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"You have to be in it to win it"; I was and I did.

My first race since Conic Hill, a bout of serious lurgy and a very sore back… A frantic start up the 2 miles of landrover track saw me sitting 5th, 2 minutes behind a flying Dave Wilby by the time I reached the hill proper.However once on the rough stuff I quickly nipped into 2nd and closed Dave down to just a minute, with the same again back to 3rd now being fought out by Alan Smith and Ross Bannerman.

Knowing Dave was much quicker than me on the flat I thought I would have to make do with 2nd, but after the 2nd wee top he disappeared from my vision and I took my own line off the broad heathery ridge down to the moor. Unfortunately my line was absolute guff! I had cut down way too early into the giant bog before realising my mistake and flogging to death to get back onto the track at the deer fence.

Thinking I had maybe dropped 3 or 4 places, I was surprised to see Alan appearing from behind a knoll on the right line, and only 20 seconds behind! Through the fence and gutted myself to pick up the pace I hit a marshal at the gate onto the final mile of road…"How many are in front?" I shouted – puzzled look – "none – you’re first!" Bloody hell! Smithy was still close behind me and he could smell blood, but I wasn’t done yet, so I lifted the pace and just kept increasing it, all the time not knowing where Dave was – in front by a different line, or closing fast behind me??

Don’t look back, just keep pushing harder and harder…the line, no sign of him there, he must be behind, just keep pushing, aaargh!! Cross the line, collapse in a slevering heap at the side of the road, Maisy approaches and applies CPR. I’d won it for the 4th time, 5 years since my last one! Alan trotted in 2nd now a minute behind, with Ross and Dave comfortably behind him. Dave had managed to take an even worse line than me off the hill.

Strange I’ve done it 3 times before and it looked unfamiliar, but Dave had won it just last year and still got it wrong! Brenda on the other hand didn’t put a foot wrong on the route, but the joy of temporary award of 3rd senior lady prize was shattered when she discovered it was incorrect and it went to Cathy Hirst of Deeside instead 🙁

A great wee race, with lots of sannies and cakes after, all in a fabulous location in which we made the weekend of it up north.

Thank God there weren’t enough Westies to make up a winning team – the prize was a case each of Tennent’s Lager!

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