A good number of Carnethies scattered themselves about the field at a blustery and increasingly damp Two Breweries race on Saturday.
The day started dry and the trot from Traquair House along the road and then up the first grassy climb was pleasant. Approaching the top of Birkscairn Hill the wind stiffened enough to make meaningful forward progress a real effort and it was a relief to escape it on the descent down to Glensax. The Carnethy vest of Helen Bonsor ahead proved a good target on the steep climb up to Hundleshope Heights and we ran together for most of the rather grim and windy traverse round Broom Hill, up Stob Law and down to Glenrath Farm where we picked up a confused Bog Trotter wandering around in the farmyard.
With effort I just about managed to keep Helen in sight on the climb up Whitelaw Hill and the descent down to Stobo but she pulled away along the road and then further ahead on the track leading to the bottom of Trahenna where I was plodding somewhat, consuming a few jelly pieces to try and reinvigorate the legs.
This was my first running of the Two Breweries and as the weather closed in Trahenna lived up to its reputation as a sting in the tail. The 250m of climbing felt endless in the deep grass, increasing wind and rain and falling temperatures, the only consolation being that those ahead seemed to be staggering around in a similar private hell and those behind were getting no closer. I staggered off the summit but the legs gradually strengthened and I was feeling almost normal by the time I reached the road for the last canter to the finish. Unfortunately I had to leave early with too little opportunity to sample the beer at the finish or witness the prize giving, but the soup, sandwiches and cake were more than welcome.
Many thanks are due to the marshals and mountain rescue who manned summit checkpoints in what were at times pretty miserable conditions. The results show that Charlotte Morgan was first female, Helen was second. Stewart Whitlie was third overall. 92 started but a good number must have dropped out, leaving only 76 at the finish.
Full results here.