Al McGowan was (probably) first off the mark this morning and sent in this report:
Having spent most of the summer since about April spending a lot of time on the hill, it was time to see if I could convert this into a decent stab at the Spittal Monk leg of the Alt C5. I’d managed one Wednesday night with the 7:30 group (a HUGE turnout of 22 people) a few weeks ago and found that all that walking was not adding up to a swift pace on the hill! Walking, even for up to 9-10 hours a day, is just not the same as running on the hill. The other odd thing I’d found was that my routine use of walking poles, although a real help on walking day after day, had made me less used to using my arms to power up the slope when running.
I set off from Nine Mile Burn (the sign on the road back says 12 miles but that is the ‘lang Scots miles’ for you. One Scots mile is about 1.123 statue miles) up the track past Spittal Farm and the across the open hillsides. Well openish, as there are a few fencelines. By this point the rain was pummeling down and the wind was picking up as I crossed Spittal Hill then up and over Green Law. The wind assisted as I contoured to get over to Cap Law then didn’t as it blew the rain into my face. After swerving across the tussocks to give a couple of mountain bikers a clear run I passed the Font Stone and descended back to Nine Mile Burn over slaps and stiles with the legs working better with the gravity assist of going downhill. So, for me, the Alt C5 game is afoot! No sightings of other racers but good luck to everyone and I’ll hopefully see some of you through the week.
A moment or two of fake good weather turned back to warmish clag for a lovely sprint around the short course which in other times is the Nine Mile Burn handicap route (with the inclusion of West Kip). A great fast descent with no time this time to raid the supposed font stone for spare cash.
Plenty of people out starting at various times but if you missed the action today you can run it and send your time to Mark Hartree.
HelRaser on the Spittal Monk
With Helen and Fraser (Hel-Raser) heading off to the Pyrenees at 3am on Tuesday, I suggested they accompany me on an early Spittal-Monk. So straight from work we headed down to Nine Mile Burn. With the mizzle mizzling we headed off.
I puggled along the tarmac an dtrack about 50m off the pace until we hit the grassy hillside. As we headed for Greenlaw we could see the start of a clearance. The soft carpet of grass cushioned my knees as we rounded the horseshoe and headed towards the font stone. Fraser by now topless to ease his bleeding nipples (2 weeks in the Pyrenees will sort that out “NOT”). It was a lovely run off on good ground.
As we ran to the gate we could see the main bunch arriving. The the rain started again!
A lovely round in just under the hour.