HBT Grudge Match 2012

HBT proved once again willing to accept our challenge to a Grudge Match, this time to the top of Ben Ledi and back.  Following a stringent selection process ("Breathing?  Yep, you're in"), fifteen yellow vests containing the finest Westies the club could muster lined up on the start against ten bedraggled and defeated looking HBT runners.  Weather conditions were obliging, with a mild breeze, extensive cloud cover, and some invigorating sleet to accompany the ascent up the ridge.  The tourist route had recently been improved with the introduction of a slip across a large section of the path past the gate, which led to some interesting route variations.  Once past the slip, steadily deepening snow added a degree of charm to the race. Views at the top were limited, but this was no time to pause.  A cracking descent, with a mixture of icy rock, wet rock, grassy rock, and finally smooth(ish) forest path to the finish.

HBT picked up first and second place, and first woman, and Westies claimed all the vet categories (Luke MV40, Val FV40, Don MV50, and Helen FV50).

Formalities over, we all retreated to the comfort of the Lade Inn for tea and cake.  In the final Tallying Of The Scores, Westies took out the Placings Total (102 to 109), the Participation Total (15 to 10), and the Captain's Bonus (awarded for the number of club runners finishing behind their captain - 6 to 1), earning the Ashes of Scottish Long Distance Running and title "Club with the Biggest Inferiority Complex".

Thanks to all those who took part to make the event such an outstanding success.  HBT have promised to issue a Grudge again next year, and I am confident the Westies will rise once again to the challenge.

View of Ben Ledi from Laid Law car park.

Posted by John Hamer on Sun 25 Nov 2012 | 8 comments

Category club races


  1. Don Reid said...

    What a great day out despite he dreich weather!! After a disasterous run at the Dumbartonshires, i was out to banish the demons today. Set off in about 15th place as we went up the steep track at the start through the forest. I could see that the bulk of the runners in front of me were trotters, and i thought, we look like we will get a kicking today. As we left the forest, i was pulling in Jamie, Anthony and Luke. Managed to sneak past before the stream crossing and i could see that Gregor was way ahead in what looked about 3rd place.
    After the stream, i began to struggle a little and Luke powered past. The next obstacle was a huge muddy landslide that had obliterated the path. All the runners in front seemed to have opted to go up a very steep gully, but Luke cleverly decided to cross the mud slide and pick up the trail on the other side, and i thought good move! Once over the mud slide, luke fired up the afterburners and took off. a figure clad in black had been gradually pulling me in for some time and as i suspected, it was our Val having another great run ( i don't know why she does not race more often - she can really shift!).
    We turned the bend in the trail and started the long drag up the ridge, gradually encountering more and more snow. Val had dragged several trotters and Jamie and Anthony with her and they all sneaked past as we got near the summit. Another cursory glance behind revealed that Jacques was closing in too!
    I did my best to hang on, and we all touched the trig within about 30 seconds of one another. Now the bit i was looking forward to, with several trotters and a brace of westies to chase. This is where Westies turned the tables on the trotters by demonstrating there descending skills. I caught Anthony and 2 trotters fairly quickly, but Jamie was really shifting and it took me all the way to the end of the ridge to catch him and Val. At this point, Jamie made a bit of a gaff and went too low below the path allowing me to sneak past. Val courteously let me past as she battled with another trotter woman in a yellow jacket that she had caught. I could see Clare from the trotters (who ran the entire race wearing only a vest!!) had dropped down too low below the mudslide, so another trotter was despatched. Things were looking good for westies, and i absolutely hammered the last bit to make sure nobody caught me. Was amazed when grimor handed me a ticket for 6th place, and a quick check revealed that Luke had managed to work his way up to 3rd place and although Gregor had struggled on the descent, he came in 5th. So we had 3 runners in the top 6. After all 26 runners had crossed the line, a quick calculation showed that westies had done the business on the second half of the race. Well done all.
    Back at the Lade inn, John Hamer gave a great speech at the prize giving and the trotters were suitably magnanimous in defeat.

    Sunday 25th November 2012 8.37pm

  2. Grim Ledi-Zep said...

    Might I just add, as timekeeper and co-recorder (with YP) of this fine frolic, what an enjoyable outing this was, even for a spectator. An hour of YP's witty tales and musings while the rest of the West (and east) tackled the Ben is pure gold. If the timekeeping became a tad chaotic at times, especially in mass finishes, when YP decided to blether with a Boggie while others were charging down to the finish - AND he was holding the watch, having disabled Cap'n Hamer's phone app - this would be no reason to quibble against the great man's sterling efforts. Might I also add that the disparity between John's and Don's competitor numbers (25 vs 26) can be accounted for by Helen and Gaynor's being inseperable in 25th place, state-of-the-art photofinish technology awarding them the same time and a share of a yellow "25" ticket.
    The Lade Inn boasts not only some grand beers, but also coconut soup. Let's have more Grudge matches - Grim indeed

    Monday 26th November 2012 10.46am

  3. christine menhennet said...

    Loving the coverage and sorry to have wimped out of going! Well done Westies!

    Monday 26th November 2012 12.43pm

  4. Real Ledi Zepper said...

    For this writer,about to give his percussive debut(more anon)and it may not quite be John Bonham................but, before leaving said to the management.......I Can't Quit You Babe,then Babe I'm Gonna Leave You....ended up Dazed and Confused, but hey............
    What Is And What Should Never Be.....must have been a Communication Breakdown......but throughout there was always a...Whole Lotta Love....I said to her .....Since I've Been Loving You........there have been ..........Good Times Bad Times .....the ...........Heartbreaker........was to .....Ramble On.......but this is.......Rock And Roll...............the Black Dog ....was never far away(not the Mad Dog) was all about.........Over The Hills And Far Away.......showing .....No Quarter.......on our..........Stairway To Heaven.......Semple doing his....Misty Mountain Hop.......before being ....Trampled Under Foot by the creeping Brownian motion.......or When The Levee Breaks......and really it was.......Nobody's Fault But Mine........still dreaming of.....Going to California......or was it ......Kashmir........when at last we could repair to ......Houses Of The Holy......for ........Achilles Last our table settled ......In The Evening.......sending.......All My Love........

    Monday 26th November 2012 12.48pm

  5. Mark Harris said...

    Well done everyone. Great result. Shame I couldn't make it. I'll get out for the next one though....

    Monday 26th November 2012 2.14pm

  6. Gregor said...

    Wouldn't it be great if every race was like this one? I certainly think so.

    I was disappointed to drop two places on the way down after a strong ascent. Wrong choice of footwear meant I had no choice but to play it safe coming down the snowy hills. =(

    On the plus side, I actually ran up the majority of the hill for once. After Tinto, I was starting to have major doubts about my climbing ability - let me tell you!

    Monday 26th November 2012 8.58pm

  7. M D said...

    Quote of the day was from John McNally when leaving Lade Inn and looking up at Ben Ledi:

    "WAS that what we climbed!"

    Monday 26th November 2012 9.01pm

  8. Val said...

    All I will add is my legs are OW today!...good fun at the time though - but probably back into the woodwork for me! As always, thanks to the organisers & timers, great morning out.

    Monday 26th November 2012 10.50pm

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