Thanks to Matt for doing the finish – allowed me to enjoy a great course. The average run time was slightly faster than estimated (55 vs 57 mins), but we nevertheless we had 27 out of 35 runners finishing in a 5 minute period. Still aiming for the target 90% in one minute, but hope I am not doing the finish on that day.
Some bloke called Digby seems to be winning after 2 rounds, but has he peaked too soon?
|Runner||Handicap||Run Time||Finish Time||Points|
The Broughton Tyke
aka Matt Davis
Where was everyone? Just two of us turned up for the start of the Trossachs journey run. Alan and I set off up through the woods and into Glen Finglas. Although the weather forecast had been bad we had little rain throughout the day. We left the Glen Finglas reservoir and headed up the hill track into Gleann Casaig. On the far side of the valley we could see another track leading up to a small hydro dam higher up the valley. Near the dam we spent some time looking at a tiny dam on our side of the valley, up the hillside from the track. It was only a few feet wide and seemed to catch a small trickle from an area of boggy ground above. We couldn’t work out what it was for.
Near the top of the valley we came into the thick mist that hung over all the hill tops. When we reached the ridge between Ben Vane and Ben Ledi, Alan said he wanted to test an electronic gizmo. He wandered round in the mist holding a small box with an aerial above his head. Actually, I think he was trying to contact ET – didn’t work though, just made the rain come down heavier. We were very glad of the line of rusty fence posts that guided us along the ridge to Ben Ledi. When we couldn’t see more than 50 yards ahead the ground looked disturbingly lumpy and disorientating. When we eventually reached the summit it was surprisingly calm and mild so we sat on a grassy knoll for lunch.
We continued down the tourist path for a while, occasionally meeting walkers looming up out of the mist. We left the path part way down and with a combination of compass bearings & lie of the land we stravaiged our way down the hillside. Soon we came below the cloud base and could see our objective of a gate in a deer fence. This led to a path through a deciduous woodland plantation and out though another gate at the bottom. It was much easier than the climbing of deer fences I had to do during the recce. We were now on The Great Trossach Path which took us on a lovely high path overlooking Loch Venacher, all the way back to the car park. If we had gone a few days earlier, this is what it would have looked like. On the very last bit, just before the car park, the ground was totally blue – covered with a carpet of bluebells.
Carnethy Summer collection being modelled on Wednesday Night. Hayley – Ladies Small, Willie – Unisex Medium, Sandra – Unisex Large, Jeff – Unisex Small
See gear page for details
Short version – where the hell were you? Numbers were low this year, possibly due to Stuc, with just a dozen of us venturing out from The Steading. Even stalwarts like Nick, Gordon and Shane were missing.
More fool them. Personally, I think Oz excelled himself this year, with a set of ridiculously good malt whiskies and the finest weather ever experienced on a Chaser. Even better, despite multiple drams at each stop (for those that wanted them), there was still enough left to auction off at the end, for the benefit of the Friends of the Pentlands. I shall enjoy the remains of the Kilchoman all the more for knowing I outbid The President for it. Thanks Oz!
For the full story – read on.
Carnethy Ladies in Surprise Road Race Win…
Carnethy Ladies pulled off an unexpected win in today’s 20-mile, very flat, Edinburgh to North Berwick road race. The Ladies Team, of Abigail Robertson, Paloma Heras and Sally Cross were first female team, based on combined time. Sally was also 2nd LV50. Two Carnethy Men also raced. It was a lovely sunny day but with a strong headwind.
Alberto Lopez 2h 32m 22s
Abigail Robertson 2h 42m 43s (4th woman)
Paloma Heras 3h 03m 49s
Sally Cross 3h 04m 18s
Ian Jackson 3h 16m 11s
Full results here: http://www.b-howie.demon.co.uk/enb17.pdf
‘Cheap and Cheerful’ is how the organiser described this 4.5 mile sprint up a very modest hill. I was very cheerful (and I’m very cheap) to win a bottle of wine as 2nd V60; the fine array of cake and the wide spread of prizes adding to the cheer. I don’t know of any other race that has 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in all the categories.
