The 38th ‘Tisos’ Carnethy 5 Hill Race
Saturday 16th February 2008
Organiser’s report

Well if organising last year’s race felt like getting married all over again, this year was so easy it felt like a honeymoon by comparison.

First off there was the weather, it simply does not get any better than this in Scotland in February with blue skies from sunrise to sunset, and a cool six degrees centigrade and light SW winds. Conditions underfoot were generally firm and fast with the odd icy patch thrown in to keep you on your toes (or otherwise).

Planning for the race started back in October with letters to the farmers and sponsors, and bookings made for the school, the meals and buses. A decision was taken early on to make the race on-line entry only, and I was relieved that out of 650 entries (550 in the race, 100 on the waiting list) only three people contacted me to complain. Curiously I did notice one racer on the day with a note pinned to his back stating ‘say no to on-line entries’, which seemed like a slight contradiction (i.e. he must have said ‘yes’ to be standing there?!). But perhaps I’m missing the point. If he’s reading this I’d be delighted to talk about it.

After several months of planning it comes as a shock to hear the starting gun. All of a sudden you’re jostling with all the other runners sprinting across the start field, wondering how on earth you got there, and in just a few steps you’re transformed completely from the hassles of organising to the joys of being a care-free competitor once more.

I’ll leave Andy Spenceley to provide the detailed race report since he knows the scene much better than I do, but Cameron Burt deserves an honourable mention for posting a reasonable time despite crossing the finish line with only one shoe (the other having disintegrated somewhere on the course)!

The Police were apparently ticketing people that parked on the edge of the A702, and we’ll need to post marshals up there next year to prevent this reoccurring (otherwise the Police say they’ll take steps to close the race). Perhaps the offending people were not part of the race, but I cannot help thinking that some of these people should have known better.

Luckily there were no major incidents reported in the race itself, and only a handful of minor injuries for the first-aid team to contend with.

Speaking on behalf of the club and the competitors I’d like to extend a huge thanks to the 100+ volunteers that make the event possible, including a hard core of about a dozen people that are involved in a major way.

Special thanks go to Brian Robson who has been helping with the equipment and setting up of the tea tent for years, and he’s not a runner, and not even a member of Carnethy! And Mark Johnston deserves considerable thanks for his work as organiser of the Scald Law junior race; he’s done a consistently great job with this important race over the last 10 years, and has understandably decided to stand down now. If you know anyone that would like to take this on let me and/or the Club know.

So in summary, thanks again, I hope you enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to seeing you next year if not before. I have a selection of lost property so get in touch if you’re missing anything.

Olly Stephenson
Carnethy HRC
Feb 17th 2008

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