Send in your leg reports! Previous years’ are on the reports page
Leg 1-2 handover
Leg 2-3 handover
Leg 3-4 handover
MV40 A – Graham Nash, Stewart Whitlie & Mike Reid, Jon Ascroft & Mark Johnston, Olly Stephenson
Driving up with new kid on the block Jonny Muir I was assuring him of how straightforward Leg 1 was, impossible to get lost, very simple. I then missed the turnoff from the M90, which meant we were a bit later than intended to get to Registration. Next topic was choice of shoes. Leg 1 is fairly flat and traily (real word?), but there’s a muddy link path near the start, so something with grip, but then the final mile or so is on a tarmac path, so something with a bit of cushion. Decisions, Decisions. In the end we both settled on X-Talons.
A brief warm up and recce up to the muddy bit, and then quick run back to the start (which had been moved 50yds closer to the finish at the request of the estate). My mate, who used to race Greyhounds, told me of a technique he used on his Greyhounds just before the start of a race, which he swore improved the dog’s performance. So I thought I would give this a go. (If you want to find out what it is you’ll need to come on the Wednesday KB fast run or buy me some beers).
10.30 exactly and we were off. Oh, how I hate the first mile of a race. The young guns sprint off (Alasdair McLeod (Shets) and Jamie Crowe (Dundee HH) particularly so), leaving me blowing out of my backside, gasping for breath with a heart rate above 200. A mile later I seem to settle down and find a rhythm, and slowly started to reel some runners in. Knowing how short this leg is, there isn’t much time to catch folk, so it’s up against the red line the whole way.
Shortly before the (only) checkpoint I was closing on Dave Ward of HBT, sensing I would catch him on the tarmac path. However he failed to stop at the checkpoint and punch his card, so immediately opened up a gap of 100yds. James Callender of Westies shouted after him that he’d missed the checkpoint, but I think he just gave us the bird and continued to sprint off. The final section on the tarmac was hamstring hell, every foot strike sending shockwaves through the soles of my shoes, reverberating up my legs. I exchanged places a few times with James, before stumbling at the Water Jump and he opened up a gap I couldn’t close.
Into the final field, flat out to the finish, and a minute up on my PB for this leg. So, is punching the card optional? If so, I might take a few more seconds off next year.
MV40 B – Duncan Davis, Neil Burnett & Mike Lynch, Simon Titmuss & Mark Hartree, Joel Sylvester
As Nash and the youngsters sped down the road,
At a speed that was simply a sight to behold.
My plan was simple, oh so neat,
Try and stay on Helen’s feet.
It worked quite well for a couple of K,
Until the track went up and my lungs gave way.
I wondered was there any hope?
When the elastic turned to a great long rope.
As Helen was almost out of sight,
I glanced around, no V50 fright.
Patiently waiting and raring to go,
were Burnett and Lynch in Strathmiglo.
I tried to finish with a flurry,
But my legs didn’t look to be in a hurry.
That was it, my Burden leg run,
Falkland beckons G. Cameron.
Two HBTs join up and its fair to say,
Without Carnethy, they’d have lost their way.
Umm – I’m an engineer – not a poet!
Looking for a +ve
Our ‘team %’ of winning team time = 131.9%
The average of our personal %s from Scottish Hill Racing = 137.8%
Probably best not to scrutinise that statistic too hard, seeing as it works in our favour.
C5 is next for me. My aim, not to set another PW.
This was my second paired leg ever, and my first since running with Neil on Leg 3 last year, so I was looking to see how we would get on. My concerns about lost pre-Christmas pace were sort of unfounded, as we dug in quite well from the start and started to overhaul other pairs (despite shouts of ‘ya couple o’ fannies’ from Nash, Muir et al as we bypassed the water hazard at the start of the leg). This leg had 7 checkpoints (Seven!) and we reached the first at Drumdreel Wood without incident just as said trio were continuing to abuse us before turning off down to Falkland.
