Devils Burdens Relay - Reports
23rd January 2010

Vets 40 'B' team ready for the off on leg 1 Bruce and Steven clmbing East Lomond on leg 1 for Over 40 'A' team
Bruce Smith - leg 1 for Men's V40 'A' team (with Steven Fallon):
"The usual mad dash at the start meant we were sprinting flat out through the town - Steven one side of the main pack and me on the other. We formed a Carnethy chain as we came to the woods and the narrow steps, where a pre-race recce allowed us to side step the steps and plough through the snow-flatten undergrowth without breaking stride (much).
As we angled up through the woods Andy S took to leading the chain and Bob's distinctive breathing meant the V50's were going to give us a bit of a fight on the way up East Lomond. As we reached the steps again Steven took to the front, the steep climb much more of his thing and despite not being on top form he pulled us up past several teams before handing me the baton just short of the summit.
CP one done and we were haring off down the slope to the lime kilns, taking care not to step into the knee deep holes in the patchy snow. From there on it was the usual cross country to the road, with me letting Steven test how slippy the stiles were and then, after a slight detour (we went the wrong side of the wall after CP3) it was a case of trying to make sure were we ahead of Des and Matt from the Shets, who seemed to be gaining on us on the cross country section. The path down to Holl reservoir was as muddy and slippery as usual, which led me to do a full 10 yard standing glissade on one of the wooden bridges (which later claimed both the Andys').
Heads down as we pushed up the tarmac climb to the changeover and on to Aidy to fly through the 2nd leg (hopefully). 4th full team and 1st vet pairing not a bad start for couple of old gits :>)
Andy Millard - leg 1 for Senior Mens Team (with Shane Bouchier)
Shane and myself decided from the out that it would be a real shame if Sam didn't have loads of folk to try and catch on the second leg. With that in mind we set off from somewhere near the middle ofthe pack heading through the town and onto the climb. Shane took charge on the climb with me (and my extra padding gained from holiday excess) trailing behind. Shane was so focused that he ran straight past the checkpoint and started down the hill! Fortunatley he heard my shouting and climbed back up the hill to the checkpoint whilst I started on the descent. I waited at the style through to the lime kilns so we could run as a team again which we did down past the next check point which Shane ran straight past again, obviously enjoying the running far too much. While he ran back again I charged on ahead on the boggy downhill towards the finish really enjoying the run - at this point there was a smooth wooden bridge which I ran onto from a slight angle. I got as far as the "if" in thinking "I wonder if this will be slippy?" when my supporting foot was no longer living up to its name and I slammed down onto the bridge and slid off the side.
Instead of landing on something unimportant like my head the brunt of the force was taken by my left knee. Even with my aforementioned extra padding this meant that I started being overtaken rather than overtaking, with the fellow runners sportingly checking I was okay whilst passing. Shane sped by having missed my tumble, probably trying to work out why I was moving (even) more slowly than usual and encouraging some pace towards the changeover. We did manage to get by a couple of teams on the tarmac and handed over to Sam having succeeded in our original plan for his run. A superb event with a huge amount of fun and a huge amount of soup afterwards!
Jon Ascroft running leg 2 for the Carnethy All Stars (as you would except for the Club Captain!)
Sam Hesling - leg 2 for Senior Men's team:
"The pre race logisticals for the DB's is organised chaos at its very best. Despite my best efforts all numbers for the Men's senior team were distributed to the appropriate starters thanks to some far better organised Carnethy's than myself. Unlike last year where iced roads + Olly's driving = arriving at the leg 1 to 2 changeover with zero seconds to spare there was time for a wee warm up before the leg one teams poured in thick and fast. Andy Spenceley and Bob Johnson, in particular, practically flew in with their awesome time of 40.24.
Starting leg 2 with a sprint is one of the most useless acts imaginable as it just hastens the inevitable slog from hell up the hill and leaves you out of breath before the gradient even kicks in. As per usual the first 10 mins were spent wishing one was at home doing something less energetic, but picking off rival clubs soon became the focus which was fun - unlike last year where the soul destroying task of trying to hold off Oleg Chepelin after Adam and Angela's amazing 1st leg run is still etched in the brains "more painful moments" filing drawer. The descent towards the 2-3 changeover was wet, greasy and awesome fun - a bit like sledging but without snow or a sledge. Olly's shouts of encouragement just before the changeover greeted me, as did Andy Fallas and Matt Davis who looked like greyhounds ready to spring out of a trap.
A run back over the hill with Jon Ascroft sealed the exercise part of the day and we romped back round to watch the finishers come in. All in all an ace race and ace social, I grabbed a few snaps of various folk but the best one Cameron Burt will probably want to kill me for..."
Andy Fallas climbing Bishop Hill on leg 3 All Stars team of Cameron and Harry Keith, on leg 3, looking forward to showing John how to descend Cameron and Harry approach the finish on leg3 for AllStars team
Cameron Scott - leg 3 for All Stars team:
"The start line at Scotlandwell saw the first outing in a Carnethy vest for new member Harry Gilmore (‘Neil’ on start and finish sheets but ‘Harry’ to friends) as he was paired with me on the third leg for the All Stars team. After a short wait Jon came flying into the changeover area and at last we were leaving the chaos behind and heading up the steep climb that greets runners on the start of this leg. Approaching the top it was clear several lines were being taken, some opting to go below the crags and others going directly over the hill. Harry and I took a line along the top of the crags which missed out most of the snow banks but also kept climbing to a minimum, and then followed a clear path past the first two controls. The mist that I had been expecting didn’t materialise which made the leg over to the top of West Lomond pretty straightforward if a bit rough underfoot in places, on the way passing John and Keith. By this time quite a few teams were coming together so a mad dash downhill ensued to try to maintain our overall position. Throughout the leg Harry and I had seemed pretty well matched and this was confirmed as we both started to fade on the short track towards the finishing field, however a final dig saw us hold onto our place and handover to Tim for the last leg. This was a great day out with as much fun off the hill as on it."
Keith Burns - leg 3 for Over 50 team:
"At Scotlandwell, JBF and I swapped reasons for our expected performance shortfalls, he pleading foot trouble and me a sore throat and throbbing head. As frequently happens (the FRA relays with Willie were a similar match of ailments), our contributions to the slow pace were about even. John did the towing uphill and I worked the downhill bits. Ollie and Mick caught us on the climb up Bishop. I had earlier recommended the direct route off Bishop to them. A couple of Fifers heading the same way encouraged us to go for it despite the ominous patches of snow. It was a mistake, with deep snow over tussock and heather. The track I recalled from last year had somehow gone missing. At least we could see where we were heading as the forecast mist hadn’t developed. We only re-engaged with the competition as we started the long climb past the Burdens. John reached the second summit his predicable few yards ahead of me and I took over for the descent to the spring. We were looking forward to a long glissade on the big patch of summit snowfield, but it was much poorer than last year. The drift just above the spring was much more useful. The descending traverse to the wood was compounding John’s foot troubles. At the exchange, Andy couldn’t conceal his dismay at how we had squandered the impressive leg 1 and 2 launch with which he, Bob and Brian had endowed us. We left Jonathon the challenge of recovering our losses. This event is a gem. An enjoyable outing despite our ailments - - .
Would you believe - these are two of our stars !!!  Stewart and Ronnie having helped the club win the Over 40s category Bruce Milne finishing leg 4 for Over 40s B team Tim Darlow at the finish line Tim flying in for the All Stars team (which has gained 30 mins on the HBT team, who started early!) Jonathon Whitehead recovering after last leg effort for Over 50s team Lucy Colquhoun as fresh as ever (after all it's only 7km) and in a very fetching club vest! Hilary Spenceley flying along on leg 4 - a course that suits her, i.e. no steep descents, and having a great run for the Women's B team

