Graham Nash kindly offered me a lift to the second of the Trossachs Trail Races last night. All the races are a bit of a trek from Edinburgh, but the first race in the series was an excellent run and we were both keen to attend the entire series. Additionally, the second race was in Callander, and there’s quite a good chippy in Callander that would be worth stopping-in after the race. Graham and I bumped into Harry and Iain Gilmore in the pub registration, bringing the Carnethy count to a majestic 4.
We took the time before the race to test two beers for pre-race hydration: I tested Schiehallion and Graham tested Dark Island. An important test, I’m sure you’d agree. Which would be better? We’d soon find out.
A fine evening, cold and misty, with very little wind. The race started quickly through the forest trails to the north of Callandar. Graham and Iain disappeared quickly, leaving Harry and I to fight for that elusive Carnethy 3rd place. The mist caused the most problems, being illuminated by my headtorch instead of the ground ahead. It was a like having a little cloud on the end of my nose, masking all the ground ahead of me, and I struggled a bit with that. I haemorrhaged places as a fumbled along, blinded, yet nobody else seemed as bothered by it as I was. Could it be the Schiehallion? Ahead, Graham and Iain took a wrong turn and had to fight through the undergrowth, both gaining and losing time. Could that be blamed on the Dark Island? Harry ploughed past me, headtorch held in his hand – an excellent idea! I decided to do the same, and managed to run a bit better, and soon enough the race was over!
An excellent course though varied terrain (this is what I imagine XC races *should* be like). Through forests, across golf courses, winding and weaving through the countryside. Excellently marshalled and well marked.
Massive thanks to Angela and her crew, and also the pub for hosting the registration and beer!
Ultimately, Graham finished first Carnethy, 4th place, 1st over 40. Iain 5th, I was 13th. Harry 14th, and 2nd over 50. I narrowly missed the Under 20 prize, being 11seconds behind (and 19years ahead) of a Glasgow Uni lad.
We concluded that Dark Island might be the better pre-race pint, though further investigation may be required. Also, we agreed that the chips were good. Beer + running + chips is an excellent way to spend a midweek evening!