Rob Roy Relay, August 2008

Can a race report do justice to this brilliant event, organised by the Magnificent Hutchinsons (MH's)? Not only did they do all the logistical preparation and jildying necessary to ensure the success of the venture, but they also arranged pre-event accommodation in Pitlochry( well, except for those-and-such-as those) for the paltry fee of £2 a head. And, to cap it all the MH's also hosted the post-relay party.

Anyway, I'll briefly summarise the event from the viewpoint of the victorious, invincible and unassuming Kelvinside National Team. I'll leave it to others to explain the altogether inferior performance of the Milngavie National Team!!!!!

John D set off at 5am in the dark on the 1st stage up out of Pitlochry, making sure he turned off his headtorch to prevent Hamilton from seeing his way through the wet forest. He handed on to Muffy, who had a great run to Aberfeldy...well, up until she lost 20 minutes visiting Dewar's World of Whisky. Mind you, this was just as well, as the Bold Brian Brennan had completely misread the spreadsheet and took the estimated FINISH time as his start time. A frantic fonecall from Dave got Brian out his bed and to the changeover in 10 minutes ( if only he could emulate this spped on the uphills????) ready to take over from Muffy when she finally made her way to the finish. Brian made up most of the gap in his section, handing over to Keith Adams at a midge-infested Tombuie Cottage.

Keith, who ended up totally exhausted by doing virtually the whole of the rest of the relay on his single-geared mountain bike, caught up the Milngavie lot by the time he reached the shores of Loch Tay and handed over to Muffy. Well, it shouldn't have been Muffy, but Johannes made the same mistake as Brian ( "Well, you wouldn't expect the BBC to write a programme schedule showing the times when the programmes ended, would you?"). Muffy ran the first road section along Loch Tay, before passing over to Pat for the second. Pat had every reason for performing well on her section, having snubbed the rest of her team mates the night before by partying in Killin with the Kelvinside Logistics Support Manager, Isabel.

The next section, from Ardeonaig over the hills to Killin, was the longest stage, and Dave took over from Pat a couple of minutes behind Cap'n Chris. He ended the stage respectably only 12 minutes behind Chris, but his slow time allowed the rest of the team to get tea and scones in Killin. Colin took overthe team baton ( a catapult imported from the Pyrenees) over into Glen Ogle. Here, after the team had more tea and cakes from the layby snack bar, Jason stormed down to Lochearnhead before handing over to John D for his second stage, down to Strathyre. John overhauled Catriona on this stage, giving us the lead for the third time on the day.

It was at Strathyre that we encountered HBT going in the opposite direction. They were midway through a relay from Edinburgh to Oban, having started on Thursday ( far too civilised for them)!!!!!!

David Snake Riach, training for the Loch Ness marathon, put in an effortless couple of stages to extend the lead to Loch Venachar. Johannes, having paid penance all day for his earlier missed stage, ran a strong stage over to Aberfoyle, handing over to Jason. Here was great potential for getting lost, but Jason fortunately knows the forest like the back of his neck and maintained the team lead despite a strong run by Ellie. Dave took the catapult down to Drymen, handing over again to Colin. By this stage the Milngavie folks were pulling us back in, but Pauline, fresh from not having run earlier, kept ahead from the Beech Tree to Carbeth. At this point I gave Pat a pep talk, telling her that victory was all down to her. It was a master stroke having Pat on the final stage; no way would she let anyone pass her, and the ensuing discussion included the best technique for felling an overtaking opponent.

So, at the end, a fine victory by the Kelvinsiders. But in reality a great day out for everyone. The 8 minute difference between teams at the end ensured that the event was the great social occasion we had hoped for.

So, that'e the factual bit written ( well for 1 teamm anyway). I'll leave it to others to include their favourite vignettes, photo's, anecdotes and excuses.

Thanks again to the MH's for organising a brilliant day!

Posted by Dave Calder on Sun 31 Aug 2008 | 9 comments

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  1. John Hutch said...

    This looks like a reasonable approximation to the truth as I remember it..

    This sort of an event only works with a lot of support from many people and so thanks to everyone who worked hard in team selection, preparing food , driving, buying coffee/tea, turning up, and doing all the little things that really make the event work. Fiona and I are please that that it worked and people enjoyed themselves.

