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Highland Fling 2017

The day started like most others... Aron set about eating or something while lefty and I admired each other. After weeks of cycling we were both looking strong but lean... ready for a run. 

Aron took us up to some train station... can't remember where. But it was ace there were so many ladies checking myself and lefty out. We hit a new record of 16 swoons in 30 minutes... Today was a good day. As the race got going we got yet more admiring glances. Walter from Shettleston was clearly jealous as he ogled us for a little bit longer than appropriate. 

Heading up conic hill we decided to really show what we were made of and pushed Aron to go past a few runners... it was great giving other runners a little show as we passed. However, being this buff is hard work so lefty and I decided that a nap was needed... Aron was not happy about this! Arriving at the finish was a relief as we finally got to take the weight off.

 

As the day progressed it was great to hear about all the achievements that we inspired. Alex after glimpsing us at the start managed to run sub 10, Niall chasing us for most of the day was just over 10, Maya (who we suspect is in love with us) ran a fantastic 11hr14, Carol (also in love with us) was not far behind in 11hr25, Ali wasted a bit too much energy admiring us at the start and suffered later finished in 11hr47, Elizabeth (again loves us) got in at 12hr06, John (who we'll admit it has good calves, just not as good as us) was 12hr27, Gillian and Helen (who ran together so that they could discuss how magnificent we are) finished in 13hr14 and Claire so inspired by how stunning we are finished 40 minutes faster than last year in a time of 13hr41.

Posted by Aron's Massive Right Calf on Tue 2 May 2017 | 1 comment

Category Ultra

Gwyn takes on London

Gwyn has secretly run the London marathon, posting an amazing time of 2h 33 min 46 sec and finishing 122nd!!

He did one bad thing and didn't run under the Westies banner, he was clubless..... Excluding that one miscalculation, well done Gwyn on a superb run :)

Proof of result

Gwyn's Game Face

Posted by Sam Alexander on Mon 24 Apr 2017 | 3 comments

Category Marathons

Anniversary Waltz

Thought i'd give a little post-race report on the Anniversary Waltz wot took place over the weekend.

 

It were right hard.

 

Got passed by a Carnethy type on the climb to High Spy.  Bugger!

Got passed by two Bog Trotters on the meander down toward Cat Bells.  Bastard!

Managed to overtake an injured runner just before the finish line and haul myself potentially into the top 300. 'Ave it!

 

Posted by Grant Thomson on Mon 24 Apr 2017 | comments are open

Category Fell race

Random Japanese Marathon (Nagano)

Before I left Scotland in February I said to a few people that I was running a marathon in Japan and I'd write a race report.  So here it is, apologies for dirtying these pages with talk of road running. 

  I entered the Nagano marathon as I had read a book about Japanese running so decided to enter this marathon while we were here. After paying the £80!?! entrance fee I quickly forgot about it until it was time to book accommodation. It turns out that it's quite a popular event and there aren't many hotels in Nagano so resorted to a number of begging emails to hotels to find us space. My wife was really appreciating the slight diversion to our itinerary for this random marathon of mine by this point....    Anyway,  prior to going to Japan we were spending some time in India so the bulk of my training involved running up and down the beach in sweltering heat. I managed a few decent length runs but it was a bit of a struggle and I found myself dreaming of a bit of Scottish drizzle. The Westies top got a few runs so the word has been spread to India.    We had to register the day before which was pretty interesting.  Lots of signs that I didn't understand and not a great deal of western faces.  I started to panic that people might start to think I was some kind of elite runner only to disappoint when they saw me running.  Also,  the Mizuno stall was selling shoes based on the time you wanted to finish.  If only I had known it was that easy...    Race day arrived with an 8.30am start time. I  didn't really have any great expectations due to the sporadic training and just set out to enjoy it. The whole event was amazingly organised and the Japanese participants all looked the part. People getting taped up in places I didn't know you could put tape and a bit of communal chanting and the race started by some kind of celebrity.  The route seemed to take in all of the venues from the 1998 Nagano Olympics with some bits skirting around the city.  It was really scenic for a road marathon as Nagano is surrounded by the Japanese alps so plenty to look at. The first half went by with a decent pace but nothing too crazy knowing I have always struggled in the second half in the past. Lots of gels were being consumed by others  as I ate my chocolate fudge bar as we  went to the second half of the race. My knee was giving me a bit of trouble but I tried to ignore it and just enjoy it. The crowd was really good,  the joy on an old ladies face when someone collapsed with cramp will stay with me forever! The last 10km was a bit of a struggle as the lack of training caught up with me but staring at the mountains in the distance kept me going. The Japanese runners seem to love a dramatic collapse so it was like a scene from Saving Private Ryan near the end but I managed to finish in 3.42 which is a PB.  I was happy with this given the lack of `proper ' training.    My Westies top was out in full glory and being the best small to medium sized hill running club in the west end of Glasgow expected numerous shout outs from others.  They are obviously not well versed in Scottish hill running over here any no one battered an eye lid!   Enjoy your running over the new season. I'll be missing the hills! Westies in Japan

