Skye Extravaganza

It's only 85 miles from the northernmost tip of Skye at Rubha Hunish to Point of Sleat in the south, surely a piece of cake for a tough club like Westerlands. Well oops, we forgot about the weather. What an epic! When you hear that the first leg runners couldn't find the start (admittedly it was a wee bit dark, or so I hear, I was snoring away at the time), and Chris says he is still traumatised from 2.5 hours of hypothermia on Trotternish ridge, then you get an idea of the day. Myself, I thoroughly enjoyed fording 14 crotch high rivers - and that was on my easy leg,. We abandoned the idea of finishing the whole route at the end of leg 7, whence we retired for real cake, other sustenance, a rousing round of the animal game, and Colin's geetar. Any thought of finishing off the remaining route the next morning was banished by the howling gale. Katy managed the only run that day - but on the tarmac on the road to Portree.

So we didn't finish, who cares. We had a brilliant weekend and everyone got a run. Some of us still have our fingers and toes. Many thanks to Chris for brilliant organisation, especially personalised maps. What a star.

Thanks to all the cooks too!

Skye  Extravaganza 2009 - Steffen with an axe to grind.

Posted by Muffy Calder on Tue 7 Apr 2009 | 6 comments

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  1. Chris said...

    Thanks to everyone for giving the route their best shot!I'm sure if the weather hadn't been quite so appalling we would have finished OK.I just got too cold and wet on the Trotternish Ridge to contemplate running again the same day.Plus we got off to a slightly ignominious start, not being able to find Rubha Hunish in the dark and bog at 5am in pouring rain!

    Wednesday 8th April 2009 7.48am

  2. Chris said...

    Here is the route we were attempting.

    Thursday 9th April 2009 8.47am

  3. Dave said...

    Well, it's much more fun when there's a bit of a calamity involved! And it's more memorable as well.

    Back in the '80's, none of us who were involved will forget the 2 dams incident on the West-to-East coast relay (Big Al and Archie finished their stage at a different dam from the one at which Isabel, Donald and Ann were waiting). The recriminations continue to this day!

    Then there was the infamous John Wellings-gets-lost-on-the-Cairngorms-whilst-putting-on-his-gloves-and-the mountain-rescue-get-called-out incident on the 4,000 foot relay. You need to hear that story from the perspective of EVERYONE taking part in the relay to understand how traumatic it was for all!!!!

    Not to mention the time during the Glasgow to Fort Bill when Mark Rigby ran his stage sooo fast that the next leg runner didn't get to the handover in time, so Mark just ran on...and on...and on...

    I suspect that this relay will go into the annals of Westies history as the one where we couldn't find the start!

    Completing the event incident-free might have made us happy on the day, but we would have forgotten all about it soon after.

    It was great fun though. I thoroughly enjoyed my canter up Glen Sligachan with Don and Hamilton, discussing the merits of the Skoda versus the Audi whilst wading through raging torrents.

    Thanks to Chris and the others for organising, and roll on the next one!

    Friday 10th April 2009 9.26am

  4. Hamilton said...

    Well Skye is such a wonderful island with a special atmosphere.The whole week-end was simply marvellous. Certainly did'nt hear of any adverse comments on the late afternoon finish. No, it was a social as well, so it was the best shout to call time. Yes, Dave, Don, and I had , if I can use that certain expression, an all mothers and fathers of a run through the Cuillin at it's most dark and brooding best; cloud swirling round the tops, rain just refreshing the sweat on the brow,that is a downpour. If it had been real Skye rain, then we'd really have been in trouble. Mr. Calder claimed to have counted 20 river crossings pre - run. With that amount of precipitation we reckoned it was 40 or 50 crossings, but if only Don would just slow slightly for the knee- high, no, nearly waist-high river crossings. Just a superb,atmospheric run through the hills in weather.May have had the odd shout at my esteemed colleagues for keeping up a discussion for the entire 1 hour 50 minutes, but thankfully they are not easily offended, just not speaking to me now. Can't begin to think how long Chris spent on those routes and the organisation of the whole thing. Well done Chris, and we are already thinking of the next time.

    Tuesday 14th April 2009 9.20pm

  5. Don said...

    Yip, Hamilton, i concur with your sentments on our sojourn through a spectacularily dreary Glen Sligachan. Best wash i've had in ages! Think the Audi just swings it in the car argument Dave, after driving Steffans posh car back to Glasgow.

    Question - how many Westies does it take to change a light bulb?

    Answer - 4 - one to get the bulb from the nearest toilet, one to get the whisky, one to get the glasses and one to steal your pillow!!

    Great weekend - looking forward to going back and doing it proper

    Wednesday 15th April 2009 10.01am

  6. cgp said...


    A team of Westies went to Skye to see what they could do.As they drove north, the sun came out and split the sky in two.

    They went to bed with hopes and plans of records they would crackAnd woke at some unearthly hour next day though skies were black

    They went as far as they could go without going in the seaThen started running south to test their mettle (and their knees)

    But still the sky stayed dark and rain descended without endTo drench these heroes as they struggled on to find their friends

    The batons soon got lost in all the bog, but spirits roseWhen Westies got together in Portree to dry their toes

    The worst was yet to come when further south the girls ran onAnd pushed their luck through raging floods to meet their men of iron

    By now the mighty Cuillins loomed, in deepest glen they ranBut too much time and too much rain had slowed their careful plan

    At last they staked their far point neath the slopes of famous BlavenWith plans to come again and take the prize in island heaven

    So watch this space and join the race when next the Westies comeTo find the track again .. and with some luck, run in the sun.

    x x x

    Thursday 16th April 2009 8.58pm

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