“That was a lot like Tinto”, says Mike afterwards, who I suspect has never actually run Tinto before. Well, to be fair to Mike, it is a hill, and Tinto is a hill. There’s a boggy approach like Tinto, it’s pretty runnable to the summit like Tinto, and there’s a few false summits like Tinto. However, unlike Tinto, the hill path is unstructured, and consists of exposed boulders from the mud being washed away from the path. So the ascent/descent mainly consists of judging whether to trust your footing on the path or skip into the heather at the side. Also, the approach is boggier, and is peppered with small bridges to avoid the worst of the bogginess. But like I said, it’s totally a hill, just like Tinto.
To take on the task, Carnethy fielded a good squad, including Mike Lynch, Steven Fallon, Harry Gilmore, Adam Anderson, Charlotte Morgan, Alex McVey, Ali Black, and my good self. The weather was fine though a little chilly, but good conditions for the race, and the evening was made all the cheerier for the tonnes of yellow Westie vests brightening the day. A good field of folk were ready for the off, but not enough to cause too much congestion on the tight paths to the hill. Bogs, bogs and more bogs to the base of the hill, and a long grinding slog to the summit. Most of this time was either spent cursing the ground, blowing out my backside, or dreaming of a bag of chips on the way home. Whatever I was doing, it seems I was doing it right, and felt quite good heading up and passed a few folk.
As I neared the summit it struck me that I might be the first Carnethy to finish! Hurrah! I was daring to dream, and what a dream it was. However, Steven Fallon had other ideas and eased ahead of me, rounded the trig point then…disappeared! He vanished so quickly that, even now, I’m unsure he was even there at all. He wasn’t the only one that knew this magic trick, about half a dozen other fast descenders thundered past and then just melted into the horizon. I also faceplanted, just to keep with tradition. Ah well, 2nd Carnethy then? Nope, better luck next time! In amongst the hordes of folk passing me was Adam Anderson, cruising past, and dancing lightly over the surface of boggy ground that I seem to sink waist-deep into. My only saving grace was that I realised Adam knew the course, so followed him through the muck and only lost one place after that, otherwise I’d probably still be out there. All that was left was to pack up, scrape the remains of the adhesive number (such a bad idea!) from my vest, and head down the road. We could also point at Tinto on the way, and maybe concede that perhaps it is a little bit like Cairn Table after all.
A grand evening out! Results to follow, somewhere and at some time. I think Charlotte got first lady – good to see her back running after a long spell of injury! Apologies if I’ve missed anyone!