So the offer of a weekend up at Chez Gorman, with a tough wee hill race sandwiched in between the compulsory alcohol consumption, proved too tempting to resist especially given how much fun it was when last there a couple of years ago.

For those who haven’t done this race before, it’s part of the Newtonmore Highland Games, and is just over 3miles (I think). Manny is closely involved in the organisation and roared out a brief synopsis of the route to everyone beforehand.

Plenty of yellow shirts lined up at the start. We all galloped round the rugby pitch once, launched ourselves over a fence, across a lumpy thistley field, another couple of fences, waded through a freezing river, up an embankment, across a road, then squelched along a stretch of farm track before turning off onto the climb proper. By this point I was sounding like an old hoover so it was very much walk/jog to the steepest, rockiest part where it’s impossible to pass anyone anyway and is a bit of a scramble.

At the summit, round the cairn and then it’s a fast and, at times, scary descent (for me back the same route, hanging on to whatever is at hand to keep upright, but some serious nutters [Manny!] forge their own route down). Back through the river, Elsie and Pete(?) were sat there loudly and enthusiatically cheering us all on, which was great! Round the rugby field again to the finish where each competitor gets a wee minature of whisky. Not sure who the actual winner was. Think Manny came in 3rd or 4th overall, but certainly first local again so he gets to keep his trophy for another year!

I found it to be a very friendly event – the spectators happily cheering and clapping every bedraggled runner through at the end.

Thanks must go to Brenda and Manny for their excellent hospitality – BBQ, home brew, bed and breakfast. A great weekend!

Link to photos (hopefully) attached giving a flavour of the day…

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