Devil’s Burdens & Relays
Relays are a great way to get involved with Carnethy and get a taster of what hill racing is about. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run. Relays are all about being part of a team, meeting some new people and having a good time in the hills!
Each relay race is slightly different. Some consist of solo and paired legs. Paired legs are usually longer and require more navigation. This can be a good introduction to navigation for less experienced hill runners as we can pair you with someone who knows what they are doing!
We enter Carnethy teams in the following relays:
|Simon Wake Comrie Hills Relay||02/09/2018|
|Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay (R)||7/10/2018|
|FRAs/British Relay Championships||20/10/2018|
|Scottish Long Coastal Relay||06/10/2018|
In previous years we have had loads of teams competing at the Burdens and Comrie relays and we would like to replicate this or have even more teams out this year! The Long Coastal Relay is a fairly new race organised by our own Mike Lynch. It would be great to get two or three teams out this year (we have no excuse that it’s too far away as it’s in Fife). At the other end of the scale the Carnethy Junior/Senior relay race is a low key fun family event held in January.
We have a place for one team in the Hodgson’s and it’s important we use this so we keep it for the future! The FRAs are in the Lakes this year so it would be great if we could travel en masse and really represent the club by getting teams out in all the categories. We could even make a weekend of it…
If you’re reading this and interested in getting involved in one of the relays, or finding out more, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Devil’s Burdens reports…
Carnethy had 9 six person teams out for the 21st running of this race (and Adam Ward, this year in the Over 50 team, has run in each of those 21 years!). Among successes for the club, there were wins for Carnethy in the Men’s Over 40 and Men’s Over 50 categories. The Women came a close 2nd behind Deeside and the Men’s ‘A’ finished 4th. Team results here, and leg times here
All reports over on the 2016 Devil’s Burdens page. Keep checking for new ones! Poetry is beginning to make an entrance. Well rhyming anyway! Keep the reports coming!
Full results here.
If team 14 legs 2/3 runners (FV40) have any gps proof of handover please let Fife AC know, as the incoming leg 2 runners failed to clock in.
Carnethy results 2015 compared to last 2 years
Margaret and I (and Penicuik Harrier Sadie who had been “can you believe it” contemplating reading a book and taking it easy) had a lovely “just in time recce” before our leg 4. It was much icier first time round but great to have time to take in the views and get some photos. The route is up through the woods where leg 3 come down and then up onto the track for East Lomond to the top before straight down the steepest side and then great downhill trail into Falkland town.
Desperately in need of hot drink and food after very early breakfast (too early for THE soup) we refuelled after our recce and we headed out again to wait in the very chilly changeover spot. But we were far too early and the sun never reached the ground deep in the woods, you could feel the heat trail as leg 3 runners came in – could have done with good heat transfer system set up so I was shivering when started over an hour later. Sadie left, then Margaret then Brian removing his cosy Keith Burn’s jacket which I wished “I” had on!
Finally, heading up into the light, it was nice to see familiar folk coming down on leg 3, Willie and Bob and no surprise I got passed by Gordon at the river of ice! I wasn’t brave enough to bounce fast down the tussocky steep descent off East Lomond on the right of the woods but I was delighted that I went where I meant to go (as we had missed out the middle checkpoint on our recce). Had a battle with a dog to get over the fence at the checkpoint; every time I went he tried to go same place at the same time – thought there were only human runners on the Burdens!
I went as fast as my wee legs could take me, loved the route, loved my soup, loved catching up with local FAC friends and had great time… Thank you ladies – delighted our times now all in! Imagine my surprise when I ran into the finish WITH a complete correctly punched card to be told no times for last two legs! Eh… did I imagine seeing Ina and Carolyn’s pink faces? Alls well ends well but take home message seems to be, you can’t just hand your card over to the next runner but you also have to report to the marshals 🙂 This leg was definitely more fun than a very muddy field start for a leg 4 trail sometime in the dim and distant past.
Kirsty Loudon, FV40, Leg 4
There was a bit of nailbiting before the race as to whether we’d manage to field a V60 team. Fortunately in Carnethy we have the inspiration
from the likes of Bill Gauld , Keith Burns and Ian Nimmo for us young ones to keep going after bus-pass age.