    For the numerate here are some figure that summarise the events

    Kelvinside National Team Time leg CUMRunner 1 0:00 John Donnely 0:38 00:38Muffy Calder 1:04 01:42Brian Brennan 0:57 02:39Keith Adams 0:28 03:07Muffy Calder 0:40 03:47Pat McLaughlin 0:26 04:13Dave Calder 1:12 05:25Colin Porteous 0:33 05:58Jason Kaushal 0:26 06:24John Donnely 0:46 07:10David Riach 0:37 07:47David Riach 0:34 08:21Johannes Courtail 0:59 09:20Jason Kaushal 0:51 10:11Dave Calder 0:28 10:39Colin Porteous 0:52 11:31Pauline McAdam 0:30 12:01Pat McLaughlin 0:27 12:28

    Milngavie National Team Time leg cumRunner Hamilton Semple 0:41 00:41Ellie Holmwood 0:43 01:24John Hutchinson 1:12 02:36Fiona Hutchinson 0:34 03:10John Hamer 0:30 03:40Helen McPherson 0:31 04:11Chris Upson 1:04 05:15Fiona Hutchinson 0:35 05:50Johnson Orr 0:32 06:22Cat Miller 1:01 07:23Hamilton Semple 0:44 08:07Chris Upson 0:32 08:39John Hamer 1:02 09:41Ellie Holmwood 0:52 10:33John Hutchinson 0:34 11:07Johnson Orr 0:40 11:47Cat Miller 0:24 12:11Liz Horton 0:25 12:36

    Name Nation Team of Kelvinside Legs Distance time Average Speed miles min min/mileMuffy Calder 2 10.0 104.0 10.4Pauline McAdam 1 3.0 30.0 10.0Pat McLaughlin 2 6.2 53.0 8.5Brian Brennan 1 6.5 57.0 8.8Dave Calder 2 12.5 100.0 8.0David Riach 2 11.2 71.0 6.3Colin Porteous 2 8.5 85.0 10.0John Donnely 2 10.6 84.0 7.9Johannes Courtail 1 6.6 59.0 8.9Jason Kaushal 2 10.8 77.0 7.1Keith Adams 1 2.7 28.0 10.4 88.6

    Nation Team of Milngavie

    Legs Distance time Average Speed miles min min/mile Cat Miller 2 9.1 85.0 9.3Ellie Holmwood 2 12.2 95.0 7.8Helen McPherson 1 2.8 31.0 11.1Fiona Hutchinson 2 6.1 69.0 11.3Liz Horton 1 3.4 25.0 7.4Chris Upson 2 13.9 96.0 6.9Hamilton Semple 2 10.3 85.0 8.3John Hamer 2 11.2 92.0 8.2Johnson Orr 2 9.1 72.0 7.9John Hutchinson 2 10.5 106.0 10.1

    Sunday 31st August 2008 3.36pm

  2. the navigator said...

    I object to the average speed which was calculated on minutes per scheduled mile. Those of us who generously added *additional* of miles will find their true denominator somewhat larger..

    I think this only applies to myself and Cat (who didn't add much). The rest of you stingy gits only ran exactly what you were supposed to.

    Sunday 31st August 2008 6.05pm

  3. Johnston said...

    Thanks to all who organised this fab day out, and the post-match party and food. Despite the insanely early start, I had a great time. Particular thanks to Cat, who was just finishing her cigar in a leisurely fashion when I arrived at Craggan, thus covering for my scenic diversion from the obvious path on that stage.

    Sunday 31st August 2008 6.58pm

  4. Graham K said...

    Fantastic effort folks ...

    Yours jealous as hell.

    Graham K

    Sunday 31st August 2008 9.49pm

  5. Chris said...

    A marvellous entertaining day out, not least for seeing Muffy getting lost in Aberfeldy, and witnessing Cat's coolness under pressure at Craggan as she dawdled down the path and casually re-tied her shoelaces 3 times before finally accepting the baton from Johnston who'd just pelted down the Glen Ogle railway line only to find no-one waiting for him. Cat didn't look quite so cool at the end of her leg at Strathyre, after adding on a couple of extra miles to visit a nearby caravan park and losing the Kelvinside team's lead which was never re-gained. However Johnston, Cat and Liz put in fine efforts over the final 3 stages to re-claim 20 minutes on the Milngavie team and close the gap to a mere 8 minutes at the Clober Bridge finish after 12.5 hours of running.

