I had three goals at Ben Rinnes this year:
- START THE RACE – After sustaining a back injury on the dancefloor at my brother’s wedding the weekend before (well someone had to get the boy up on their shoulders), I was struggling to put on shoes and the thought of completing a Long Classic seemed far-fetched. Lots of yoga, plenty of sleep and some easy hill reps throughout the week seemed to do the trick and come Saturday I was lacing up in sunny Dufftown.
- FINISH THE RACE – Whatever virus did for me at Jura was still hanging around and I’d not felt myself since mid-May. (Was it covid again? Does covid just never go away?) This was not a day for a PB or any heroics; like the games announcer noted before the start today was about STRATEGY and my STRATEGY was to start steady, stay steady, never mind anyone else around me and hopefully finish steady.
- BEAT ALWYN – He’s been beset by injuries this year and not on best form either, we were side-by-side for the first mile so I wondered if he’d make a good marker. I pulled away on the golf course and didn’t see him again until after I’d turned around at the top of Ben Rinnes; he gave me a snidey wee grin, jabbed his finger in my direction and said “I’m coming for you”. My internal reaction was “Well good luck d*ckhead” and the thought of Alwyn passing me kept my legs moving on the tough uneven descent, remaining two hills and the final grind down to the games field.
There was some great efforts from the Westies contingent – particular shout-out to Ella P who ran a blinder and finished 3rd woman. She then went on to pick up some extra cash in the track races and Gemma astounded us all by elegantly winning the high-jump competition. A great day out, well-done to Jill Stephen for her first time organising of this superb race.