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Archives for May 2015
It was claimed on QI that meerkats send their children out first to test for danger so we sensibly did the same, and the tiny figure of Euan Burns went wobbling off in the general direction of the first hill, on the wrong side of the river. Did he know the way we wondered… idly… Well he seemed to survive so we set off one by one into a very pleasant evening with many and varied route choices. A sensible change to the route after the descent to the parking avoided all the fences and many sheep to ascend the last hill and dive back down to the finish where Myvanwy had lit the BBQs. Willie huffed and puffed and eventually got them glowing, and we enjoyed variously raw, scorched, gritty and falling apart burgers and sausages. Marvellous!
Great turnout for the May handicap, in fair but windy weather.
We had 4 newbies – from HBT. Welcome to Jill, David, Martin and James (your times have been used as your handicaps).
Great win for Jamie with his first run this year.
Ivor tried a new descent off Whinny, by-passing the scree and forging a new path through the gorse – not advised (photo attached courtesy of Eddie). June handicap on the 1st.
On Sunday, Mike and I took to the Borders to take part in the Tweedbank Duathlon, part of the Borders Triathlon Series. This was the second duathlon we’ve raced together this year, in what’s fast becoming the most fiercely contested two-man contest in Carnethy. As ever, talk on the way down was cheery and light, and we both managed to hide our deep desires to beat each other in the race. Previous duathlons have seen me nudging ahead despite Mike’s superiority on the bike sections, but in my heart I knew that my winning streak of 1 would end fairly soon. Despite some oversubscribed triathlons in the series, there were surprisingly few people at the duathlon. In fact, it seemed to be Mike and I, along with some very serious faces with some very serious aerodynamic triathlon bikes. We were perhaps a little out of our league, but no matter, as I’m sure you’ve probably realised that in my mind there were only two people in this race.
I was sure Mike would win this time, but had two aces up my sleeve:
- I don’t wear cleated bike shoes, so my transitions are a bit faster.
- Mike’s sense of direction is notoriously, and sometimes hilariously, bad.
So to the race. About 16 starters, lining up on the Tweedbank athletics track. A group of 6 fast-lads bounced-off into the distance for the first 5k run. I struggled to catch my breath and led a small group of about 5, before being overturned by Mike in the final mile. Onto the bikes, despite about 5s lead on the run Mike was about 30s behind due to the transition (see 1, above), and at the first roundabout he managed to go full circle to find himself heading back into transition (see 2). A quick Strava analysis shows that these two factors put him two minutes behind. No matter, my clumsy bike handling meant he was always reeling me in, by small amounts on the flat and chopping great chunks off my lead on the climbs. Coming back into Tweedbank, my lead had been reduced to a few seconds, but again the transition would hopefully buy me some time….and it did. My lead increased by another 30s, and on the final 5k run I managed to hold that gap until the finish. Again, I got lucky, as Mike was definitely faster across the athletic parts of the race (by around 2mins!), my strengths were on the procedural side (transitions and…em…going the right way). We both finished around 1hr 24mins, 7th and 8th positions – Mike winning the MV40 trophy. We did get some printed results, but I left them in the house this morning, so until the results are published online you’ll have to rely on my memory: Ahead of us both was Paul Davies, winning in about 1hr 15mins despite crashing his bike at one point (ouch!), and losing his car key in the process (double ouch!!). Hayley(?) won the women’s prize and the women’s vet prize. Results here , at some point.
Stunning day and wonderful views if you were slow enough to appreciate them (as I was unfortunately). Results here.
||I wish I’d had the camera last night. Like an adolescent the new year has suddenly achieved puberty with consequent eruptions – in this case the weather. Lot’s of it and very brash. Almost a record number out on the short run, which last night hit 5 miles of glorious clear aired running.
The 7pm group went for the Xmas pub run and did 9 miles without touching a drop. Well done!
Don’t know what the fasties did, but as I was driving to KB I saw them. They were going… fast!
This week I’ve been lucky to have my boyfriend (last name McDuffie so he fits right in here) visiting from Boston, and he wanted to run a hill race while he was here. There wasn’t a lot on the calendar, but even if there was I think Stuc a’ Chroin would have been our top pick for the weekend. Asking around beforehand I’d gotten three opinions from people with experience – two said it could be good for a first hill race due to the all the marking and support on the course (provided you didn’t mind a hard run), and one seemed to say it might be a good way for an American who hadn’t been in the hills to bust up their legs and maybe freeze to death. Going with the majority opinion and a touch of foolhardy can-do yankee spirit we decided to go for it. On the ride out Mike Lynch and Neil Burnett did their best to scare us (and Krysia who was also doing this one for the first time) with tales of legs cracking in half, runners getting lost, and wild animals hiding in the mist.
Bob takes up the story:
“My first scare was at 0430am on the Saturday before the race when the newly-constructed box would not fit inside my car! This was resolved with 50m of 9mm climbing rope and a hellishly large bow-tie. My second scare occurred at Edinburgh airport at 0530am when Flybe check-in staff said “Forget it – that won’t go in” when they saw the coffin-shaped Ostrich box. It did go through the X-ray machine but only just. My next scare occurred at 930am on Sunday morning just 40 minutes before the start when the Ostrich weighed in at 18 pounds and thus TOO LIGHT for the new record attempt of a three-dimensional bird OVER 20-pounds. This was resolved with the addition of 4 water/energy drink bottles.
Race went great and loads of people seemed to love the ostrich and/or my “display” of legginess. Final scare occurred going back through London City Airport security when the Ostrich coffin got stuck in the X-ray machine and I was also asked about several “offending items” located in my carry-on. Those offending items being (a) a quantity of cable ties (b) pozi-drive screwdriver (c) semi-opaque ladies tights (d) 3m elastic shock cord (e) length of 6mm nylon rope. On “inspection” I was also found to have “carpet burns” on my elbows. The ostrich costume (and the resulting elbow injuries) seemed to get me off as long as the chap called “Trigger” working the x-ray machine could have my mobile number”.
MASSIVE thanks to all those who donated to “The Children’s Trust” (75%) and “The Shakespeare Hospice” (25%)”…