Bookending Meall Nan Tarmachan


The Westies bandwagon drew up to the beautiful Meall Nan Tarmachan hill race. The one and only Brian Brennan (not racing) was ushering around an ex-boxing champion and providing running commentary at the summit. George Douglas was there to dominate the field and flaunt his spectacular beard. Tom Alexander (brother) had been dragged out to have a second attempt at the hill running world. Sam Alexander (myself) had turned up to complete the Westies racing trio.


The race itself couldn’t have chosen a better day, not a cloud above or a breath of wind. Approx 60 runners started, Brian Brennan in his bum hugging lycra was already stationed on the summit (he mildly insulted passing runners and will have to improve for the FRAs). The race started with a runnable climb to the summit, a technical section along the ridge, an unpleasant descent off the back and then a tortuous 2 mile land rover track to the finish. I managed to hold the lead until the finish, George looked strong and well placed, Brian Brennan completed his jog and then Tom did not materialise.


Tom’s absence caused increased anxiety and then the Killin mountain rescue passed saying there was an injured runner. The injured runner was Tom who required stretchered off the hill, unfortunately no helicopter. At this point I would like to thank the hard and professional work of the Killin mountain rescue team. Once off the hill Tom crossed the finish line (in a car) about an hour after the last runner; meaning that the Alexander brothers book ended the Meall Nan Tarmachan race.


We had a quick soup in Killin, finding Mr Brennan had run off with the prizes.. probably consumed already J The next stop was the hospital to find out that Tom had broken his fibula and would require a cast and crutches. In all, a very eventful day and an enjoyable well organised and supported race.


Pre-race PrepThe descent 1The descent 2Tom's descentKillin MRTKillin MRTKANKLE!!The Snap..

Posted by Sam Alexander on Sun 9 Oct 2016 | 3 comments

Category Hill Race


  1. Brian B the elder said...

    I was waiting at the summit to do my assist job for Herbie when Sam came cruising past already almost a minute in the lead. To be honest he didn't look even slightly out of breath and I was confident the race was in the bag. I was very nice to the young chap because these sleek racing know who you are...... are tender flowers and could easily turn to mush if exposed to even minor slagging

    I don't know if either Tom Alexander or George Douglas would describe my abuse as mild. Tom was doing pretty well and big G was looking absolutely magnificent his usual crazed psycho like manner .......the sort of guy you would want a warning from the police if he moved into your area.

    Anyway I was helping Herbie get down the hill in one piece ......near the top we passed Tom .....who gave no indication that he was injured ......he appeared to be just having a chat with a marshal ....these Westies are tough .....a broken leg and he wasn't even sitting down. I got Herbie down to the track ahead of his main rival and we started along the track.

    Met Sam about halfway along who had to be forced to admit that , yes, he had actually won.......but he was concerned about his brother and he headed back up the hill to help get him down.

    Then with half a mile to go disaster struck when Herbie caught his toe on a rock and landed face down ......getting a bad gash on his head and dislocating his thumb plus other abrasions. His main concern when he got up was to finish the race and with my teeshirt staunching the blood that's exactly what we did. The man's a legend ......he's 70 in a few months.

    Stephen Rawlinson of Killin was 2nd after Sam but both he and Sam were absent from the prizegiving as Stephen is a member of the Mountain Rescue and he was off helping extricate Tom. I collected Sam's prize for him. Both Tom and Herbie have been sorted and released from hospital .......and Sam has graciously told me to keep the beers he won. I suspect he'll win a few breweries worth of beer in the next few years.

    Monday 10th October 2016 10.36am

  2. Dan Watson said...

    Quite an eventful race! Best wishes to Tom for a speedy recovery, shame it's a break rather than a sprain. Don't know though, a break might fix up more quickly - Brian should know, he's been there before (Nebit Moon-race). Saw Herbie yesterday, he says his face was never that bad in his boxing days. Four stitches to the gash in his forehead and his thumb is in plaster. Back in to hospital tomorrow (Tuesday) but I'm sure he'll be ok, he's tough as nails!

    Monday 10th October 2016 5.13pm

  3. Manny said...

    Thank Christ I didn't go this year! I would have been the 3rd counter in the hospital team and no bloody way would I have left my beer to BB the younger, elder or King!
    Nice win Sam. Nice psycho George. Bad break Tom.

    Wednesday 19th October 2016 11.32pm

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