First race of the Westies Summer league was on saturday up at Clachnaben and only two Westies took part, both BBs but one enhanced the reputation of our fine club while the other, myself, managed to complete the race. I can only assume that the rest of the club were either cycling all over the shop or were sitting in a warm place totally absorbed in Manny’s excellent book.

The race was held in perfect weather, hardly a cloud in the sky and although a wee bit warm in the woods there was a brisk and cooling breeze on the hill itself. Robbie Simpson was running so nobody else in the field really expected to see him after the first 20 minutes or so. The new route which was created in 2012 is excellent with really only the last 2 kms or so on forest track to quibble about. Managed to get around relatively easily which was surprising as I’d been away all week Corbett-bashing up near Ullapool so had a lot of climb in my legs. Tucked in behind my ‘usual suspects’ and got up the hills OK then down the long eroded gully back to the track still in good shape but the wheels came off in the long run in and it was only the cries of encouragement from Mr Bonnyman with 400m to go which perked me up and got me over the line.

Brian was slightly evasive in how he’d done saying he reckoned he’d been in the top 10 …….the prizegiving revealed he was actually 3rd overall and first V40 …….an excellent run……the man is just way too modest. Robbie was 5 mins ahead of anybody else, around his own time in the SHR championship race of 2012, but still well behind Joe Symonds record. First lady was Rachel Armitage and her mum was 1st F50, Alan Smith was 1st M50, Tom Bowie 1st M60, Charlie Love 1st M70, Kate Jenkins was 1st F40. Male team prize went to Deeside and Ladies Team winners were Cosmics.

The after race food, tea, coffee, and beer were fantastic and the organisation could not be faulted, you missed a helluva good race on Saturday which I recommend wholeheartedly. Brian Bonnyman moves to the lead in the Summer League but don’t worry folks as he doesn’t usually do more than a couple of them so its still all to play for. Brian’s book on the Scottish Enlightenment is due out some time around July-ish I think, its unlikely to be as amusing as Manny’s and will certainly contain less whining or swearie-words but its good to know that the list of Westies authors continues to grow.

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