Twelve Carnethys braved the 53 miles of the Highland Fling last Saturday. It was an early start and a very long day. The organisation was superb and drop bags for four checkpoints were collected at the start and magicked to the right places. I’d never used dropbags before and packed a picnic into each one, most of which I left behind at each checkpoint and mainly ate sachets of baby food. Yum.
The race started fast and we rolled out of Milngavie amid cheers. I settled into a comfortable pace but let go on the downhills and hoped I wouldn’t suffer for it later. The descent of Conic Hill was particularly fun and I passed lots of people on the descent into Balmaha. We took the high path to Rowardennan but then the trail ran alongside Loch Lomond and was more technical with lots of scrambling over rocks. It was hard to get into a rhythm but great fun. I hit a low point just before Beinglas but luckily was convinced to eat something before I left the checkpoint, which probably saved my race.
I’m not really sure what happened between there and the finish, I think I spent most of the time arguing with myself about whether I should run or walk. I came into Tyndrum convinced there were still two miles to go so I took an energy gel. I’m sure this helped me finish strongly down the red carpet to the line, although from the photos it was more of a shuffle than a sprint. I’d been the third place lady since 25 miles and despite being convinced I would be caught in the final uphill miles, managed to stay ahead till the end. Third place was much better than I had been hoping for (which was just to finish my first 50 miler) so I’m very happy about it!
Donnie Campbell’s record from 2016 was lowered by 10 minutes by Rob Sinclair who finished in the unfathomable time of 6:41:13.
The finish was spectacular, there was prosecco in the goody bag and the soup, courtesy of the Real Food Cafe, was excellent. Apparently the ceilidh was fun too but I had passed out by then. It’s worth putting your name in the ballot for!
Full Carnethy results:
Rachel Newstead 8:55:29, John Hammond 8:55:44, Alex Coakley 9:29:13, Douglas Macqueen 10:01:32, Myvanwy Fenton-May 10:05:05, Alexis Dole 10:14:51, Aisling Allum 11:16:57, Lee Murphy 11:39:33, Jamie Megaw 12:42:46, Lauren Mckay 12:58:39, Hayley Mckinnon 13:35:32, Ina Donat 13:54:44