Dufftown had not escaped the recent heatwave, every step on the race was hampered by the weight of the sun. Imagine, you’ve just finished your first big hill race, it’s been a tough day, you’re exhausted and then some skinny guy called Sam approaches you in the shower asking for assistance with a full-body tick-check. It was tapps ‘aff from beginning to end. This hurts but I’m gaining time on the others.
Free whisky, shade and a gentle breeze sneaking up my top brought some relief. The night in the Harry Potter room at Casa Callender with incessant rain made me hopeful for the upcoming race, unfortunately we woke to a heatwave…At the water station I drank three cups of juice and poured three cups of water over my head, soaking several marshals in the progress. Ben Rinnes was the most painful descent this year to date and almost brought out the tears.
The Ben Rinnes climb proper was an absolute ballache! At least they got a lot of belly-rubs & attention. The race started quite measured, with a social jog up to the golf course but I was quickly losing water an alarming rate. Jill Stephen was first lady and arrived full slobber having truly exerted herself.
I felt most sorry for the many many dogs. Start with a lap of the field and the heat is already oppressive, how am I going to run 22km? The SNP could be using this to genuinely fund their party in Holyrood. A 12-year old girl in a sack burned me off in the last 20ft.
Finish, tapps ‘aff, hide in the shade under a table. A glorious breeze snaps me back to life. I was a few drinks in by the time the final runners came in to do a lap of the field – opposite the massed pipe bands! I’m climbing well and picking off people who have started too fast.
*Inspired by Aaron’s non-linear An Teallach report. Several people wrote mini-reports. The paper they wrote on was cut up and their sentences re-assembled randomly.