Posted by Russell Crane on Tue 18 Apr 2017 | 3 comments

Category Marathons

Donard Challenge - The Seven Stages of Grief

SHOCK & DENIAL
Flock sake this is harder than it should be, why the hell do I feel so drained already? Must just be a rough patch, lost a few places on that last climb but I'll make them up on the descent.

PAIN & GUILT
Why the hell did we go to the pub after the meal, I knew I needed an early night. And the last couple of weeks - that cold was just an excuse for being a wimp and not training.

ANGER AND BARGAINING
F**k sake they shouldn't be in front of me! What the f**k do they think they're doing! Right, come on, just need one good line and I can reel them back.

REFLECTION AND LONLINESS
What a disaster - to come all this way to mess up a British Champs race, absolutely pathetic. So many people passing, no-one says hello. (Though a few yell 'Come on Mercia!')

THE UPWARD TURN
At least Niall's not here to beat me.

RECONSTRUCTION AND WORKING THROUGH
Cracking day for it though - amazing cloud inversion across the Irish Sea the mist-shrouded crags of the nearby peaks are beautiful and the final mile through the forest trail is idyllic. And the Frank Sinatraimpersonator in the Italian place last night was pretty good. Let's just  jot this down as a training on a nice day.

ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE
OK, it's just a training run and that's fine. You can let people past on the single track, no need to ruin their race. Ignore the shouts from Sam & Gregor, overtaking a slower runner on the last 100M after you've given up on the race would just be puerile. Get in some decent miles before Stuc a Chroin and I'll be fine.

BastienAlistairGregor tailing Ben!European style JamesSam

Posted by James Callender on Sat 8 Apr 2017 | 3 comments

Category Hill Race

Westies Wander The 3 Lochs Way

On a stunning spring day a bunch of fine Westies, young and old, sauntered round the 33 miles of the 3 Lochs Way, from Inveruglas through Arrochar down to Helensburgh and up and over to Balloch. We had a great time, great company, ice creams, Irn Bru and beer at the end. We were honoured to have our great pal Cam Burt over from NZ to join us and George allowed us a wee peek into his Charles Rennie Mackintosh replica house " The Hill House" in Helensburgh. A fine example of why we are the "best small to medium sized running club in the West of Scotland. WESTIEEEEEEES.

12345678910111213Charlotte14151617joe and johndown to helensburghdown to helensburghover to helensburghgeorgeous georgegeorge's house 1george's house 2george's house 3ice cream and irn bru stop in helensburghice cream and irn bru stop in helensburgh 2maya sunbathing swiss-styleBen and Loch LomondBen and Loch Lomond 23 wise westiesthe end

Posted by John Donnelly on Mon 27 Mar 2017 | 1 comment

Category club runs

Criffel

Photo's from Criffel hill race... by James Callender

CriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffelCriffel

Posted by James Callender on Thu 23 Mar 2017 | 2 comments

Category races

Let Battle Commence

 

THE START OF THE 2017 SCOTTISH HILL CHAMPIONSHIP

I have checked it out and, at Ufford Park Health Spa (no, I have no idea where that is) you can have a half hour mud treatment for £29 all on your own! Why pay so much for so little when by entering Criffel Hill Race, for as little as £8, you can enjoy (in my case) 1hour 28 minutes of total emersion in black blog alongside 200 other head cases?!

read the rest of "Let Battle Commence"...

