12 Westies teams were running at the Devils Burdens this year. YES 12… 70 Westies at one race! Mostly due to Jenn’s diplomatic, negotiating, logistics and administration skills there were no on the day disasters and all 12 teams finished strongly. Particular thanks go to Harper and Ian who both ran twice to ensure that all teams had their full complement of 6 runners. I have put together the following review of the day based solely on the results (So please comment with your own race reports from the day). The highlight of the day was, of course, the women’s victory.
Brian Bonnyman found himself in the unusual position of starting in the early start. His quality shone through with him finishing in 2nd in a time of 26:21 (12th fasted time of the day). Gwyn running in the late start was the fastest Westie of the day running a time of 24:48. Gwyn was clearly disappointed with this time but considering he is just returning from a niggling injury most of us think he was seriously rapid. Sharon, Julia, Victoria, Kirsty and Harper all had a good runs for their respected teams, making sure that they were well up the field after the first leg. Alex Osbourne was a bit of a surprise, running a great time of 28:10 and setting the mixed team off to a great start. James (have I mentioned I’m training for a marathon) Callender jogged round, luckily the rest of his team were able to pick up the pace. David Dickson was fastest over 60, running a time most 20 year olds would be proud of (31:44). Megan set the women’s team off to a great start with the 8th fastest female on leg 1. Finally, Chris Upson absolutely smashed leg one for the V50 team running a time of 27 minutes flat, nearly 2 minutes faster than the next V50.
Leg two was the leg I was running and I was happy that myself and Harrison only had very minor navigation hesitations in the thick fog to finish 7th fastest on the leg and make up a bunch of the places that James (have I mentioned I’m training for a marathon) Callender had lost. Harper, running his 2nd leg of the day ran with Peter McNab and after struggling running back up the muddy field soon found his stride and ran a solid time of (1hr44). Ella and Ruth pushed very hard on leg 2, running a time of 1hr24 (2nd fastest women’s time of the day), taking them up to 2nd in the women’s standings. Kevin and Andrew was a good paring running a time of 1hr44. Outi and Katie also formed a good partnership (both being strong navigators and excellent descenders) running a time of 1hr41. Ally and Chris put the early disappointment of having Harrison and I cruse past them going up West Lomond to one side and ran a good time of 1hr18. Tom and Paul were motivated to catch Tom’s wife who had started a few minutes ahead of them and they ran a good time of 1hr22. JD and Dave Rodgers chatted their way round in a time of 1hr35. Scott and Ian were another strong pairing running a time of 1hr36. Gordon and Don ran the fastest V60 time of the day (1hr27) holding onto the V60 lead. Dave Riach and Damien Theaker ran the 2nd fastest V50 time of the day in 1hr21. Finally Iain and Sam pushed the pace and took the men’s team up to 2nd position running the incredible time of 1hr02.
Gregor and Tom ran a solid leg 3, finishing in a time of 52 minutes. However, they lost one place to Carnety and consequentially Tom gave me the quote of the day, “why did it have to be Liam Braby who over took me?” Will and Rob ran very well together running the 14th fastest time on the leg and taking the B team up to 13th overall. John H and Keith, Claire and Michelle, Lucy and Shona, Gordon and Alan and Brenda and Rhona all seem to have enjoyed their runs and put in good times. Jenn after having to deal with the stress of the day ran leg 3 with Audrey. They formed a good partnership running the leg in 1hr17. Ian and Chris ran for the V50 team, running the 2nd fastest V50 time of the day and cementing the team’s position in 2nd overall. For the V60 Brian and Murdo were 3rd fastest V60, dropping a place to an adhoc team of 60+ year old fifers. Mairi and Lucinda both pushing for a place on the women’s A team ran a great leg for the mixed team finishing in a time seconds slower than the women’s A team (1:08:05). I think this was the 5th fastest female time of the day. Finally, Cat and Ellie ran a solid leg, taking care to get the nav right and ran the 4th fastest female time of the day (1:07:55), overhauling a very strong HBT team to take the women’s team into a demanding lead.
Ian Thurlbeck ran for the V50 team on his 2nd leg of the day. He said the climb out of Maspie Den was a struggle but he still put in a solid run and held onto his teams 2nd place. The Carnethy V50 super team has finally been beaten; it was just a pity that Penicuik had a very strong team out on the day and took the V50 prize. Paul Strachan ran for the V60 team but had no chance of catching the lightning fast Lyle Allen from the adhoc team. Rob McQuater ran for the V40 team and showed that his winter training must be going well. Rob Hamlin spent the entire run looking over his shoulder instead of trying to catch Shettleston but held onto a fine 3rd place for the men’s team. Sarah Adams after not recognising a rain soaked Ellie relished in leading the women team home in 1st place. She ran the 2nd fastest time of the day for a women’s team. Audrey, Tom, Chris, Beth and Klass all ran good legs to ensure their teams finished strongly. Alistair despite losing his glasses ran well and held onto a top 20 for the men’s B team. Finally Saki (who is the only Westie so far to have gotten a mention in the tartan running shorts podcast) ran a superb time to take her mixed team home in 2nd position.
Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anyone
Photos are available here curtesy of Pete Bracegirdle