The 5am start from Edinburgh wasn’t particularly enjoyable, I must say, but I’m glad I made the effort to head up to the Aviemore Triathlon on Sunday morning. Mike Lynch had persuaded me to enter a couple of months ago, and when faced with the “Long” or “Short” options I decided to be brave and do the long course, seeing as I’ve already done a few short triathlons. The long course is 1500m in Loch Morlich, 18k technical mountain bike, and 9km trail run. The short 750m in Loch Morlich, 12km technical mountain bike, and then a 6km trail run.
Archives for August 2015
Carnethy had at least five entries in the world’s premier ultra-race festival in Chamonix last week. The main race (the UTMB) starts in Chamonix and does the circuit of Mont Blanc (170 km, 10000m of ascent).
We had three entries in the UTMB:
· Gregor Heron: An impressive 192nd, in 32 hours, 40 mins
· Graham Nash: 356th in 36 hours 21 minutes.
· Fredelina Yong: dropped out at Courmayer after 18 hours.
The race was won by Xavier Thevenard in 21 hours and 9 minutes. There were 2563 starters and 1662 finishers (65%). It’s a massive achievement just getting into this race let alone finishing it, so much respec’ to Gregor and Graham.
In the CCC, which is more like a hilly version of the WHW (100 km and 6200m of ascent), starting in Courmayeur, Andy Fallas managed a tremendous 15th (13 hours and 54 mins), first GB competitor in. The winner was Zach Miller of USA in 11 hours 53 mins. Eoin Lennon had to drop out at La Fouly after 5 hours, whilst in 55th place.
No Carnethy entries this year for the PTL, which is quite possibly the hardest race in the world, involving 300km and 26000m of ascent. This is as long as races like the Dragon’s Back or the Marathon des Sables but it’s continuous rather than staged – so you add sleep deprivation into the mix. It was won this year by a Belgian team in 118 hours (just under 5 days). Our own Olly, Jason and Mick finished this race last year in 13th place in about 5.5 days. Next year, anyone?
||A very sociable version of the Arthur’s Seat handicap route – 6 miles to the bar and slightly more for those who returned to KB. The faster and more sociable groups left KB together to head towards Pollock Halls and even stayed together for a while. We enjoyed an extended stop on Arthur’s Seat to listen to Al McGowan who was giving an archaeology talk to an audience that included Steven Fallon. Staying together round the route, or at least in parallel showed lots of route options. I think we managed 4 of Whinnie Hill. We bumped into Lucy Colquhoun on our way down back towards Leslie’s Bar at the end of my last Carnethy Wednesday run for some time, and my last Carnethy run before I turn 50. Really enjoyed the company of all those who turned up in the bar, including many that could not join the run.
My evening finished for me with my usual dash to catch a bus on Queensferry Street – 16 mins for 1.9 miles OK after a few beers
||Short run 7.30pm
Willie was missing spiney stingy things and steep slopes and set about addressing the situation. The group consisted mostly of Paul and a large selection of offspring, dwarfed by nettles and a tall friend. Then there was me and Lindsay competing for ‘slowest hillrunner’. A good time was had by all!
While the rest of the hill running community’s attention was diverted towards the Ochils or Glencoe, a small splinter group including 10 Carnethies seized the chance to shamelessly boost their SHR percentages at Baddingsgill. Now in its 4th year, the race circumnavigates the reservoir and is a great opportunity to explore the less well known end of the Pentlands. There was a modest field of around 60 runners at the start and it was an unusual experience for this ‘summer’ to see people applying sun cream instead of additional layers.
The race starts gently with about a quarter of a mile downhill on an estate road before turning off to ascend Faw Mount. From there, it’s entirely off-road and, in some places, completely trackless. However, the majority of the route follows a decent quadbike track which runs parallel to the estate fenceline and after a reasonable initial climb, you don’t lose too much height so, despite passing 10 tops, the total climbing is only 700 metres over 17.8km. The field gradually spread out as the race progressed over the outward half of the route with a strong tailwind making the going a bit easier but after a 270 degree corner at East Cairn Hill (or 90 degrees of course if you turn the right way), there was a long and very soggy inward half to contend with into a stiff headwind and this is where the quadbike track starts to fade. Thankfully, despite the unaccustomed sunshine, the boggy conditions and the lack of a clear route in some places, everyone seemed to make it home eventually (sadly, a few, including Mary Lye, picked up injuries and had to retire) although there were a few ‘interesting’ routes off the final summit (Kings Seat) with a couple of runners appearing along the road and having to cross the line from the wrong direction.
