Archives for July 2015
Hilary Spenceley was first woman in the Portobello Park Run in Figgate Park on Saturday, running the 5km course in 21:46, which was a new Over 55 record (and also faster then the Over 50 record!). She finished 36th overall out of 167. Results are here.
I visited the same steep Ochil slopes on Saturday for the Alva games race before I reacquainted myself with Maddy Moss on Wednesday (can’t add much to Mike’s race report, other than I had an excellent tussle all the way down from Andrew Gannel with the leader of the Scottish LibDems, and I was a bit miffed to find a new wee rise in the route after the eponymous moss).
Previously known as the BOFRA world championship race it has a reputation as the steepest race (30%) in the calendar (only Chapelgill rivals it). As it’s on the BOFRA circuit it’s one of those races (like Ben Nevis) you think you’re in the wrong country given the preponderance of English club vests. Another similarity to the Ben (of old) was Rob Jebb running away from the field for a clear victory (coincidentally, this race also has a 1980’s record still held by Kenny Stuart). Anyway, amongst the more local runners Carnethy’s own Dessie Flannagan had a great run up (and better descent) to grab 2nd place with a shod Brian Marshall in his first attempt at the race* rising (or more technically correct falling rapidly) to 4th, with Ochils Sarah Wiseman winning the ladies race. Back in my mid-pack position I employed what I now refer to as my “Lomonds of Fife descent cycle shorts” and bumslid my way past several road-shoed touring runners without serious mishap before returning to the games field to dodge the grass track cycling and big lads throwing things.
*it usually coincides with Glamaig hence Brian’s inaugural appearance
Results (and better report than mine) at http://www.bofra.org.uk/Alva.php
Wednesday was that time of year again, the Maddy Moss Hill Race. If ever there is a midweek race to make you appreciate the joy (and pain) of hill racing, it’s this one. The organisers describe the route better than I, so I shall use their words:
“Possibly the best, and generally the longest time-wise, of the mid-week Bog and Burn races. The race starts up a near vertical grass slope adorned with gorse bushes, before breaking onto a runnable path and a short rocky descent to a burn crossing. The ascent up the nose of The Law is largely hands on knees, with only short sections of shuffle running. The route then opens out across the grassy tops of Ben Cleuch and Andrew Gannel Hill, before dropping into a narrow trod high above Gannel Burn where overtaking is virtually impossible. The final section of downhill is frighteningly fast and tricky before the near vertical plummet to the finish.”
Almost perfect conditions ensued, and we were blissfully (almost) free of aggressive midges. There was a Carnethy contingent of 5, and we all had good runs, with Steven sneaking under the hour*
*Neil was running under his midweek alias ‘Barnett’. Shh, don’t tell Seona he was out racing on Wednesday…
Male and Female winners were Graham Gristwood and Edel Mooney, both of Ochils. Performance of the night, though, must go to Brian Marshall, who was consolidating his hard man reputation with another fast run in bare feet. Rumour has it that he’s going to run Ben Nevis wearing a cilice.
Full results here: http://www.ochilhillrunners.org.uk/resultsDetails.aspx?id=1538
With 21 miles and 2750m ascent it was never going to be an easy day out, but I have to admit I’d underestimated the toughness of this race. Or maybe I overestimated the toughness of me? Jasmin continued her summer of awe-inspiring running as first lady, coming 7th overall, in 4:15. Results here, and my blog here.
||With Ross recovering from his 100km race at the weekend, the ‘fastish’ group decided to take it easy for a jaunt up to Caerketton and back. It seems to be the standard route these days, up through Swanston and back via the Stables, but we added something new to the mix: a direct line up Caerketton, scrambling up the crags. All very rewarding. The sky was clear so we popped over to Allermuir to use the plate to identify some surrounding hills, then back to Caerketton for a scree run down, finally through the old Lothianburn golf course, to test ourselves against the new electric fences. While watching Ross trying to contort himself through the electric fences without being zapped, it dawned on me how cruel this task was to somebody still stiff and sore from a weekend of ultrarunning. Ah well. A swift half at Leslies on the way home sorted him out, I’m sure.
After a great run on the Skye Trail Ultra at the end of May, June was plagued with a painful tendon tweaked in my knee becoming a problem after a Carnethy Handicap race. Pooh, but I had left June fairly clear in my 6 (now 7) Ultra-Marathon schedule for charity during the summer and now I needed it to rest and get physio making a trip to Lochaber unfeasible. To keep the training up I interrupted this rest with the Edinburgh 7 Hills race which I wanted to do. Not the best rest strategy, but I got a good PB in that race showing good improvement – but then needed rest and physio again!. Ramsay’s Round records and Dragon’s Back achievements made me eager to get on the hills again.
Monikie Country Park, near Broughty Ferry, is a great venue for hosting a triathlon (indeed the British Championships were held there a few years ago) and we were blessed with great weather. I travelled up with Neil’s wife Seona Burnett (who was competing for Pentland Triathletes) and we both agreed that the field looked strong*, relative to recent events in the Borders Series.
*Based on arbitrary factors of bike bling, representative age-group tri suits and the tall/skinny gauge so favoured by Jim Hardie when assessing athletes.
The swim was in the smaller of the two reservoirs and it was in two waves, around a looped buoy course with an added channel at the end. It felt longer than 750m, but the long-ish run in to transition through woods could have added to that, and certainly the swim times were longer than, say, the Solstice Tri. The bike leg was a road bike effort on country roads, with some tricky climbs and head winds with a lovely 5km run to finish around both reservoirs.
A great event, well organised and it did indeed prove to be a strong field. I was 71st from 139 finishers (swim: 131st (ouch!), bike: 46th and run: 11th) and Seona was 110th (swim: 117th, bike: 114th, run: 80th). Monikie Tri 2015 Overall Results
There is a limited set of pictures here (sorry if you’re not on Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1073275622701963&type=1