Only 3 Carnethys – the others being Garry MacInnes who was 2nd V50; and Ali Black, position unknown as yet. Scion of the Monday Arthur’s Seat Handicap Neil McLure nabbed a bottle too, for 3rd place in a category I can’t remember. But he’s not a Carnethy so never mind.
A very popular race so I did at least have some competition. A shame not to see some Carnethy juniors there. Results here at some point.
Bob Johnson writes:-
For me the actual marathon itself was the culmination of many months of effort. I can’t remember exactly when but at some point last year I decided that an attempt on the existing Mr Potato Head record (3:38:20 from 2012) would be a good idea. I foolishly thought that I could make a faithful replica of the iconic toy and still get close to the record time. Construction started in early February with the Mk I version quickly taking shape such that the wooden sub-frame was complete by early March.
The VirginMoney London Marathon team “invited” me down to Silverstone later in March in order to prove that the costume would not hinder other runners and that I wasn’t gunna break anybody’s precious IPad thingie with one or both of my big pink ears (or any other protuberance for that matter). I took the bare frame of the Mk I Potato Head in order to show progress to date and ran a 90 minute half as as part of my standard marathon training. Shaking hands with the VMLM crew plus the Guinness World Records crew showed that I was willing to make a 600-mile round trip in order to show prove that I would be there in London with something like the same vigour.
As soon as I returned home, I was plagued with a bout of sciatica which seemed to creep up on me like some sort of nightmare as soon as I tried to sleep. In those tossing-and-turning fitful nights I decided to bin Mk I potato head and build a paper and mache Mk II. This set the construction right back and the remaining time up to the marathon is a blur of wood glue, hobby paper, paint, nitrate shrinking dope, self-tapping screws, pozzi-head-wood screws, birch plywood, aluminium strip, bubble wrap, pipe lagging, cable ties and duck tape. I don’t know how but Mr Potato Head man was just about completed (after a 12 hour day) on Friday 21st April. I practiced in the bare shell for 20 yards (yes yards).
Saturday didn’t really exist but somehow myself and Mr Potato Head made it down to London in 80mins so I presume we flew down. Race day on Sunday was a test from the start. BBC interviews put me late and it took me two minutes of running to realise that my arms wouldn’t be free to move in the usual running action but would be needed to lock the shell in a stable position. The shell hit my head in three places (nose being one of them) maybe 1500 times as it was once or twice every 30 yards or so. It was very hot and sweaty in there and “pneumatic leakage” gave evidence to the fact that the scrambled eggs for breakfast may have been past their best.
I could not make out my pace as I could not see my watch in the dark and cramped space. I saw my support crew (my three kids plus a friend) at 9 miles and missed them at 15 and 21 so I had to survive on jelly babies being push through my “slot” just under the hat. After much swearing and cussing (nobody could hear but I had my angry eyes on for sure) I finished in 5:19:16 well off the target time of 5 hours. I didn’t faint in the heat but I’ve been pretty slow and flat ever since. The fundraising has gone so well with so many fabulous comments from loads and loads of Carnethy runners. Thank-you all for pushing the total close to £2000 before the tax is claimed back..
I have unfinished business and plan to go back and get the record in 2018…
Watch this space.. best wishes to all Bob
Having run a few Ultra Marathons up to 70+ miles in length over hills and through glens, and combining this with fundraising for SMA and Molly, on paper, the London Marathon at 26 miles should be quite straight forward. Well, not so. All sorts of endless niggles for the best part of a year meant and training went in fits and stops. I managed some long runs and ‘attended’ the winter Carnethy Ultra series but went slower than hoped or stopped short having tweaked something.
What folk get out of tarmac slapping I can’t figure. It is so gruelling, but then my preparation was rubbish. What wasn’t rubbish was the incredible organisation and atmosphere that is the VLM . There is practically nothingthat wasn’t thought of, from loads of loos (you know me) to loads of Vaseline (…..!!!.) to a rock band singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’, to mountains of floods of water, lucozade and gloopy gells. Ok, more banana and tea would be an improvement.