For the last leg there was no real rush to get to Falkland and we arrived in plenty of time. I did underestimate the change over time and
it was a bit cold hanging about for maybe 40 minutes. Surprisingly Digby and Jean came in before the V50 team . The run up to the 1st control was
a bit laboured as it was straight into a gruelling ascent with half working cold legs and a bit of asthmatic breathlessness in the cold air.
I felt a lot better after that and passed a couple of runners, including Margaret Forest on the track up to East Lomond. It was sunny
and clear so finding my way was not a problem . I was passed by a couple of runners near the top.
For the descent I decided to take the line to the right side of the wood on advice I heard at last year’s event. It was a bit rougher but much
shorter as I overhauled some of the runners who’d got ahead of me, even with my poor descending skills.
As I punched the card I spotted a yellow jacketed runner who’d followed me to the right. It turned out to be Gordon who passed as I put the
foot down along the final straight. Gordon was a bit less cautious than me on the steps down to the finish and ended up about 24 seconds ahead.
Another fun day out, good running conditions and it seems we’re going to get the V60 prize after all.
Brian Howie, MV60, Leg 4
The benefit of doing leg 4 is you get a lie in and 4 of us arrived in Falkland at 12 noon. The problem is not knowing how long you are going to wait to be tagged by your team. There were lots of Carnethies at changeover so it was very sociable although cold and you only got a few seconds notice of your departure. I was left with Annie when Willie and Bob tagged me so I knew I had 3 Carnethy teams to catch with only the Senior ladies behind me.
It was a slog up the path and at top gate I met Mary and Kathy on their way down to tag Annie. On the snow drift strewn track I passed Kirsty and as I hauled myself over the summit of East Lomond I caught Margaret. I saw Brian ahead of me in his yellow jacket and managed to overhaul him at the end of the track before the descent to the finish. No chance of catching the men’s C team who finished 9 minutes and 10 places ahead of us.
We were 44th out of 123 teams. Great event and better route for sorting out the changeovers.
Gordon Cameron, V50-B, leg 4
My 4th, I think, attempt at the Devil’s Burdens. Over the years I’ve realized the real objective with this race: consuming soup!
The first step is to bag yourself an early leg so you can get back to the hall for your first serving. Euan Boyd and I were handed Leg 2, which was perfect for getting back to the hall. Steve Best also done an amazing job of ensuring that we started nice and early, by flying round Leg 1. From a team perspective this was great, but for Euan and I it meant that there were a fair few “A” Teams behind us ready to overhaul our lead on them. Bah!
The next step is to run hard so that you create some space and an appetite for *loads* of soup. From the start of the leg this was going well, heading from the field to the forest we pushed hard and gained on Deeside who started just ahead of us. However, a pair of Westies coasted by, the first of many coasting by, and onto the first major climb to West Lomond it was clear that there was a strong field starting behind us who were all very keen on *not* being behind us. So we hemorrhaged places on the climb, including a very fresh looking Jasmin and Konrad (but we don’t mind those guys). Once onto the summit of West Lomond we’d managed to compose ourselves and push along at a good pace to hold onto our position. In fact, the only team we passed was Stewart and Gregor, mainly due to Gregor’s footwear choice rather than our own athletic prowess. Ah well. The paths along the ridge were hard and slippy with frost, with occasional sheets of ice cutting across our path. As such, I think only about 25% of our time was spent on the lovely trails covering the Lomonds, and instead running on the grippier grass to the side.
Finally, to get to the soup you need to pass the buck onto your teammates. The final checkpoint appeared, and a final steep descent to Kinnieswood to the handover. Euan had it in his head that we had another checkpoint to go, so halfway down the hill he took out his map to take a bearing. I knew better (I didn’t really, I was just keen for it all to be over) and forged forward claiming that we’d hit all the checkpoints, and thankfully we had. The only task left was to hand over to Matt and Iain. Given their impressive performance on Leg 3, I can only assume they were keen to get back before the Cock a Leekie ran out.
Before long we were back in the hall, devouring some Beetroot & Lentil to warm us up. Then some Leek & Potato to take with us to watch Alex finish. Finally some Sage (& something) soup for the results. A grand day out!