Tim Darlow and Cameron Murray did Carnethy proud coming 2nd and 3rd respectively and there were also good runs from Adam Anderson, Allen Flockhart (who forgot his kit but managed to scrape a set together at the start), Euan and Fiona Mackinnon, Gina McAllister and Sean Walker. I even managed to win a prize myself (3rd V40) and was delighted to pick up a couple of bottles of Freewheelin Brewery’s finest at the prize giving held at the Gordon Arms in West Linton. Even better, my wife was 2nd lady so she too won some beer and since she’s not much of a beer drinker I’ll have to help her with those as well. Perhaps best of all, since there were no ‘big names’, everyone came out a winner on their SHR percentages!
All in all, a great day out and one which I’d thoroughly recommend (but not if you’re a big name, you lot can stay away……………….)
Shane has (finally!) updated the champs table http://carnethy.com/ci_carnchamp.htm. Men’s captain Iain is currently leading but Stewart, Jasmin, Andy and Joanne are all looking strong for the top place. Next race is the short steep Devil’s Beeftub, with a range of beefy prizes to be won.
Oh pooh, it is 0655, we’d better get to the start line. Anthony Hemmings and I ran across the Glencoe Ski Centre car park through the midges to give Anne Renville (Alan’s wife) our food bags before dibbing-in and joining the 148 starters in the pen just in time to start. We had cut it fine to avoid being a midge breakfast. The inaugural and much anticipated Glencoe Skyline Race was about to start and it was time to see how we would fair against some of the best hill runners about today. I couldn’t see the other Carnethy runners in the tightly packed pen but probably at the front were Jasmin Paris, Jon Ascroft and Craig Mattocks with high expectations. Alan Renville, Anthony Hemmings and I had reccied and run together as preparation and hoped for a good ‘run’ in similar times.
The starting pace seemed super-fast for me (Anthony Hemmings recorded a PB for the first 5k) but I hung on as it was only 9km to get to the climbing. Everyone seemed to have the same idea, get to Curved Ridge first. Damn, for middle speed people this meant that we had to wait at the bottleneck but we got a breather and some food and took the opportunity to get a possibly unique shot of enough people to hold hands up this classic scramble. I was 4 minutes slower to the top of Buachaille Etive Mor than we’d done on our recce due to the wait. Ho hum.
I can report a top quality soup, with a WARMED roll. Tick.
After a late change to the start venue from Dreghorn to Bonaly due to emergency roadworks, a cock up with the restaurant booking, and then the forecast for rain I was wondering if many would turn up for the clockwise running of the penultimate 2015 handicap race.
Phil arrived just in time with the race numbers for an excellent turnout of 35 runners plus 2 dogs. The weather remained fine and a slight breeze kept the midges away. First back was Michael Wilkinson, however he decided that seeing Digby disappear up Allermuir meant he was running too slowly and took a shortcut back to the finish.
The winner with map (handy tip) in hand was Alan Swanson, beating his handicap by 4 & 1/2 minutes, running in his barefoot running shoes – impressive given reports of the slippery descent over the tree roots in the woods. Over the next 15 minutes another 31 of the runners appeared from various directions with tales of missed checkpoints and detours. That left 2 runners unaccounted for, Lisa and Georgina, who were last seen heading over Harbour Hill on a reverse Skyline by Captain Whiteside.
That meant we now only had 4 runners out on the hill, a quick call to Jim to tell him all was well, and the search party returned.
19 headed off to Hunters Tryst for some pub grub and fine ales.
Many thanks to Pamela for recording the finish times, Nicola for taking the food orders and the Carnethy HRC Rescue Service.
Final Handicap is in 2 weeks time (Wednesday 2nd September), Arthur’s Seat, at the earlier start time of 6.30pm.
|Position||Race No.||Name||Start time||Finish Time||Race time|
On Monday the Carnethy Ladies met up at Longniddry for a run along the beach and then into Gosford Estate. Last time I was at here was for the Edinburgh Marathon in May where the route runs past the impressive Gosford House. This evening we saw much more of the beautiful woodland area and pond, along paths where I’ve not explored before. Many thanks to Joanne for leading a wonderful run.