It was my 3rd Stuc a'Chroin
Race, back after a 10 year absence. My excuse
of "It is too close to the Scottish Islands
Peaks Race" was not valid this year so it
had to be done.
Leaving Roslin with Joel Sylvester and Helen Wise we
knew that the weather was likely to be iffy, but the
views of the hills was spectacular as we headed up
the M9. I was hopeful!
After arriving at Strathyre and registering in fair
conditions, a cup of coffee took enough tinme for the
weather to turn. After hiding in the car to change
into race gear we headed to the start. Already sporting
my new Carnethy cap, I added my old faithful Carnethy
pertex to the full body cover I was carrying at the
last minute (and what a good move that was).
There were masses of Carnethies milling arounng in
the mizzle at the start and after a countdown we were
I had forgotten how long the track up was and also
forgotten how far we cut back along the ridge before
the well remembered descent in and climb out of Glen
Ample. The very steep single track queue up out of
the Glen was also well remembered but not the undulating
ridge, which seemed to go on for ever.
I passed the descent path just in time to see the first
runners heading down. Andy Fallas was lying 3rd and
lots of other Carnethies were not far off the pace
and Charlotte was the first lady on the way back down.
The wind was strong as I donned the pertex for the
climb to the summit and tried hard to catch Joan Wilson
who skipped past me on one of the slippier descents,
I saw her for the lst time as she passed the summit..
The summit turn was welcome but running back into the
wind over slippy rocks was fraught. I ran past a pile
of water bottles abandoned on the hill and saw Marshals
escorting someone down to shelter. It transpired that
this was a female runner suffering from hypothermia,
Keith Burns had noticed and gave up his race to help
(After a helecopter had failed to reach her, she was
escorted off the hill to safety).
The slippy traverse descent back into Glen Ample was
fun as was the climb back out. Then there was the interminable
track to the finish field.
A great adventure as ever I was only 40 minutes slower
than 10 years ago in 3:35:18.
Andy Fallas was first Carnethy home in third place
and with Stewart Whitlie (7th), Andrew Gilmour (9th)
and Paul Faulkner (10th) making up the winning team.
Charlotte Morgan was first Lady and Jacqui Higginbottom
was first FV40.
There were masses of very cheerful marshals all over
the hill offering water and food. Many Thanks to all
of you. Willie Gibson Full