Two sun kissed days in and around the Affric
hills and pine forests provided the perfect backdrop to the mountain
marathon which threatens to top them all.
By ten pm on Saturday the ceilidh band were in full swing entertaining
their lycra clad audience. I (and many others) soon forgot about
aches and pains and joined in the dancing. The availability of
that universally approved recovery substance found in bottles and
cans lubricated things wonderfully. Endless banter was had in our
marquee under a star studded sky.
Saturday had seen a cloudy start lift with pairs picking their
way through the Affric foothills. A, B, C, D and score classes
were out. Uniquely (I think) for a MM A had 8 checkpoints to be
had in any order pairs cared for. Route choice was therefore made
even more critical although unlike previous years there was no
opportunity to miss out one of the orange and whites.
Sunday saw a few cold folk (with sore heads to boot) but frozen
tents were quickly thawed and dried in the morning sun. To add
an extra twist A had 2 fixed checkpoints, a choice of one of two
bridge crossings followed by four checkpoints in any order. The
final two were fixed and a three quarter mile slog on tarmac saw
us back in Cannich village hall where well earned sunbathing was
being had by all.
As usual the organisers and volunteers did a sterling job keeping
competitors on the straight and narrow.
As for our performance... well we should just gloss this race
over. Suffice to say we intend to better next year.
On a rather more critical note Hands
on Events need more competitors to keep this
unique event alive. Hence expect
a lot of gentle prodding from me over the next year to entice some
of you along. Without more teams the MM which boasts an overnight
Ceilidh may be over before it has begun. You have been warned.
As much as I'd like to provide a proper techy report my ibuprofen
and sun addled brain didn't have the record button on...
p.s. Just to add we are planning to return to
the wilds of northern Sweden to get spanked in A class on the the
Mountain Marathon this August. If
anyone else fancies it it drop me a line (samhesling at gmail
dot com) as it would be good to increase the Scottish contingent
Cheers for reading the report and look forward to my continued
harassment to get you all up north this time next year !