Posted by Christine Menhennet on Mon 20 Mar 2017 | 9 comments

Category races

International Affaires

Having disgraced myself in Scotland last year (think back to the DQ in The Highlander and getting lost and taking 3hrs in my own back garden in the navigation leg in the FRA relays) it was evident I was in no way fit or competent to hold let alone run with a map. Time to look to tamer racing environments where banner tape and gigantic fluorescent arrows painted on the floor are present every 200m mean that navigation really shouldn’t be too big an issue.

 

So with a get out of work free card until mid-March and Leyre on a work placement in Geneva with a free flat on the edge of the Jura mountains, I of course jumped on the opportunity to take up my new part-time role as cleaner/chauffeur/professional housewife whilst Leyre did hideous hours in the lab Monday-Friday. Whilst taking my professional duties very seriously, it did allow me ample time to profit from the unseasonably warm February weather and get in plenty of hill running and cross-country skiing.

 

To the racing- things are pretty sparse in the alps at this time of year with most complaining that it’s too cold and dangerous (ie hard) anywhere when there might be a possibility of encountering snow. However there are a few small regional races that attract the ‘hard-core’ of the alpine running scene. The first of these that we decided to attend was the Trail des Huilles in the small village of Bourget-en-Huille in the Massif de la Belledonne. We decided to prepare well for the race the night before and cut down the morning drive by staying with some old housemates in Chambery. Needless to say the electro festival in an abandoned industrial unit complete with oysters and hot tubs perhaps wasn’t the greatest idea as we stumbled back to the house at 3 in the morning. Feeling slightly worse for wear, the prompt 8am start was just lovely. Leyre deciding to get the pain over with shortly and sharply opting for the shorter parcours at 16km and I deciding on the slow and painful 30km option. Courses were to be commended, both picturesque and ‘technical’, I mean at one point there was actually snow and a little of this unknown medium known as ‘mud’. My personal highlight during the race coming with one Frenchman asking, whilst referring to my Westies vest, as to why on earth I was wearing a netball bib to run a trail race? I guess I didn’t really know my indeed I was wearing a netball bib to a race…

 

Finish line arrived and Leyre putting in a formidable early season performance was 4th woman. I on the other hand was nowhere to be seen on the race list. Dismayed not have been included in the final classification, I did surprisingly notice another Westie who neither Leyre or myself recognised on the list- a certain “Coddy Lunningham” was 35th of 170 overall in the long race.

 

So on to the next weekend then and this time we opted for the 26km Trail de Gros Foug, a race starting at sunset through some vineyards near Aix les Bains before reaching some arbitrary point about 70m below the summit of the hill “Le Gros Foug” at 1000m and before coming back down an old forest track. The race was made fairly interesting by the carrying of head torches and the UV painted arrows on the trail made navigation fairly simple (although I still managed to take two wrong turns on the descent). Apparently the year before the race had attracted nearly 200 but biblical rains and wind (think of an average evening on the Campsies) obviously left it to the real hard-core and we just over 80 at the starting line.

 

Couldn’t complain with results, especially seeing as there were two French gents with the medics at the end of the race with what looked like early onset Hypothermia and everyone was denouncing the horrendous conditions (again think Campsies in early April). 22nd for me and I think (if I’m not wrong?) first Westies win of the year with Leyre taking first female senior along with a bottle of local wine, 25€, flowers and most importantly a bloody good Tefal frying pan! Now you definitely don’t get that from Carnethy 5 do you?

 

I should finally report from the third race of the year just this weekend but alas it was not to be. Leyre being her typical Spanish self, “misread” the start time and when we turned up at 12 o’clock the winners had already arrived 45 minutes earlier and we were politely (and rather pitifully) informed that the race started at 9 o’clock. A coincidence, or did Leyre just fancy 3 hours more in her bed? I’ll let you all decide. Needless to say it was a glorious spring day of sun and 20 degrees and seeing as the course was still marked, we decided to go and run the 30km anyway.

Roddy

Leyre taking top step in the Alps

Posted by Roddy Cunningham on Sun 12 Mar 2017 | 8 comments

Category Hill Race

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