Well what a fantastic day out and well organised race! The first thing to say is thanks to all those Westies marshalling at the parking, start and on the hill and making it possible for us to run. I tried to say hello to as many as possible, but you may have noticed I was struggling to breathe a little!
The race started at a fair lick (I was caught out at Dumyat on the Wed before, being held up at the back so I was determined not to make that mistake again). There was soon a regular stream of people passing me on the way up, but I tried to hold on to their tails and let them drag me up, not sure if it worked but at least I stayed far enough ahead to avoid my usual racing experience of being effortlessly passed by Don and Murdo on the way up! Once we were through the trees and onto the open hill I seemed to be in a Westies free zone with no-one else near me that I could see. The weather turned a bit nippy at the top, but luckily most of the snow had melted in Friday’s rain and the ground was just soft enough for some good running. Apologies to all if I did not stay to say hello at the top, I was freezing and keen to get going down.
The route change is a great improvement, with the climb up the path more pleasant and running down the steep slope great fun. I topped out in 79th place (I think) and had a great run on the way day passing 13 places without too hairy a run to finish in 66th place (well no fall this year anyway which is always an improvement!). At the end I just ran out of puff, I could see three runners a little way in front of me through the trees, but couldn’t get the legs to speed up to catch them. Finally a great hello from Drew and Margaret at the finish, was I relieved to see them, especially not having to sprint as there was no-one immediately behind me.
Thank you again to all those Westies who helped organise the day, what a fantastic running club! And well done to the 12 other Westies who ran on the day, especially to Alan, Chris and Ewan who appear to have had a great tussle up at the front.