The hill climb up West Lomond was steady, and we again overtook pairs, but, annoyingly, the V50s (Fallon and Ward) were breathing down our necks and overtook us midway up. Adam slipped on a mossy rock and in a symbol either of sympathy, or worship, Neil did the same. We were also (very annoyingly) overtaken by the eventual winning Deeside Ladies pair of Claire Whitehead and Steph Provan, who are both friends of my sister-in-law up there in Aberdeenshire, and will no doubt smirk at that the next time I see them. Anyhow, we reached the summit and checkpoint without too much fuss and Neil then proceeded to forget that I’d pulled him up the hill by dropping me going down the other side. We found the narrow (muddy) trod on the other side and I kind of got stuck behind a Stonehaven runner here (the same runner I had a battle with at Comrie) before overhauling him and catching Neil on the next climb. We worked our way through the various checkpoints and caught the HBT pair of Gavin Smith and James Bowden. This is a battle we wanted to win, and we did, dropping them on the final descent into Kinnesswood. I was also dropped by Neil here and we lost maybe 10 seconds at the finish before I came home with the dibber. Overall, a pretty well matched pair again and (crucially) we unclasped hands before the waiting crowd saw us to keep everyone in the club (still) wondering about us. It’s a romantic mystery that may never be solved.
V40 B – leg 3
My attempt at something like Poetry – inspired by reading a bit of Burns recently.
From Lynch and Burnett, Kinneswood climb, lungs split,
Then easing to joggable, Simon Titmuss on it,
Last steepening, heart rate high
First dib approaches, red burning thighs.
Easy ground faster, cutting the corner,
Lumps and trips catching some Westies,
The gate, then fast curve descending,
The black bog stuck in, arms flailing, cold testies.
Down to the flat part, clay clamping feet,
Runners from the right, heather bashing deep,
The next rise steep, and cruel to the fence,
Why dib while standing on the style?. Gerooot the wa wench!
Traversing trail, more prospects to sneak,
Simon ever forward, butt cheek nipping, squeak?
Second last dib, at West Lomond’s base,
Fast running trail, 20 folk to chase.
Can I get them? Why does Simon appear to run slow?
While I am busting my fastest sprint go,
To Maspie burn dib, turn left head down
Descent continues, faster, faster, faster…. wow.
Don’t take the right fork, stay left on the bends
Avoid tripping over, tree roots and friends,
Faces more faces, Jim Hardie high five,
Handover to Joel, East Lomond’s no skive!
We finish, we chat,
Best soups, I’ll have that,
Wash off bog, check times and tell stories,
The Burden’s were fine, if others take the Glories.
Leg Four, and more!
Leg Four wasn’t due until early afternoon,
Which gave me time to pick up a spoon,
And stir the coffee and eat the scone,
Greedily consumed once the runners had gone,
Sprinting off to Strathmiglo,
The team went forth, high and low
With Kinnesswood in their sights,
Then Mapsie Glen via the delights,
Of West Lomond for a second time,
Damn that is a hell of a climb.
Suitably awash with coffee and cake,
I ran off warming up in the wake,
Of faster runners on leg three,
Before find a place beneath the tree,
-s of Mapsie Glen, until Hark!
The sudden appearance of Simon and Mark,
A fumble of paper, the baton passed
I was off up the glen at long last,
Huffing and puffing I soon caught Diggers
We were behind the old gits? I guess that figures.
Legs screaming, lungs bursting up I climbed
For 25 minutes to the summit timed,
Damn I’m slow this year, but at least I’d overtaken
The Carnethy Ladies if I’m not mistaken,
Joanne was chasing me all the way down,
But then, catastrophe, what a clown,
I went off course, and in my mistake,
Joanne unknowingly did overtake,
Fixing the fate of the MV40B team.
For whom winning remains a mere dream
Sorry chaps I betrayed your trust,
But seriously if we are to win you simply must,
Hand over the baton ahead of the old gits
And with minutes to spare in front of the fast chicks.
Still, an enjoyable day especially as damn,
That was a really good scone and jam.
