Ben Rinnes – we meet again! It’s been three years since I last ran this race. It was a hot day then, as I recall. The race is part of the Dufftown Highland Games, which always makes for a fun day out. Three Westies entered the hill race this time around – George, James and myself. I kept pace with George up the outward leg, both of us struggling in the heat. As we neared summit of Ben Rinnes we looked up to see James take a tumble on his way down. Nothing but rock to break his fall, but he sprang up quickly enough and carried on. Tough lad. After rounding the top together, I built a small lead over George on the descent. Reached the water station by the road, and there was James – a bit more damaged than he first thought. Some nasty scratches along his shoulder and thigh, and sensibly he decided to withdraw. I can’t blame him! The heat felt even more intense on the return route, with what little breeze there was stiffled by the hillside. I had dropped two places by the last summit, but I comfortably picked them both up again on the final descent. Thankfully the field was clear of pipe bands by the time I hit the games field. Not my best time, but neither was it my worst. I downed a couple of cups of water brought by James, but by then I could do little more than lie on the field to recover. George arrived shortly after, looking a little less shattered than I felt. After a hot shower, glass of beer, and venison burger and chips, I spent the remainder of the afternoon watching the heavies, tossers and dancers. Highly recommended!

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