    A few photos

    Sunday 31st August 2008 11.38pm

  6. jd said...

    An extra-special extra-brilliant extra-vaganza. What a great day out, and a party as well!! From the Fri evening Pitlochry Scout Hall Disco until 4am through to the Hutchinson Hardcore Rave until 9am it was non-stop fun and games the whole way. A huge debt of thanks to J and F and everyone else who made it such a memorable day, I couldn't think of a better way to spend the time. My early morning joust with Hamilton was great fun, slogging up the warm humid forest in the dark, barely able to make out the track and giving Muffy a few minutes of a lead at Strathtay. I then took it easy for a few legs, till after a few bacon butties at the Brennan Manse I hopped on my bike to follow the race. South Loch Tay is a fantastic cycle and catching up with the race at the various changeovers exciting. After a nice downhill couple of miles to Lochearnhead I was ready in plenty of time for Jason, who was only 5 mins behind Johnston - unfortunately for him, Cat had only just got off the double-decker from Glasgow and lost a valuable minute doing her hair and nails. I was off 4mins behind her, with legs sluggish from 30 miles of cycling and mind not too focused. I was resigned to keeping us in 2nd place, knowing the The Snake would blitz those bounders in the other team on the next few legs. So I was surprised after a couple of miles when, through clouds of sweat-induced steam I spied a yellow vest only a minute ahead, excellent I thought rather ungentlemanly, whipped off my T-shirt for added cooling and hared off after Cat. Near Strathyre I passed her and kept an eye out for the supposed path down to the village. Nothing looked promising so I turned off at the Stuc a Chroin race path leading right down to the changeover. Poor Cat didn't know of this sneaky bit so missed me turning off and instead went to check out the latest in caravans before sauntering back into town from the wrong direction. From then on our Top Team were never headed, though it was closer than we would have liked towards the end. At Strathyre I hopped back on my bike and cycled the remaining 50 miles, via the Duke's Pass, missing out the knarly rough stuff from Loch Venachar to Aberfoyle. Cheese and biscuits at Drymen Cottages got me through a dodgy patch and a pint of Guinness at the Beech Tree fuelled me up for the final dash to Milngavie, clattering my poor road bike over the rough stuff of the WHW through Mugdock. I arrived just in time to see Pat make her victorious burst over the finishing bridge at Clober. We were rewarded with bubbly and chocolate medals at the end to round off the first part of a fab day. I'm already looking forward to the next one. Thanks everyone.

    Monday 1st September 2008 12.50am

  7. Ellie said...

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, I'd like to thank the MHs for making this truly stupendous event happen. Having turned up more or less straight from work on Friday with nothing more than my running kit - Fiona's ability to anticipate what the teams might need (from bedtime cocoa to Eccles cakes and liquid refreshments) was the lubricant that made the day glide so smoothly (I'm still trying to work out at which point she put together those two enormous lasagnes).

    In spite of lack of sleep (note to self: get a Karrimat as fluffy as Dave's), I felt quite fresh taking the Samuri baton from Hamilton in the dark of a sleeping village (no slips or drops!) and starting off along the road to Aberfeldy. Although I took a swipe a Muffy's laces with aforementioned Samuri as I passed her, I must have severed the already tenuously attached Hippocampus from her frontal lobes instead, thus sending her spinning into the bushes, coming to rest amongst the barrels of the Aberfeldy distillery (what's that noise that Dick Dastardly makes?). I have to admit that a few minutes later, I had my own navigational 'experience', when a white, glistening footbridge tempted me off the road and into Alberfeldy golf course...but soon corrected myself by following the dewy footsteps of dog walkers back to civilisation and the eagerly awaiting John Hutch (listen and learn Muffy)!

    Chris, fresh from not really trying, dragged me through my second leg from Aberfoyle to Drymen Cottages in pursuit of the defector-Kausal (who had, incidentally, been doing 'reps' of this section with Rani for the past three months - not competitive - no, Jason). Now, I'd like to think that Chris's offer of company was a gentlemanly act, but I suspect that the idea of me getting lost in the forest, adding further to the Milngavie team's lag was too much for a certain person to bear. Clearly, I'd used all my adrenalin by this point in the day, and stumbled pathetically behind the (surprinsingly patient) map-reader, cursing the fig roll overdose at Strathyre.That's the way to do it ladies...give your map to a man, you'll never get lost! Oof!