The Carnethy Teams (in order of finishing):
Over 40s 'A' (4th and 1st Over 40s): leg 1 Bruce Smith&Steven Fallon; leg 2Adrian Davis; leg 3 Stewart Whitlie&Adam Ward; leg 4 Ronnie Gallagher
Senior Men (17th): leg 1 Shane Bouchier&Andy Millard; leg 2 Sam Hesling; leg 3 Andy Fallas&Matt Davis; leg 4 Cameron Burt
Over 40s 'B' (25th): leg 1 Gregor Heron&Paul Ritchie; leg 2 Gio MacDonald; leg 3 Olly Stephenson&Mick James; leg 4 Bruce Milne
All Stars (33rd) : leg 1 Willie Gibson&Jamie Hardie; leg 2 Jon Ascroft; leg 3 Cameron Scott&Neil Gilmore; leg 4 Tim Darlow
Over 50s (58th) : leg 1 Bob Johnson&Andy Spenceley; leg 2 Brian Howie; leg 3 Keith Burns&John Blair Fish; leg 4 Jonathan Whitehead
Women's 'A' (71st & 8th F): leg 1 Jessie Gebhard&Kim Martin; leg 2 Lucy Hailey; leg 3 Jacqui Higginbottom&Helen Bonsor; leg 4 Lucy Colquhorn
Women's 'B' (102nd): leg 1 Margaret Forrest&Kirsty Loudon; leg 2 Joanne Anderson; leg 3 Anne Nimmo&Joanne Thin; leg 4 Hilary Spenceley

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