A chilly day in the Pentlands on Saturday. Kit requirements turned up to 11 (long-sleeve tops and long-sleeve leggings) – a good call. Carnethy 5. Five hills. Zero visible from the start. The long wait for the last bus saw 500 or so runners on the start line huddled like penguins against the wind. I darted out to for a jog to stay loose – a mistake which saw me soon scurrying back to the colony for warmth.

For all the grim weather warnings once we got going it was no trouble. With visibility down to about 15ft in places, disorientation was the main problem; I spent the whole races chasing whisps of shadow as runners were eerily swallowed and spat-out from the white. The cold was exhilarating and the snow movement good fun; a particular moment of pleasure was overtaking a couple of runners while sliding down West Kip on my arse. The marshals definitely had it harder than the rest of us – hats off to all of them.

My own performance was lacklustre, couldn’t seem to move up a gear at any point. By the end I was pretty fed-up with the whole thing and allowed myself a five-minute sulk after crossing the finish line. Once I’d got self-pity out the way it was easy enough to head back to the school for hot food, chat and retrospective pleasure at a good session on the hills.

 

Lots of Westies on the course as runners and marshals – it was difficult to tell who was who with everyone wrapped up head to toe. Well done to all!

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