Jim Hardie, Men B, Leg 2 (with Euan Boyd)
This year’s anti-clockwise format gets the tedious tarmac start to leg 2 despatched on fresh legs and delivers the West Lomond ascent in one long unremitting grind. We had lots of earlier starters to chase from Strathmiglo, and as we approached the gully spring we hauled in quite a crowd that had begun the ascent to the spring way too late. Above the spring we hauled in more teams as we crossed the snowdrifts on West Lomond. This encouraging progress was deflated somewhat by the choice of an unnecessarily rough line down to the glen, failing to take best advantage of a good track line lower down. We passed another team on the climb to Bishop Hill then spent the rest of leg being hauled in by the 1030 starters pouring through.
From Bishop Hill summit we learned (again) how tempting short cuts can turn into embarrassing setbacks. KB was losing pace by this time. The final plunge to Kinnesswood was enjoyed with just enough left to avoid total loss of control on the steep slippery grass. Concrete hard ground with intermittent verglas made it hard going on the joints. There seems to have been a stewards’ inquiry into our clipping discipline with pinholes not quite in the correct box, but we were treated leniently as the only surviving MV60 team, as rare as giant pandas and Tory MPs in Scotland, but faster.
Keith Burns, MV60, Leg 2 (with Trevor Collins)
Garry MacInnes’ excellent photos from Leg 3 & 4 (and a few runners at the end of leg 2)
I’ve done the majority of the Devil’s Burdens races and it’s one of my favourites, but over the years I’d not been on leg 4, usually as I’d allocated it to the fast guys when I was organising the old SLAC squads (this may be the only hill race Tom Hanlon has ever competed in). Now my luck was in, a strong squad of VeryOldGits and even better a nice ‘up and down’ of a leg. Problem is though once one reaches the VOG category one’s own legs don’t go up and down as well as they used to. My dodgy left achilles had been overtaken by a dodgy right calf, so a combination of strapping and various applications ibuprofen allowed me to get to start line.
With only a rough idea of the changeover time a possy of leg 4 runners trotted along the road from the hall, bouyed up by James W’s superb run on leg 1. Andrew and Mark had gone over the route in reverse and given us a few tips. Andrew was first away, I missed the mixed going through but before long the V40s were in and Mark was off, not long after Mike and Harry came tearing in and I was off.
Luckily a pretty steep start followed by a gradual climb didn’t make my “old man with dodgy legs” shuffle run look too out of place. I reached the first checkpoint without being overtaken just as Bob and Willie were coming through it in the opposite direction. This filled me with some relief* as I now reckoned that at least I was safe from being caught by Gordon and we would be first Carnethy V50 *(I didn’t realise Bob had pulled his calf – as a regular calf tearer myself you have my sympathy Bob).
Running along the track past the walkers was really cracking – warm sunshine, great views and snowbanks.
I did get a bit of a wake up call when I glanced back and saw a Carnethy and an Ochil vest not too far back, Simon was gaining fast on me but more worrying – was that the Ochils V50s? Bugger it! I’d bet get a move on. Up to the trig point, punch the card – brief sip of the view and then it was straight down the other side on some lovely forgiving grassy slopes, a slightly dodgy go-for-it across the snowbank and down to the stile. Flat out as fast as my dodgy legs could take me to the town, with that lovely wee weavy path down the steps through the railings (really need to go back and do the Falkland hill race again) and through the finish line.
Well, I didn’t get passed and the rest of the boys had put us in a great position which meant we scooped the V50 prize (with 5/6 of the team that were 3rd down at the FRAs, and a fair number of the squad that I part of that won the V40s a few years back too).
Thanks to Iain and Helen for organising, Fife and Aidy for organising (and for a great route on leg4) and last but not least to Adam, Steven, Aidy, Mike and Harry for putting us in an unassailable position.
Bruce Smith, MV50, Leg 4
This was my 5th Devil’s Burdens Hill Relay, but the first time I had run a paired leg, so it was a new experience for me. Having run a fair bit with Neil here and on holiday in Spain I know we would be a decent team, and so it proved, as we put in a better-than-expected performance.
