Having completed precisely 1-mile of training in the past 2 weeks, and crocked my back carrying the baby buggy, I lined up in front of the Burrell with lower back in spasm and feeling quite weary from the aftermath of gastroenteritis.

I was surprised to see British Fell Running Champ Joe Symonds on the startline, sporting his boggin’ brown HBT vest, and had a brief chat before the run was underway.

I started much more slowly than normal, partly because I couldn’t run properly with my lower back locked. Once the road levelled out by the carved woodpecker, I passed George Taylor to move into 4th place, with Joe Symonds rapidly disappearing from view. 

I got a shout from Jethro at the first junction, and then aimed at closing down Michael Sweeney on the first little uphill section. I caught Michael just as the path levels off again, and then starting trying to close down Stuart MacDougall. I appeared to be catching Stuart for a brief while, but then the gap never came down, so I just kept a constant gap and finished 8 seconds adrift in a fairly average 17:25.

Joe Symonds was a full 2 minutes ahead with 15:27 for the 7th fastest time ever on the course.

Well done to all the Westies running, and many thanks to Emma for looking after Benjamin!

Summary of Westie results:
3. Chris Upson, 17:25
4. Michael Sweeney, 17:36
6. Gregor Stewart, 17:36
27. Graham Kelly, 19:19
53. John Quinn, 20:52
54. Hamilton Semple, 20:52
94. Elizabeth Adams, 22:32
117. Gaynor Gillespie, 23:15
179. Ian Struthers, 25:37

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