Ladies B – Jessie Dahl, Catherine Southworth & Fionna Mackinnon, Zofia Lisowski & Georgina McAllister, Lorna Ascroft
Male Senior B – Vivian Busby, Konrad Rawlik & Alex McVey, Euan Boyd & Nigel Shekleton, Jim Hardie
There’s something quite rewarding about relay races. The camaraderie, relying on others, the interdependence, the mutual support – it’s a great thing! Sometimes races can be a little isolating, and it’s nice to be part of a wee team battling against others. Also, the Burdens are great, with lots of familiar faces and logistics to sort out. Fab! So, it was an honour to be part of the Carnethy Senior B team, unfortunately at the expense of Matt Curry who had bruised his ribs the week before, but at least we still managed to field a full team. Our team looked pretty good, too, which is quite a nice bonus.
The flip side is that, as part of a team that’s relying on you, you need to try and not drop the ball. So, no alcohol the night before for me! No, sirree! Also, I arrived in plenty of time to do a recce of the course before my leg started. I took to the summit of East Lomond, and looked for the right line to get me down, and found a nice visual target to aim for to make sure I’m going in the right direction – a small farm, about 2 miles away. The seeds were sown for a great finish!
Alas, when I got to the start of leg 4, Andy Spenceley arrived to give me an update: “Konrad was in the toilet at the start of Leg 2, in one of the cubicles. Alex had to hang around for like 5 minutes, maybe more, after your leg 1 runner came in”. Sigh. Ok, Konrad was on the pan, a minor setback, but Konrad’s fast, he can catch up. We’ll be fine.
Time passed, and I wondered where our guys were. Euan and Nigel came barreling in: “Em, we don’t have the dibber”.
“Em, yeah, we lost it somewhere, we don’t know where it is”.
“Yeah, we had it, and now we don’t. I think it’s in a bog or something”.
Ok, another minor setback, I’ll plough-on anyway! I took Nigel’s map to use as a punchcard, and set off up the hill. Nobody around, nobody really to chase, so found it hard trying to keep the tempo up. Finally, I made it to the top of East Lomond, I punched the card and put my reccying to good use. Looking up, expecting to instantly see my cue, but no… there were loads of farmhouses 2 miles away. Seriously, a panoramic 270° view of exactly the same repeating pattern, like some kind of a rural-themed wallpaper. Damn. So I set off in my best guess, which was wrong, and required some traversing. It wasn’t going well, and feeling the pressure of letting down my teammates, so I decided to take inspiration from them, what would they do in such a time-critical situation? What *did* they do in this time critical situation? It was obvious: I dropped my shorts, voided myself for 10mins, and then threw the punchcard in a bog. You know… that didn’t work either, in fact I think it made things worse. So I just traversed as best I could, and headed down to the finish. I probably should’ve done that all along. I’ll know for next time! 🙂
A grand day out! Great soup at the finish, and despite my moaning a very memorable and enjoyable day! Thanks to all the marshals and helpers!
Ladies V50 – Hilary Spenceley, Kate Crowe & Sarah Robertson, Cali Ingham & Margaret Forrest, Mairi Brown
I was due to run this leg with Moira Stewart but unfortunately she picked up an injury and had to pull out. After some frantic phone calls and emails Captain Jasmin juggled the teams and I was now partnered with Sarah Robertson. I’d not met Sarah so wasn’t sure of our running compatibility, however, we agree that the important thing was to enjoy the run and of course finish! After sorting out our leg lifts we drove out to Strathmiglo. It wasn’t long before Hilary stormed in on Leg 1 and Sarah and I were off in search of 7 checkpoints between Strathmiglo and Kinnesswood. Conditions were excellent, the thick morning mist had lifted off West Lomond and we could see our journey beyond. The hills got busier as we ran through the heather and bog being passed by 10.30am Leg 2 runners and Leg 3 pairs running towards us. With a steep descent into Kinnesswood we eventually handed over to Margaret and Cali. Thanks Sarah for joining our team; I hope your legs are recovering and your first adventure in the Lomonds will be fondly remembered. A huge thank you to Fife AC for a brilliantly organized race and for some of the most delicious soup in the racing calendar!
