It might not be the roughest counter in the Bog n Burn series (that’s got to be Ben Sheann), but Cort-Ma-Law is quite possibly the toughest. Definitely the longest and the course, even following the Indian-summer month we’ve been having, manages to pack in a lot of bog, tussock and steepness. It was a beautiful summer’s evening and I was looking forward to it.

Joe Symonds shot off at a ridiculous pace, closely followed by Gregor. Once the first group had spread out I settled in to 6th place, edging just on the other side of caution and pushing hard on the ascent.

Chris Grant-Pantry was running with me by the top of Cort-Ma-Law and we stayed with each other on the run across the plateau, during which I managed to find every bog there was. Joe had taken the lead by that point and I wasn’t sure if Gregor would catch him. I was just ahead of Chris at Leckett and, turning the corner, saw that Gwyn wasn’t far behind, no time to relax. On the slope from Leckett Chris tried to overtake me but each time I put in enough of a spurt to hold him off; proper racing! I went over a tussock and fell flat on my face just before the burn, allowing Chris to get ahead.

After crossing the burn there’s a steep climb back to the ridge line & the final descent; from previous experience I knew Chris could beat me on the down so I nipped past quickly and put some distance between us on the climb. This worked well enough, but he still caught me c400m from the end after Sam (!) directed him to a slightly faster line down one of the gullies. We had a sprint finish to the end but he managed to just pip me. Racing, not running, from start to finish, no wonder I collapsed in a heap after crossing the line.

It was a nice night to hang out and watch all the racers come in, with all the spectators doing their own variation on the anti-midge shuffle.

Westies had a double win with Gregor & Louise as first man and first lady respectively, Ruth was second lady and Gordon continues to reign supreme amongst the V60s.

Thanks to Dave for his slick operation and the excellent marshalling from the Westies on the hill.

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