This was the last race of Lochaber’s ‘Triple Hirple’. For you that don’t know including myself until I looked it up there, ‘Hirple’ is Scots for limp gait or to cramp up, all makes playful sense now.
All of the Westies that ran with me at the Half Ben Nevis race had deserted Fort William by 7 on Monday evening, though Brian and Brenda had made it along to give the Race some colour other than the dominant white and blue of Lochaber.
The Registration and Race start is on the main street just in front of Nevis sports, so it starts with a few hundred yards dash along the main street before turning left and up through the back streets of Fort William until you get onto a track that leads you up onto the hill.
The course is an out and back with a slight deviation off the top, the race is about half road/trail half grassy hill side. Usual race for me, climbed handy enough, tried to hold off Alan Smith on the descent, couple hundred yards of the only rocky technical section of the race and he was away.
I came in 11th in the end, Brian’s nemesis David Duncan was a fair bit ahead of him, which maybe led to David’s doubled up celebratory hands aloft wave at the finish.
As with the other 2 ‘Triple Hirple’ races Finlay Wild won it by a fair margin with Colin Donnelly coming in 2nd on this occasion. Also in the woman’s, Diane Baum comfortably won the race which followed on from her 2 other wins over the weekend, this is to add to her Ben Lomond success earlier in the year. Though Ros can rest easy that her Cow Hill course record remains intact for another year.
So for Finlay and Alan it’s a trip down to Snowdon this weekend. Looks like Scotland have a strong team which includes 2 past winners. Also, who would bet against Finlay and Diane repeating their weekend successes at the full Ben Race come September?