HBT Grudge Match

27th November 2011

Results | Photos

Swanston Village at the foot of the Pentlands was the setting for Sunday's HBT vs Westies, Corstorphine & EUHH Grudge Match.

As usual, Westies were vastly out-numbered by the swathes of brown, however Alasdair bravely lead the Westies charge up Allermuir, complete with trademark rucksack and picnic? I chose a super-slow pedestrian start after my horror show race at Bellahouston the day before. It therefore took a while before I realised that Alasdair was way up ahead. Bit by bit I reeled Alasdair back in and caught him just before Allermuir summit where Ellie was braced in a screaming freezing wind taking photos.

I tried to open a gap on Alasdair on the descent, but was caught by Andy Sims who I then tracked since it was easier than worrying about the route. This took us both past Sula Young (Gay) who was doubling back after a wrong turn. The track dropped steeply to skirt round the edge of a golf course before hitting a pretty level horizontal landrover track where I could generate some speed and get past Andy Sims to finish in 25 minutes-something.

I was then subjected to some hoity toity woman from the neighbouring stables saying she couldn't have riff raff like us hanging around near her horses, and to make the point she violently revved her impressively large black 4x4 at Dan and Sula has she tore away down the track.

I therefore did not see Alasdair, Mindy and JD finishing, although I did see John Hamer rushing into the car park, only to be told that isn't where the race finishes.

The afternoon was rounded off with drinks and prize-giving by Phyllis O'Brien and Sarah O'Neil at the Hunter's Tryst, accompanied with good chat and company from the Boggies.

Chris and AlasdairMindy MacLeodJDJohn Hamer

Posted by Chris Upson on Mon 28 Nov 2011 | 9 comments

Category Hill Race


  1. Ciaran said...

    Sounds great fun and well done to all for braving those wintery conditions, sorry to have missed this match.

    Re. Alasdair's picnic, had he heard that as a general rule when in Edinburgh you'll have had your tea?...

    And to the mad missus wae the Morningside Tractor, imagine doing that in Milngavie?! The Westies Young Team wouldn't approve.

    Pip pip!

    Monday 28th November 2011 11.57pm

  2. Alasdair said...

    Thanks Chris; I hope we can get another grudge match organised for next Spring. If I can help with that, let me know!

    PS - other than 'just go for it' and 'pretend injury doesn't frighten you', has anyone got some training tips (e.g. stretches, gym exercises, other such nonsense) for running faster down hills?


    Tuesday 29th November 2011 12.36pm

  3. Chris said...

    Aiming to land on your forefoot (rather than your heel) and picking your feet up quicker is the best way to descend faster.

    Tuesday 29th November 2011 12.51pm

  4. Johnston said...

    From the double descent of The Law "tutorial" with JD2 in the spring, I'd agree with what Chris has said. Also, a consistent and smooth descent (hence picking a good line) is at least as important as a super-fast burst, particularly where the race continues for some distance beyond the bottom of that particular hill. Davie Duncan (Ochils) is a good example of this - good descender but also very energy-efficient. Try following a known good descender in a race or in practice, with no intention of overtaking on the descent - just watch what they do.

    Tuesday 29th November 2011 1.00pm

  5. John Hamer said...

    Despite reservations about travelling all the way across the country for what turned out to be something short of a 5km run, I did actually enjoy the afternoon. The bracing conditions reminded me of how much I have acclimatised over the last couple of years. After a slow climb, I overtook a clutch of HBT runners on the descent, only to take a wrong turn and lead the trailing bunch onto the golf course. Fortunately, the wind had blown the golfers back to the 19th hole, so there was no-one around to complain as we aerated the green on the way back to the carpark. Thanks for the directions to the finish, Chris! And to Ellie, for freezing her fingers taking photos at the summit :-)

    Tuesday 29th November 2011 9.29pm

  6. Don said...

    The secret of descending quick is being able to adjust your descending technique to the conditions. For example, if trying to descend down a narrow twisting rock strewn trod (people always like to follow a path), it can be quicker to take a direct line parallel to it in the heather if it is not to rocky (a great way to make up places in a busy race). If the ground is really steep and slippy,eg a scree run, then use your heels and lean back or use the sides of your feet. As Johnston says, the ability to pick a good line is impt.
    In really technical descents your brain has an amazing ability to process the ground in front of you and feed that info to your feet while you process the next bit of ground ahead. Don't know how it works - it just does.
    So be confident, if its a long race, don't push the descents too hard (descending still takes it out of you!!) and if its the last bit of descent in a race just go crazy.

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 11.47am

  7. Ossama not Bin running much ... said...

    Shame Manny wasn't running ....the Gorman vs Posh Totty encounter would have been worth hearing (although I reckon the totty would have simply left confused) !

    See ya all soon ....

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 1.41pm

  8. Johnston said...

    I'll second what Don said about using the whole hillside to pick the best route. I used to be a slave to the path but even a few wee deviations can help to forge a much smoother route, assuming you have the freedom to do so as some races specify certain descent routes to avoid erosion damage, e.g. Carnethy 5, Ben Lomond in parts.

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 4.45pm

  9. Alasdair said...

    Thanks to all for your advice. Sorry I haven't returned to check since November!!!

    Thursday 29th December 2011 12.56pm

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