As we waited at Kinnesswood for Joel and Mark, reports indicated that we would need to be mindful of the ice on the tops and the hard paths. It certainly made for tentative running in places, but the start of our climb was fine, and we quickly overhauled Willie and Bob and Alan and Andrew before passing Jasmin and Konrad at the first checkpoint, who were trotting back the way they came. This next section was very icy but we got a fair pace going for the next wee while as we settled into things. It’s always satisfying when you’re never overtaken on a leg, and manage to pass several teams. Towards a checkpoint we passed Digby and Jean, who looked to be going well, and before I knew it we were approaching the final checkpoint with Helen charging past us for the mixed team. The final couple of miles was a fast finish and we passed Alex coming one way and Cali and Irene going the other, before I lost the plot a bit with a woman and her dogs (I feel bad now – sorry lady).
In summary – I loved running as a pair and am keen to do it at the Comries or next year. Total number of words exchanged between us? Seven I think, in the following order: Neil: “Ice, there.”, Me: “I’m knackered.” and Neil: “Final checkpoint ahead.”
Mike Lynch, MV40 B Team, Leg 3 (with Neil Burnett)
Mary’s photos, and Mary and Kathy’s Leg 3 video.
Bob Waterhouse and I have been running as a team in relays for a few years now. Not an ideal combination as Bob normally goes off like a rocket and descends like a demon whereas I take a while to get into a race and descend like I have 2 wooden legs. After a few months of bad knees I was feeling slow and unfit, but recent toothache saw me doped up on Paracetemol and Ibuprofen, its amazing what that does for sore knees.
The climb was hard work with about a minute of running before we had to go to fast walking. Once at the forest the slippy snow led on to slippier ice as Bob led the way down at an unfamiliar pace for me. After the Hill and the snow the rest of the route was more of a trail race. Great scenery all round and mainly good running with the odd bit of ice to keep you on your toes, especially at the dam crossing.
As we climbed the farm track Bob pulled a calf muscle and ran/walked the rest of the uphills until we reached the road. He could still go downhill though and led me (faster than I have gone downhill for ages) down Maspie Glen to the finish.
A great day out.
Willie Gibson, MV50 B, leg 3 (with Bob Waterhouse)
For my first hill race I was a bit worried to be running with such talented company in the mixed team, I just hoped I could keep up with Andrew and not let the side down! We arrived nice and early at Kinnesswood in time for a quick warm up after watching our men’s seniors fly down the hill just ahead of Shettleston. Having reccied the route the week before I was pretty confident on the navigational aspect of the course but wasn’t quite ready for the pace Andrew set on the first climb, definitely need to get along to wintervals soon and get some more hill reps into my training!
At the top of the initial climb a lot of runners were continuing up to the last checkpoint for leg 2 which involved a bit of extra climbing and distance, but we skirted this and headed direct for our first checkpoint at the gate before the woods. The descent from here was particularly icy and Andrew adopted a side-to-side, half pipe approach while I opted to hurriedly slip and slide my way straight down, just managing to stay upright with a few close calls. The route was more or less straight-forward undulating trail from here and we passed a few teams with the good pace Andrew was setting.
At the last checkpoint I almost lost him as he tried to tag on with men’s senior Andrew Gilmour and head up East Lomond but I kept us on course and for a fast final descent down Maspie Den to hand over to Helen for the final leg.
Ross Christie, leg 3 mixed
Some photos from the leg 2 & 3 handovers; Jean and my run on leg 3; leg 3 finish and the hall.
They were about to announce the V60 result when someone rushed up on stage and said “Stop! – there’s an adjudication!”
Well we don’t seem to have been disqualified… yet…
As we started leg 3 I was wondering what number the first checkpoint was. 8. So why wasn’t CP 7 punched? Either the last one on leg 2 was missed or an earlier one, and they just kept punching the next available number. The threat of V60 prizes already seemed out of the window as there were only 2 teams, and 3 were needed. So when I ran past CP10 thinking it was on the far side of the reservoir I was not inclined to go back for it, and just enjoyed the fabulous weather and an increasingly slow run. Jean stormed ahead but stopped for a cup of tea, read the paper for a while, and some time later we finished together. Brian Howie handed me his jacket and hared off to run leg 4. I naturally put it down and forgot all about it. So thanks to all the Carnethies who thought it was Gordon’s and took it back to the hall, and in a series of “I thought it was yours” eventually reunited it with its owner. And the extra mileage I put in running back up in a fruitless and frantic search are all good training. The words skin of and teeth spring to mind. As do early onset and dementia. Sorry Brian!
