Photo set 1 (

Photo Set 2 (Flickr)

Please note, if you are anyway implicated in this wee piece – it’s in jest and we all had a ball so please don’t take it seriously!

Westies’ Ladies enjoyed a prizeless  – sorry –  priceless day oot at the Devilish Burdens but I should have known that things were not going to run smoothly, when the night before, I burned my promised flapjacks to a cinder – that was the sign! 

The champagne air and bright sunshine belied tricky conditions under foot; whilst Pat waxed lyrical about a ‘dusting of snow’ on the hills, I think Sharon’s description was more accurate   ’ Not a dusting but a friggin’ hard crust!’  Now, you all know the, ‘How many men does it take–? ‘jokes, well, how many women does it take to be in a Devilish Burdens Team  we were forced to ask  ourselves – – no, not  five may we remind some of you, but six!!  How many emails does it take to clarify the start times – clearly more than the 67 sent out by patient Captainess Paula.

Paula also captained our crack A team and I can only think that their Leg 1 runner, Jodi, wanted to ensure that this talented sixsome weren’t lulled into a false sense of security by their own ability and therefore decided to add a frisson of excitement by delaying the start time in her head to 10.30 whilst omitting to tell her fellow team mates! 

Meantime, buoyed by a classy Leg 1 run from the ever classy Muffy, a poised and quietly confidant Helen and Jo began their competent assault of a frosty Leg 2. Round at Kinnesswood faffing and photos complete, Gaynor and I gazed despairingly at the steepness ahead, willing the pain to be over when, wafting in on the icey breeze, came rumours of Team A’s ‘delayed connection’!  Well, dear  reader, competitive juices hitherto dessicated by age ( yet another menopausal side effect!) were aroused and Gaynor and I allowed ourselves to think that just maybe, we might get at least to the reservoir before Team A would come sprinting past, hurling cheery insults! Thus driven, we battled hard across the frozen landscape, remaining for the most part upright as others clattered to the iron hard ground in our uncaring wake. The new Leg 3 route is a tough one if you prefer climbing, as opposed to actually running, but nonetheless we loved it – the glorious weather, the stunning views, the heavy panting and above all, our moment of arrival, knowing that we’d put in a bloody good effort but – – oh no, oh no, inspired by Jodi, Leanne ( we love and need you Leanne it’s all OK!) had opted for a relaxed approach to Leg 4 only appearing several worrying minutes after our triumphant completion of Leg 3! Panic plans included either Gaynor or me running on, coiled spring Corrine (Team A Leg 4 runner) running the leg for Team B (a waste of talent, so quickly dismissed) or pushing a random stranger in the general direction and shouting go, go, go! As it was, Leanne finally appeared as if by magic and Team B’s Leg 4 was underway. Actually, not wanting to cast nasturtiums, but I really do blame Team A for this debacle! I was advised by someone of a devilishly tactical mind, that Leg 3 would take them 1.15mins and therefore take us older ladies 1hr 25 mins – the ETA was given to Leanne accordingly. In the event – we were something under 70 minutes and Team A under the hour so the responsibility for that particular ‘missed connection’ has to be shared. Corrine meanwhile when asked about her run said ‘I ran fast but I ran sheet (French for shite!)’ meaning that she also, had had serious connection problems finding the orienteering markers!

So, what of our noble Team C? Well they comported themselves with great dignity and decorum as you would expect when captained by Lady Sharon!  Whilst wee Maisy kept their Leg 2 runners entertained, Brenda ran a sporty first leg to be followed on Leg 2 by Sharon supported with Lizzy’s gallant orienteering. A special mention has to be made of Team C’s Leg 3 runners comprising super veteran Pat, still out there doing her stuff whilst mentoring a bold young Fiona MacPherson.  Fiona had stepped in at the last minute on Friday to fill a team gap, although she said, very much misled by her mum’s description of the gradient!  She did really great and we very much hope to see her back with us again soon. Team C however, also managed to keep the’ troubled connections’ theme going – their dignified pace meant that a slightly shivery Clare, was allowed by the marshals, to set off on Leg 4 before Leg 3 was quite completed ( let’s call that one a ‘jumped connection’ ) and  everyone finished safe and sound.

That evening, a bunch of relieved and replenished Devils plus their groupies, landed up-town in the Old Fruit Market, courtesy of big Dave’s aspiration to instil some culture. Here, we transformed into whirling dervishes  dancing to the frenetic and fiery music of Taraf de Haidouks.


Many thanks to the club captains, the drivers, the race organisers, soup chefs and big Dave for what was, all in all, a Devilishly brilliant day!

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