An Teallach race was over a week and a half ago so apologies for not posting this earlier.
Ray Wilby organised this new race up one of our more iconic hills. To be honest it had been a few years since I last climbed An Teallach and I had grave reservations about how this race might turn out. Ray made it clear at the start that although there is an obvious path any route could be taken as long as you went round the OS pillar on the top and then got back to the finish. So far so good …..then Jonathan Weir and I concocted a cunning plan ….only a few seconds before the start……having overhead that the best route was not the path but actually up a steep gully at right angles to it …..what? …..3-2-1-go…..off went a local runner, followed by Jonathan and myself…….the rest of the field followed the path …..Oh no the guy we’re following is the seriously quick Dave Wilby ……ach well at least he knows where he is going. The gully was challenging to say the least but after about 10mins we got a view to our left and could see the main bunch on the path ….and hey things looked good as I seemed to be further up the field than usual……so persevere …..head down…..Dave Wilby was long gone, way ahead…..another 10/15 minutes and we came to the top of the gully…..Jonathan was about 100m or so ahead of me …….we looked down into a stream valley and could see the other competitors …….every single one of them ……ahead of us …..hubris …..aaaaargh…rather than a shortcut we had managed to take a route which put us almost at the back of the field. I could see Davie Duncan …..or rather his yellow shorts as he was so far away……about half a mile ahead and I still had to drop down to the path …….. It was such a disaster it could only be laughed at …..in actual fact it really helped…..I was now so far back that any angst I had regarding my position was completely gone. Good news was that the route from then on was really easy to follow and had no difficulties, even the last few hundred feet on loose boulders to the summit was easy enough. Chased after a few back markers and caught them on the way down …..most of which was fast…..apart from the bottom thousand feet or so which was seriously muddy with wee cliffs and had to be treated with respect. Came in just over a minute behind Jonathan and DD and discovered that our Owen O’Neill had done Westies proud by coming in 4th, hanging on to his position by a whisker in a sprint finish. The race was won by Ian Gilmore with Dave Wilby 2nd and Alan Smith 3rd. The after-race food and tea/coffee in the Mountain Rescue centre was exceptionally good and the prize-giving seemed to dish out almost as many prizes as there were runners. Great new race.