Digby, leg 3 V60
I ran the new leg 4 route and reccied this in the morning with Kirsty and Sadie from Penicuik Harriers. Although the final run down from East Lomond Hill was the same as last year, the start was new with a very nice, steady climb up Maspie Den and then the Lomonds track from the quarry to the limekilns towards East Lomond.
It was a novel experience for me to be in the winning team for the Ladies over 50 vets. Many thanks to my team mates: Hilary, Karen, Moira, Cali and Irene.
Margaret Forrest, leg 4 FV50
My second Devils Burdens, and it was completely different from last year. Leg 2 instead of leg 4. Instead of high wind and driving rain; glorious sunshine, tremendous views and a pleasant breeze. Dry, hard grass and ice replaced bog and tussocks. A warm village hall substituted for a freezing cold reservoir road. Mark Hartree replaced Jason, which was a little easier but he still pushed me hard. The logistics worked out, as they inevitably do, and the soup was as tasty as I remember it. Thanks Carnethy MV40 B team, it was a blast!
Joel Sylvester, Leg 2 MV40 B
Read all the reports here
Burning lurgy lungs, snot inducing calf screaming ascent, bum muscle pulling descent and painful shuffle back.
BUT: great to see so many friends and FANTASTIC results! (Other than mine)!! And, it made my day to see Bill running so strongly as I hobbled back to the start of my leg. He is a Super Hero, never mind a Super-dooperd-vet!
Men V40 Leg 4
Coming into this I didn’t really know how much my efforts on The Spine would have taken out of me. I’d had a couple of runs and felt OK, almost spaceman like not being burdened by the weight of a rucksack. But it’s not until you have to race that you find out whether there’s any zip in the legs. A gentle jog over helped to loosen the legs and fine tune our route choice. Standing around at the start we were caught slightly unawares when Craig came flying down the road. So that was it, bang, we were off, some “kids” flew by us more o’less at the start. We didn’t panic as we definitely new they had another 20+ years before they’d be classed as vets and so we watched them disappear. I for my part assumed my position sitting on Olly’s shoulder concentrating on keeping up and getting the required oxygen to keep me going. It was good team work, with Olly setting the pace, both of us shedding clothes as we went, he sorting out the CP’s and allowing me to to concentrate on keeping going till we got to top of East Lomond. Where he then urged me on for the downhill to sort the CP duties out. In contrast we did have company in the first third of the leg with another V40 team but they certainly weren’t working together and as such it felt we had the upper hand especially on the climbing.
It’s nice to do well, but I think I was more relieved at the finish not to have let the team down after they’d done such a great job on the previous 3 legs and put their faith in me. I’m sure we were all wondering what I’d be like, like I say I know I was. Relays are interesting they bring that added dimension of team sport to what is normally an individual pursuit.
Other relay reports…
Doesn’t look like anyone has put up a report from the FRA relays yet so here’s a quick report from inside the (ahem, “victorious”) M50s team*.
After a last minute team hitch (well it wouldn’t be a relay without one) Mark James stepped in to lead off the V50s. A superb run from Mark put us in the top 40 overall, neck and neck with the Dark Peak and a minute up on Clayton le Moors V50s.
After the slightly chaotic takeover Harry and I set off on leg 2 at a decent lick through the woods and up the Beinn Dubh race route. Swapping places all the way up with faster teams coming through and overhauling a few slower teams, Harry led through the mist to dib at CP1.
Along the ridge to CP 2 at the Graham summit we were all overtaken in one of those ‘wow’ moments as a herd of deer hinds came out the valley and lept effortlessly across the path just in front of us before disappearing again into the mist. Our comparatively pedestrian squelching through the Luss bogs had a familiar pattern as Harry would pull away on the climbs as I caught up on the descents (have to say the ridge descents were really enjoyable despite the clag, wind and rain).