I tried stretching, yoga and gentle jogging and hoped things would be ok….ish. For the first few miles I ran well and felt great ending in sight of a 3hr timing flag. ‘Bugger’ I thought, ‘way too fast’. Then at mile 4, a ping in my previously sore right calf slowed me to a preservation pace while seeing how it was. The 3hr 15min flag passed me. It was hot in the city for me so I showered under the sprayers then about mile 8 I trod on a lidded bottle that rolled across the road. ‘Bugger ‘ I thought, ‘you chuffin’ idiot’. I hobbled on as the 3hr 30min flag passed me. Only 18 miles to go. The crowds were great but my pace slowed. ‘Grind it out Hartree, eat and drink, don’t be a Jessie’ was what I focussed on.
The rest was just painful. Two more timing flags passed which was annoying but hey. Lots of folk were walking but I was still running. At 4:07:06 I finished. Legs trashed and more weary than most long hill races that I have done and way behind my notional target time. Who cares. I raised some more money, thanks to folk like you, for Molly.
On the train back to my brothers I watched a video of Molly and her sister Anya watching the TV, cheering for me invisible amongst the 40,000 runners, waving a hand drawn poster. I sat in tears. That is the effect of the London Marathon.
New legs please, once Molly gets her chair.
On the same day that Bob was running as a potato, Sandra, Richard, Ian and I were taking part in the Vienna City Marathon festival. Ian ran the 10k race along with about 1,100 others on the Saturday evening (and got caught in a shower of rain). The next morning the marathon, marathon relay and half marathon races took place, starting at Reichesbrüke. Altogether on the Sunday, there were 32,533 finishers, 6,319 of them running the full marathon. Sandra and Richard ran the half marathon together, coming in at 2:05hrs, while I plodded along well behind on the full marathon route, finishing in 5:30. One of my marathon “moments” was listening to the Blue Danube being played on the overhead speakers as I crossed the start line on the bridge over the same river.
Sorry to say that I failed to get the record yesterday – Guinness set a target of 5hrs and I only managed 5:19. Doubtless that somebody tougher and more talented than me would have succeeded but I’m sure loads of people would have packed in the circumstances that I was faced with. The problems attacked me on a number of fronts: It was hot and even “normal” runners were struggling in the heat; it was so hot and sweaty in that thing; the potato head body was very cramped so that I couldn’t drink very well or even look at my watch; the edges of the shell continually hit me on the temple and nose; the structure needed me to stabilise it by holding it still 100% of the time; with 40,000 runners there were lots of walkers to dodge and I only completed 20yards (yes yards) of test running before the start of the marathon. There are lessons to be learned for sure…
I stuck to the spirit of things though and tried to run as quickly as possible without too much whingeing. I completed the course in a totally homemade costume and crowds loved what I was trying to do. Sponsorship has been brilliant and the link is on the Supporting Others page if I can still twist your arm.
I have unfinished business and plan to go back in order to redeem myself.
Many thanks indeed – more photos to follow so get yer darts sharpened…
Jeff adds …think you should add these tweets to Bob’s report. Was fun watching the various media coverage he was getting!
Smallish Carnethy contingent for this classic of the calendar disorganised by HBT.
It was 5 years since I had last run this, but the safety briefing from the HBT welfare officer hadn’t changed – we were still warned of gravity and tussocks.
Prize giving also retains its unique charm, with Gillian Cairns from Penicuik departing looking like she was on that game with cabbages on Crackerjack.
In between there was a race, which is a brutally fast but fun route over familiar trails in the Bog and over the Crags/Radical Rd.
John Hammond was first Carnethy in 7th and Harry Gilmore recouped his entry fee in beer for coming 2nd vet 50.
There were some other good Carnethy performances which can be found in the results here: http://scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0029&Year=2017 and http://www.scottishhillrunners.uk/NewsItems.aspx?NewsItemID=32228 with the latter having a link to Matt Curry’s excellent photos.
The ravages of time appear to be costing me 1.5s/km/year.