If quality of route and organisation decided what races were super busy then parking in Kingussie last Sunday would have been at a premium. Can only assume the inaugural Beinn Resipol hill race had drawn the big crowds the day before. Drove north Saturday afternoon and enjoyed a bite to eat with Brenda (Manny was down at Scafell) before Maisy led the dancing until Daddy arrived home and the whisky came out (ideal race preparation).

Sunday morning was a little hazy before a bit of breakfast and a ramble down to the park – a select bunch of Highland Hill Runners, Trotters and like minded folks lined up at the bottom of the ridiculously steep starting slope. I’d managed to convince the fair Katie that hill running is a welcome partner to her more usual ultra events. Did briefly consider winding Mr Gorman up about how many aid stations there was, were drop bags allowed, was chip timing included and was live race tracking available on the internet ….but also knew what the likely response would be.

That last dram the night before might have been one dram too many as the legs and guts complained about being made to go uphill but once on the traverse things settled and it was beautiful to enjoy the run through the woods. Thankfully looking around I picked up the crucial right turn just after the bridge which leads onto the main climb. Despite being well marked, some folks (whose dignity will remain nameless) missed the turn and enjoyed some extra out and back trail time before realising.

The climb up to the summit gave fantastic views in pretty much all directions and nice touch was seeing John O’Neil taking photos at the top. Trotting along the ridge I heard some panting right behind me – turned out of shock since I was confident that I had opened up a gap with the next runner on the climb I laughed to see a manic black hound, tongue behind it’s ear who had clearly thought it was a game and joined in.

Had a ball on the descent for the first time since breaking my ankle back in February and actually held onto my position for once (helped by a few of the runners wrong routing as mentioned above). Back through the woods and one last stumble back down the steep banking to finish.

Shout of thanks to Manny and Brenda for hospitality and race organising. Certainly a great wee race that deserves a big support !

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