The drop down into the glen was a slithery slidey affair (not helped by an uncooperative shoelace that was flapping around but knotted in place and impossible to retie). The climb back up to the summit was about 1000ft of eating grass and heather (think of the climb out the glen at Stuc and double it). Harry chasing after the Shett’s B team left me floundering in his wake (need to work on my front crawl), but once over the top another fine descent beckoned us back down the hill together. Quick sprint back through the woods to hand over to Mike and Steven for the nav leg, despite dropping us to 47th we just maintained a lead over the Clayton Le Moor V50s, and just as importantly over the Carnethy B team :>).
Despite one minor glitch the boys did very well in the very challenging conditions of leg3, turning in an excellent 25th place on the leg, and pulling us right back up the rankings, coming in neck and neck with Clayton and just behind our B team. Credit due here for all the Carnethy teams on this leg – Iain and Konrad were 6th, Alex and Mike 17th, Jasmin and Helen 29th and Antony and Matthew 57th.
Stewart now had two challenges, first was to maintain the lead over Clayton, and second to catch Liam in the B team. Both of these were achieved in style, recording the 24th fastest time of all, fastest M50. Indeed 2nd fastest O40, pulling the team up to 23rd place overall, and securing first V50 team (and 5th over 40 as a consequence).
A big thanks to the rest of the guys for a great team effort on a good tough day out in typical West coast conditions. Organisation by the Westies was superb and the marshalling top notch on a very inhospitable day – take a bow too the yellow shirts.
Full results here – perfect for statistic freaks… http://www.sportident.co.uk/results/2016/BritishFellRelay/index.html#fell_relay
*I’m sure the others can put a different slant on things though.
Waiting in the pen for the change over as the rain came down I felt fairly relaxed though the effects of my warm up were fading rapidly. My first shot at a Nav leg, I would certainly have been nervous with the poor conditions and rumours of a course set at the limit of what was considered acceptable for the event but with Steven as my partner for the leg I knew I was in good hands . My plan was to let Steven do all the Nav, my job being to keep up with him…….In came Harry and Bruce and we were off. The route up to the first check point was fairly straightforward on track then path then faint path, the conditions underfoot though were very wet. I felt comfortable on the early part of this section running within myself and thought perhaps I would cope this well throughout….no chance, Steven put in a burst and went past as we hit the fainter path frequently going off the path to go past teams which we did regularly up to the first check point, still I felt ok. Check point 1 to 2 and the fun really began, the initial ascent to a minor top was ok, here we had the option of contouring round a ridge but decided to take a more direct route to pick up an obvious stream/ravine at the head of which was the next checkpoint, we set off down very rough ground to the valley bottom, crossed the stream and here Steven came into his own, 300m ascent over 500m distance , scrambling directly up the gully, I struggled to keep with him at this point and had to put in more effort, overtaking another couple of teams in the process. Checkpoint 2 to 3 was straightforward, faster running following a fence until it turned for a 2nd time then a bearing to CP3, no problem, I started to relax, this game is easy mmmmm. Perhaps not, we set off at pace to CP4 but fell into the trap of following a couple of teams in front rather than trusting the compass and after a while realised we were not quite where we thought we should be, a bit of faffing around checking for features and reviewing the map and we headed off on what we thought was the right direction, this confirmed by coming across Mike and Alex in the B team and we ran with them to CP4. CP4 – 5, rough ground but again a reasonable running pace to take us to a CP “between two hills”, not an easy one to find but we heard voices and out of the mist it appeared, all down hill from here the pace picked up and suddenly we appeared out of the cloud at soon hit CP6. Very fast slippy downhill running from there took as back to the finish and we came in not far behind Alex and Mike and neck and neck with Clayton V50’s. and Stewart took off. A great feeling to have got round a tough leg in 25th place overall. Looking at the results some good runners struggled on that leg in those conditions.
I can’t recommend the relay events enough, this is my third time and for me it is the most enjoyable form fell running takes, if you haven’t tried it you should.
My thanks to Konrad and Jasmin for organising the Carnethy teams, my team mates and Westies but particularly the Marshals who endured some horrible weather on the day.
When the inaugural Ochils 8 Hill relay race was announced a few months ago, with teams of three each covering a single leg, we thought it presented an ideal opportunity for Andrew, Iain and me to run together as Carnethy – Team Gilmore.
And so on Sunday 24th July we arrived in Alva in good time along with another 24 teams for the start at 12 noon. Carnethy were further represented by a strong team comprising local Ochils expert Mark Johnston, Dessie Flannagan and Stewart Whitlie.