    By that point in the afternoon, it was clear that our wonderful team had done it's best, but that victory had sadly slipped away...However, after a few chocolate medals, fizzy pop and commiseratory beers, the ideas for next year's challenge were already being hatched. Like JD, I await with eager anticipation of the next installment.

    Monday 1st September 2008 9.38am

  8. Hamilton said...

    Well,quite frankly, just like to echo all of the above, I say I'd just like to.....It was an entirely eventful day out. Lavish praise should, and is , extended to John and Fiona, who did an absolutely marvellous job. So much to thank them for....much too much....John for the head torch which I must have almost disdainfully refused, "It'll be fine", it was as black as coal ,or " black, black, starless and bibleblack", as JD darted across the A9 just before the cars , quick pursuit, we don't stop for cars. Keith had to wait a tad, but his marvellous top of the range bike 3-pronged light,thingey was the order of the day. Might still have been in that forrest, trying to find my way to Strathtay Golf Course for 9 Holes.Thanks Keith.Highs and Lows of a long day, of course. Hunger had really set in-the bananas and bars were just not enough. Oh you need something to eat ? Fiona said what about some cheese & biscuits? What biscuits do you prefer? A range of cheeses appeared from the Coolbag. At that split-second JD rolled in on the bike.Oh yes I'll have some of that. Totally revived after this meal . It was reported that there was a complaint about the lack of wine with this meal/snack-well hope they got a good slap. Well, that's a bit outrageous. Thanks Fiona, as Ellie said,you thought of everything,and more.

    Moving on to our Team Captains; both John and Dave were doing some sterling work in chiving up his runners,and some may have been surprised that they actually still on speaking terms. Actually,I just happened to be in the slightly invidious position of getting a lift from the opposing Captain,i.e. Dave, being unceremoniously bounced off his team, muttering something about not wanting my "class " of people on his side."SO" to speak of a Muffy-ism , much talk from Dave & Muffy of ejecting me quickly from the moving car ,or some such despicable act. This all when it was nip and tuck. They seemed to come round later on when the outcome was more certain. We have heard,above, about Brian trying to get as much sleep as possible, for some of us it felt like lunch-time. Or was that Brunch? Yes, Brian, as hospitable as ever, invited the whole troup of us back to his house for bacon butties,coffee & tea.Introducing me to his wife as he shouted in the door this is a complete cad, an utter bounder,and certainly not to be trusted- only JD & I made it . Could it be we were the only ones willing to put up with that level of abuse ?Well, truth be told it was just marvellous. Top notch, Brian.So, so, anyway, what's next, from this Extravaganza of an utterly,utterly wonderful day?Well, enough for now, only it was good to see Drew & Margaret, and Al C. Thanks for the lift D&M.Got out of their car and the Police wagon stopped right outside the house. Just after midnight,excuse me Sir, we have reason to believe you have offensive weapons in that bag you are trying to carry. Absolutely, Officer, or should that be, Ossiffer. Offensive mud from the ROB ROY WAY.Actually, they completely ignored me and fleeced the young lads outside the house. What we must say,however, is where were Ian & Sally?Several people were asking? Saying this would have been Ian in his element.Sure they will be at the next one.Just one more "Thanks" and of course it is good to say these thanks.There was some talk of how we had to steady the ship at times, or how some had shown some steadiness in the face "of the burden of the day".Well, the epitome of steadiness, from my vision of the day was my driver, Mr. David Calder, sprinting up to Pitlochry Fri. round and about the whole course Sat.Fine fine job Dave,Thank you.Till next time?

    Monday 1st September 2008 3.56pm

  9. Jason said...

    Just to add my voice in agreement to all that has been said above. I think we owe a great thanks to the MHs for a lovely day, and it was a great sociable and competitive event. However highlights of organisation had to have been getting the weather bang on, and organising the burger/ tea van in Glen Ogle. Well done MHs on that.

    It was lovely spending the day with you all. I really enjoyed my runs and it was just fine to end up in Milngavie for food, drink and banter aplenty, once more care of MHs.

    Finally and personally thanks for the card and kind words on my leaving. Though it isn't for a few weeks yet this was very touching.

    So a day long relay race against the Boggies next year then eh?!

    Thursday 4th September 2008 10.23am

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