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East Lothian 3 Peaks Duathlon
27th July 2013
After the Royal breaking of the waters last week, East Lothian had its own breaking of the waters on Lammer Law as we were heading for the summit.  An appalling weather forecast proved accurate and my phone was busy with reports of moral fibre problems from 7am onwards.  We lost nearly half of our entries as a result.  The determined remainder battled with a monsoon on the way up Lammer Law and we entered the cloud base halfway up.  Even those who know the hill well suffered strange time and space dilation issues which suggested the upper fence and gate had been moved further up the hill. Visibility was only a few paces at times.  Things could only improve after that, and they did, with the rain slowly easing thereafter.  The cycling needed care in the floods, potholes and gravel heading down to Gifford.
The ascent of Traprain Law wasn’t helped by the long grass left due to the poor grazing ability of the Exmoor ponies that have replaced the sheep and are not doing as effective a job.  One competitor said she saw about thirty ponies, but there are only 14, so she must have been suffering double vision by this stage.  There were fresh mole hills on the 45 degree ascent slope, presumably because the moles were migrating uphill to avoid the waterlogged ground.
East Linton high street was congested by inept parking manoeuvres which cost your handicapper precious seconds.  The intermittent climbs to North Berwick were compensated by clear signs that the deluge was almost over, and we actually enjoyed distant views from North Berwick Law summit before skating down over extremely greasy rocks.
Deployment of the big tent at the finish (and a gazebo at Traprain) were much appreciated by our marshals, who had a tougher time that the competitors in the conditions thrown at us this year.
Colossal thanks to our marshals for facing a foul day out, possibly the penalty for last year’s outstanding weather for the event. Results (.xls)
Keith Burns

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