Each leg was to start and finish at Johnstone Park all with the same steep descent from Wee Torry but with different climbs and distances beforehand. The eight hills in the race title comprised of the Nebit, Midhill and Wee Torry on Leg 1, Wee Torry from Alva Glen on the shorter Leg 2 and the Nebit, Craighorn, Midhill and Wee Torry on Leg 3. http://www.ochils8relay.co.uk/
The weather was pretty foul for late July with prolonged heavy rain showers and low cloud that affected visibility. The race organisers had decided to mark the course fully with the exception, crucially, of the Leg 1 Nebit descent in order to help runners as much as possible with their navigation.
Iain, running Leg 1, took the wrong line off the Nebit hill and although he managed to correct his route to pick up the track to the steep climb to Midhill he spent the rest of his run annoyed by his mistake and thinking he was quite far down the field. It was only when he finished that he realised that he handed over to me in 2nd place. Other runners had made similar and more costly errors and the Leg 1 Strava lines make for some interesting viewing!
The boys had felt that I would do least damage to the team’s chances by running the shorter Leg 2 so I set off with Corstorphine runner Christopher O’Brien a short distance ahead of me. As Leg 2 wound up through Alva glen I was able to make some ground on him when the track got steeper and I eventually caught and overtook him just before the checkpoint at the head of Alva Glen. From there the route took a very steep climb up to and through the crags to the check-point on Wee Torry. From there, the descent to Johnstone Park is very steep. When conditions are good and dry, this descent is quite technical and tricky. The rain made the grass very slippy and the mud even worse! A bit of bum-sliding and slithering got me down to the golf course and then an easier run through the woods to the park and hand over to Andrew.
We had recce’d most of the route the previous Sunday and this paid off as Andrew got all the lines on the longer Leg 3 correct. Iain and I had a nervous wait at the finish checking all the time to see runners emerging off the top of Wee Torry. At a crucial point, the clouds closed in again and we couldn’t tell if a red-vested runner coming down the slope and through the gorse was Andrew or Forres Harriers’ Kyle Greig. “Fortunately”, Stewart W had previously led the Forres runner on Leg 1 tactically off course so Andrew had enough of a lead on Kyle and the other chasers to make it to the finish line in first place!
This was a great race over a pretty tough course in testing conditions. Hopefully, like the Devils Burdens and the Comrie Relays, it will grow and become an established part of the Scottish Hill Running calendar. It’s a great opportunity for people to create teams for themselves with their friends and across clubs.
Superb organisation from Edel Mooney and Gary Fraser and excellent support from Ochil Hill Runners at registration and on the marshalling side of things.
All the proceeds of the race went to MacMillan Cancer Support and the Ochils Mountain Rescue Team.
Full results are on the Ochil Hill Runners website here – http://www.ochilhillrunners.org.uk/static.aspx?id=o8res2016
Helen Wise and I traveled down to support our three teams in this years FRA Relays at Barley in Lancashire.
Having met most of the team at the Accommodation it was reassuring to find the rest of the teams ready and waiting in Barley a good hour before the start.
The race ran over most of Pendle Hill allowing Helen, Fionna (post leg 1) and I to wander the Hill seeing lots of runners on lots of legs.
The Mens Team finished 11th with the MV40s 11th in their class and the ladies 8th. The table below shows the Carnethy team positions in their categories, and the positions in each leg.
