While some serious mountain folk were off doing the OMM this weekend, and my wife was off getting her hair done, I decided to hit The Dumyat Dash for the first time. The race is short so I thought it would be easy, just something to do instead of sitting around watching Saturday Kitchen in my pants, and I do enough of that as it is. Ian Gilmore joined me for the drive, and we met Graham Nash, Brian Howie and Mark Hooper at registration.
It is a short race, true enough, but it was a lot harder than expected. It starts easy, but the quickly hits a steep climb along a narrow path to join a landrover track that descends back down under Castle Law. Chat on the start line suggested that much of the climbing was on narrow trods and it was hard to pass people, so to start fast if you can. Unfortunately, I can’t start fast, so I got caught up on the first climb and could only do what I could on the faster descent to the main climb. After this warm-up bump, all the subsequent ascent is very steep hands-on-knees stuff. Or, hands on rope stuff, seeing as the organizer had strung some ropes to help us up the scree and steeper slopes. The scree led to more scree, then across some scree, then finally up a long, steep haul to Castle Law. For most of the way I was crawling up the slope, it’s that steep. On the way near the summit of Castle Law sat a lonely juice cup, discarded after a fast food meal. Its owner had obviously thought that the cup deserved the beautiful views of the Forth valley, and lobbed it from the summit. It seemed lost and out-of-place there though, so I decided to adopt that cup right there and then, and take it down to Menstrie to start a new and exciting life in a bin. From Castle Law there’s a short descent of a few metres, and across to Dumyat for the final hands-on-knees climb to the summit…em…thing. My new adoptee, “Cuppy”, made it difficult to get both hands onto my knees, and also made it difficult to grab tufts of grass to help me on my way. FYI: for some reason I decided to hold it upright like a half-full pint of beer for the remainder of the run, instead of sensibly crushing it and stuffing it into my bumbag. No matter, over the top there’s a lovely semi-runnable descent that suits all the faster descenders, in particular all the people that were behind me, albeit not for long. I also fell on my bum, twisting in such a way as to protect my new polystyrene child from any impact, which again seemed utterly stupid. Ho hum. Over the line, cup into bin, and scoffed a couple of bananas while waiting for the other Carnethies to finish.
Results still not announced, but I know Iain was 5th (well done!), Graham maybe 10th-ish, me a while after, then Mark, and finally Brian who decided to stop running and take some photos instead.
A great wee race, great value, and a great mix of terrain for a route that’s so short.