The third race in the SHR championship was blessed with rather good weather for the majority of the race, in comparison with the events at Stuc a Chroin anyway. It did rain. It was windy. But nobody really complained a great deal since it was quite pleasant when the race started.
12 Westies made the trip from Ardrossan and assembled at the playing field ready to tackle the road, the trail, the small rocks, and then, finally, the huge boulders that forced you to scramble up to the summit in dramatic style.
Finlay Wild won the race with a very impressive time of 1:15:56 and Iain Stewart laid down the gaunlets for the rest of us Westies, finishing in 1:26:46.
Owen and myself battled to be the second placed Westie, and both seemed to adjust our pace slightly differently depending on what the surface was like at the time.
I built up a short lead on the first road section, but Owen quickly cut this down on the trail, and as soon as we hit the small rocks, he overtook. It wasn’t until the later stages of the climb that i realised the time was right to make my move, when I suddenly remembered how quick Owen was running down Ben Lomond.
The plan worked pretty well, and I reached the summit ahead of him by about 10-15 seconds. I didn’t look back on the way down, and was pleased to find that I didn’t have to race Owen on the final road section back to the finish. This was a relief, because, as those of you who have ran this race will know, the final 2 miles is kinda painful and it seems to go on a little longer than you’d like.
I think the story might have been a little different if Owen hadn’t temporarily lost his shoe between two boulders, or if there wasn’t quite so much road to run along at the start and finish.
Very enjoyable race, with very decent selection of home baking and fresh sandwiches at the finish. Well done to everyone who participated.