Full results are here
|Pos||Cat Pos||Tme||Club||Category||Leg 1||Pos||Leg 2||Pos||Leg 3||Pos||Leg 4||Pos|
|1st||3:29:19||Calder Valley Fell Runners||MOpen||0:35:31||(2nd)||1:05:29||(3rd)||1:08:22||(11th)||0:39:57||(3rd)|
|2nd||3:29:55||Pudsey & Bramley AC||MOpen||0:35:25||(1st)||1:08:15||(9th)||1:05:33||(5th)||0:40:42||(7th)|
|3rd||3:30:10||Dark Peak Kinder Surprise||MOpen||0:36:11||(4th)||1:06:13||(5th)||1:08:23||(12th)||0:39:23||(2nd)|
|5th||3:33:13||Mercia Fell Runners||MOpen||0:37:57||(12th)||1:06:32||(6th)||1:08:08||(10th)||0:40:36||(6th)|
|6th||3:33:20||Horwich R M I Harriers||MOpen||0:36:31||(5th)||1:07:14||(7th)||1:05:35||(6th)||0:44:00||(16th)|
|7th||3:34:09||Helm Hill Runners||MOpen||0:35:32||(3rd)||1:10:57||(14th)||1:07:10||(8th)||0:40:30||(4th)|
|8th||3:35:04||Bingley Harriers & AC||MOpen||0:38:52||(15th)||1:05:06||(2nd)||1:07:08||(7th)||0:43:58||(15th)|
|10th||3:40:03||Ochil Hill Runners||MOpen||0:39:31||(23rd)||1:14:20||(23rd)||0:58:31||(1st)||0:47:41||(37th)|
|11th||3:41:17||Carnethy Hill Racing Club||MOpen||0:39:22 Iain Gilmore||(20th=)||1:05:36 Iain Whiteside/Andrew Fallas/||(4th)||1:09:03 Konrad Rawlik/Michael Reid||(13th)||0:47:16 Andrew Gilmore||(35th)|
|13th||1||3:42:43||Borrowdale Fell Runners||MV40||0:38:02||(14th)||1:07:48||(8th)||1:11:20||(20th)||0:45:33||(25th)|
|20th||2||3:52:41||Pennine Fell Runners||MV40||0:40:11||(32nd)||1:17:42||(37th)||1:10:02||(14th)||0:44:46||(21st)|
|22nd||3||3:54:28||Dark Peak Fell Runners||MV40||0:39:22||(20th=)||1:15:16||(28th)||1:13:26||(24th)||0:46:24||(33rd)|
|29th||6||3:59:26||Helm Hill Runners||MV40||0:39:05||(17th)||1:18:15||(40th)||1:13:45||(25th)||0:48:21||(44th)|
|34th||8||4:02:36||Clayton Le Moors Harriers||MV40||0:40:21||(34th)||1:22:13||(59th)||1:14:39||(29th)||0:45:23||(23rd)|
|38th||9||4:07:00||Rossendale Harriers & AC||MV40||0:44:12||(65th)||1:17:30||(33rd)||1:16:27||(36th)||0:48:51||(49th)|
|43rd||10||4:07:46||Pudsey & Bramley AC||MV40||0:44:35||(70th)||1:17:38||(35th)||1:14:28||(28th)||0:51:05||(64th)|
|45th||11||4:10:02||Carnethy Hill Racing Club||MV40||0:39:53 Mark Johnston||(27th)||1:24:09 Simon Titmuss/Neil Gilmore||(68th)||1:15:46 Graham Nash/Adrian Davis||(32nd)||0:50:14 Mark James||(57th)|
|64th||2||4:26:33||Calder Valley Fell Runners||FOpen||0:45:38||(79th)||1:24:12||(69th)||1:24:04||(63rd)||0:52:39||(77th)|
|65th||3||4:27:14||Dark Peak Fell Runners||FV40||0:45:25||(78th)||1:22:40||(61st)||1:26:05||(70th)||0:53:04||(81st)|
|69th||4||4:29:52||HBT- Hoppy Beer's Tremendous!||FOpen||0:44:31||(69th)||1:25:55||(76th)||1:26:51||(74th)||0:52:35||(76th)|
|80th||6||4:42:57||Pennine Fell Runners||FOpen||0:45:21||(75th)||1:29:08||(87th)||1:35:01||(89th)||0:53:27||(83rd)|
|84th||7||4:46:57||Bingley Harriers & AC||FOpen||0:49:39||(107th)||1:34:23||(103rd)||1:39:18||(101st)||0:43:37||(13th)|
|87th||8||4:50:16||Carnethy Hill Racing Club||FOpen||0:53:07 Fionna McKinnon||(128th)||1:42:11 Joanne Anderson/Krysia Smyth||(126th)||1:27:03 Angela Mudge/Helen Bonsor||(75th)||0:47:55 Jasmin Paris||(39th)|
|98th||9||4:56:23||Trawden Athletic Club||FV40||0:46:24||(87th)||1:39:19||(117th)||1:27:32||(77th)||1:03:08||(126th)|