V50s – Gordon Cameron, Adam Ward & Steve Fallon, Neil Gilmore & Bruce Smith, Andy Spenceley
Last year I was in the V50 B team and did leg 4. This year I was promoted to the A Team – same leg but Andy asked me to swap for leg 1 which was fine by me as I had done it a few times before. Collected by Harry we arrived in Falkland on a balmy morning in plenty of time. It was a bonus when Adrian said no kit was required so I just made sure someone took a jacket to the change over for me. Off at 10.30 I kept Duncan from V40 B team in sight – he was chasing Helen without success – and had made up a few places by the time we reached the check point control. On the final track into Strathmeiglo I met Stewart and Mike on their leg 2 and was told to take the water jump. This was a massive flood on the path which I ploughed though as my Cosmics rival took the slower muddy detour allowing me to get ahead and to finish a few seconds behind Duncan. I handed over the control slip over to Adam and Steven who were on the line waiting for me — and the rest is history ! !
Leg 3 V50
AMERICAN WEREWOLVES IN FIFE
Last year I shuffled round leg 4 after Mike and Harry had the rest had given us an unassailable lead. This year the Diabolous match up saw Harry and I on leg3. Quick look at the map and it looked a grunt up White Craigs and then a pleasant track run through to Falkland. That was until some colourful birds upset the local gentry and to give the pheasant pluckers some time to themselves we were rerouted. So the first slog was still in, but from there on it was different. Lucky for me Harry reccied the route the previous weekend and the conclusion was to avoid the rough stuff.
In reality when Steven and Adam came hurtling down to the change the only route choice was UP. Very UP to the first check. Making sure Harry carried the punch card my job was to keep close enough to make it look like we were in same team rounding the CP. I recovered a bit along the top. Route choice being easy as there were still leg 2 runners coming towards us. As well as a smattering of leg3 runners to aim at ahead. As we reached the foot of Bishop I could see some vests ahead going the direct route over, instead Harry and I followed the track round the side along with several others. Just in front was Willie Rennie of local Carnegie who looked to know the way ahead but seemed to have lost his follower (insert appropriate political analogy of your own choosing).
After some minor faffing looking for secretive control punches we blasted down to the valley along the route of old leg3 (when it was officially the nav leg). Turn right after a new gate and along a very gloopy shoesucking path Harry and I trading places to chase Willie before we hit the end of the track and started going uphill again. By this time we were in amongst the early starters with Harry forging ahead across his reccied route to find the CP at the track. From there it was blast along the old Lomonds of Fife route to craigmeade. Sharp left to meet the leg4 runners coming towards us. By now I had recovered enough to lead the descent and managed to have the unexpected gate open in time before Harry got there! Into changeover to set Andy off and we find out we’ve secretly gained places we weren’t afware of!
As they say in the film “KEEP TO THE PAATHS”
V60 all teams results
MV60s – Digby Maass, Keith Burns & Bob Waterhouse, Brian Howie & Jean Jumelle, Nickby MaassDonald
The logistics involved in getting your team to the start line of the Burdens always dominates the actual racing. Approaching the day, I was getting nervous about holes in our communications. Then DM announced that he would have a lie-in and not join us at the team haka at 0845. We MV60s had precarious contingency arrangements. The bombshell hit us with a perilously late withdrawal for leg 1. We were naked at the registration desk! DM nobly saved us by leaping out of bed and rushing to Falkland to launch the MV60 train.
As always, once we leg 2 runners were on the hill we luxuriated in the wonderful relaxation of the race in almost spring-like weather after the frantic panic to get our collective act together. Emerging from the wood, the teams trifurcated across upper, middle and lower approaches on the escarpment climb to the emergent spring – more emergent than usual after all the rain. BW and I appeared to be in orbit with a disparate pair whose faster party was adopting a far-from-supportive relationship with his struggling partner whereby he sprinted to a 100m lead then stopped to wait for his glum race-mate. Sometime later after many alternations with this comic pair, the slower guy of the team gasped to me as he passed, “I hate that bastard”. Such is the dynamic of these brief marriages of one-time friends. BW and I bashed on in a well choreographed joined-at-the-hip pas de deux. West Lomond came and went without incident and we moved on to the middle game and a finish that was only spectacular for our synchronised tumbling down the final descent.
