the revolving restaurant at the top of the Tower. The pre-race chat of competitor’s track times meant I was glad to be only caught by 3 or 4 on the sprint, but was aware that Andi was right on my shoulder as we entered the staircase. There he stayed for the next 30 floors before I found a kick and pulled away just before the terrace, and then managed to keep pushing and reclaim a few places before reaching the line in 7m38s, 12th place overall, 3rd V40 and 1st Brit! Piotr decimated the field winning in 6.35, while Austrian mountain runner Andrea Mayr narrowly won the ladies race in 7.50.
Simultaneously one of the most enjoyable and painful weekends of my life. Oh, and did I mention I beat Andi Jones?
Results, official write-up and all sorts of other nonsense can be found here: http://towerrunning.com/
A handful of Carnethies ran the inaugural 3 Eildons 10 Mile Trail Race in Melrose on Sunday. The rain held off until I reached the top of the 2nd Eildon and was able to take in the 360 degree vista that was advertised. The guy behind me thought it was a bit odd that I actually spun around to get the full effect. After the three hills it was really a trail race following footpaths and a fair bit of tarmac. At times (particularly when passing through villages) the trail and the marshall’s directions were not always clear. In the end this made it a historic day for me as I was the first Carnethy finisher (thanks to Phil Humphries taking a wrong turn and running a few extra miles). To top it off we had sandwiches, coffee and snacks surrounded by pieces of Scottish Rugby history in the Melrose RFC clubhouse. A fun way to spend a Sunday morning.
The results for the race have been posted and I now see that there was a significantly faster Carnethy than myself. Neil Pendrich finished 13th overall in 1:29:22 a good 20 minutes before I did (I knew it was too good to be true). Well done to him and all the other Carnethy finishers: Robin Sloan, Phil Humphries, Fiona Mackenzie and Karen Meikle. Full results at https://www.facebook.com/melroseroadraces?fref=ts
Big turnout for the Club and SHR champs race. The wind blew away the rain and the sun even made an appearance. A really attractive route that is worth revisiting when you have time to enjoy it. This race scores high on the cake rating but slightly chaotic arrangements made for a late start. Results here
See the rest of Nick’s photos here and a video of the race here
With the last of the dark nights comes the Club “Round of Golf”.
The 7pm group headed off for Braids No1 ans then ran from tee to green in 18 different length sprints. Meanwhile at 7:30 the easy group of 8 headed directly to tee No 11 and ran in an effort to stay ahead of the others. By the 16th tee we could see the head torches on hole 14 and so we waited on the 17th Green to appplaud the leaders onto the green.
After a short blether the main group headed for the 18th while we ran along the path to the 10th to complete our 9 holes.~Then it was straight back to KB and the 19th hole (or the 10th). The nice Stewarts Ale was not on tap (and is going for good!), but bottles of Orkney beer made up for that.
I found myself up at Fort William Friday with work catching up with colleagues and enjoying the craic. It so happened that this race was on too. So feeling a bit better than I have of late, agreed to enter to blow away the cobwebs. A nice meandering fire road helped ease us into the race until popping out onto the hillside and the climb proper. I wasn’t sure if it was the beer or residual lurgy but I was leaking like a sieve in the perfect spring weather. I managed to hold my own, even catch up a bit to the turn around, where by I then lost time and ground on the steeper part of the descent until the gradient eased a bit. The track back seemingly gaining a few more bends than on the way up. Nice friendly race and hopefully a start to getting back into things.
Results – LAC Beinn Bhan Bash 2015