“Mountain rescue have just radioed to say it’s too windy to stand on the top of South Black Hill so…. Good Luck” BANG!!!!

And we’re off running the 49th Carnethy 5. It was the usual panicked sprint across the tussocks, all plans of clever lines through the gorse out the window in the first 15 s as I fight for position in the stampede. Onto the narrow track, regrets of not starting faster as this feels slow, but overtaking is almost impossible through the heather. Up Scald law, attempt a few overtakes, spot Hamish Battle up ahead, I can catch him, will today be the day I finally beat him. The wind hits me for the first time, where I should be flying downhill it’s a struggle to move. Onto the Kips, are they bigger this year? I’m walking where I would normally run. Eoin Lennon gives a shout of encouragement before I dive off the side of West Kip. No snow this year! I descend well and reach The Howe, my legs are shot from battling the wind. However, I now climb with the wind at my back and everything feels… OK. Turning into the wind at the top is the final challenge. Just keep myself upright and I should be under the hour. At the gate, where did John Connaghan come from? I give everything in the sprint and get in just in front. The season has begun!

Fantastic photos from Tom Finch

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