Our Leg 1 salvationist, Digby, nobly ran leg 4 as well to complete the replacement repair for our missing team member. He’s even thinking of getting out of bed earlier more regularly and was also heard muttering about a wooden spoon nomination.
Leg 3 MV60
This year I ran with Jean Jumelle on Leg 3. Initially it looked as though it was going to be straight forward, but late changes to the
route caused me a bit of angst. Fortunately the route seemed to consist of bits that I’d run over either in the race or training runs.
Jean and myself arrived in plenty of time. I always fear late changes “Your now leg 1 – 5 minutes” Digby drew that short straw this year. We
also had time to get helpful hints about the route from Bob.
I’d never done that start at Kinnesswood, but it looked and was steep. Now where were Bob an Keith? One false sighting was discarded – Keith doesn’t
descend as badly as that. It wasn’t too cold at the start and I’d put on a bin liner for extra warmth. Our turn came and we were off. We took it
pretty carefully up the steep ascent as it is a long leg. I was glad to get to the control at the top.
Visibility was excellent and we just followed the runners ahead. This proved to be a bad move as we reached the Bishop Hill control and
realised we shouldn’t be there. Oh well no-one ever died of an extra few hundred yards.
The going was pretty good up until we descended to checkpoint 11, where it started to become very boggy. I put my foot down in what should have
been a muddy puddle and ended up stuck up to my thighs in thick cold gooey mud. The group of ladies I just passed came to my rescue and
hauled me out.
We didn’t take the direct route to checkpoint 12; some did and they seemed to struggle. The path turned to yellow sticky clay. I was
starting to cramp a little due to my mudbath as we climbed to the control.
It was a relief to get back onto a firm path for a fairly brisk descent to the last checkpoint, Jean was getting a little ahead of me, and was
much better on the descent to the changeover. My poor descending skills are notorious. I felt we both ran well and pushed each other when it
mattered. It was certainly hard work at some points but very enjoyable.
The soup was wonderful
Leg 1 – MV60, 9.30 start
Why is my phone ringing? Why? Make it stop. It won’t stop. Ok… How can Bob W be bubbly at this time of day?? “One of the team has pulled out can you do leg 1?” Whaaaa? It’s 6.50am!!
I was going to have a lovely lie in and turn up in leisurely fashion for leg 4.
Yeaaaahhhh… ok… gasp…
So, woefully unready I lined up in Falkland and shot off the line. For about 10m. Then reality hit my legs. Lovely morning though! Might get up early again one day. Hilary Spenceley zoomed past and disappeared into the distance, closely followed by crash test dummy man. A small lake on the final path put paid to warm dry feet and the last field was the usual muddy morass.
Get out Keith’s mobile and hand it over with the punch card (though in my daze I had actually packed mine). Not that there were any kit checks! Retire to hall to admire the fasties preparations. Then the excitement of the 10.30 start runners handovers. As Alex waited for his leg 2 partner we played ‘Where’s Konrad?’. The unfortunate answer being – “in the lavvy”. And so back to Falkland to refuel…
Leg 4 – MV60
An out of body experience… As we walked leisurely up to the wooded start in Maspie Den we started to get slightly worried by the number of leg 3 finishers coming the other way. Had I, er he, mistimed it? Fortunately not. My, erm.., his timings chart from last year worked quite well and leg 3 runners Brian & Jean appeared about when predicted. I/he was looking forward to the long drag up pretty Maspie Den and East Lomond, which we enjoyed. The sun nearly came out and it was quite warm. The drop off is quite rough and Bob W would have descended about twenty times as fast as me/him, but as he didn’t get back from leg 2 quick enough it was I/him that took on the race. A final stoney track to the finish and more soup. Most enjoyable. Sadly the Westies beat us. Come on you Carnethy fastie fifties! Age a bit faster too!
All make sense? 🙂