Can’t really follow Manny’s epic report or experience but thought it was better to report even if it seems so tame by comparison! Well done you chaps and all the other brave Westies who took part in the SIPR ‘adventure.’

I’m slowly getting back into some fitness after a long lay off and the fantastic Ben Lomond race reminded me of how tough this crazy sport is, however, I got an entry to Goatfell this year and was determined to do it.

Off the Westies all set with the weather looking positivley dreadful for the period of the race, oh well we thought, it might be wrong, usually is…….Thank you to Captain John for his optimistic outlook enroute.

We all met up on a slightly wobbly boat crossing with a fair number of nervous looking runners from all over, great atmosphere, good chat, mostly about the weather……

I know this was Sharon’s big target race and she seemed pretty chilled under Pat and Helen’s expert coaching pre race. I’ll let her report how it was for her but she did really well and was the happiest, most smiley hill runner I have ever seen all the way!

Pre race was all good, and such a lovely set up and great organisation inspite of not being able to see any hills around us let alone GF. Heavy rain and clouds touching the ground made for a surreal start up a path to nowhere.

I got some good advice from Helen and Davie D and kept my own pace uphill, I was quite happy and did not lose to much ground on the way, until the big boulder summit scramble, which was so tough and made even more so with the weather closing in as we crept uphill. Winds blowing me over, horizontal hail stones and freezing rain needles made it impossible to see and with people going up and coming down at the same time it was totally bonkers. Slightly scary too. It was as bad as I would ever want it to be up a hill. Strangely it seeemd like I was totally alone up there, couldn’t see a soul as we all picked different routes and hid behind boulders for seconds for some respite.

I was very very happy to reach the summit and had blanked out of my brain how the hell I was going to get down. I had rining in my ears ‘just take it really easy, do not force your pace on the boulders, get over that safely and then go for it.’

That’s what I did, so slow up top but it was so tough to see and stay upright. The upside was the ‘path’ then looked positively easy and I went for it (as much as I ever can) on the descent run, catching and passing 4 places on the hill and another 2 on the road, happy with that and happy with my time of 2 hours 16 mins given my poor training and the challenges on the day.

It is one tough hill to run on, totally in awe of the winners, the fast runners and the winning Westies, who all did brilliantly. It was a great day oot and I can only imagine what torture this run was for the SIPR runners.

Well done Sharon and all the other Westies on the day, better weather next time I hope, would quite like to see Goatfell whilst on it…..



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