This was the first highland games race i have done in ages, and what a cracking little race BB the elder has got going here. Short, steep, a nice little trail to follow and no nasty long run to get to the hill – blimey, you don’t even need to run round the field!
Highland games hill races are funny. You are never sure whether the crowds are looking at you when you are warming up because they admire your fitness and finely honed svelt body or alternatively, think you are one firework short of a full box, wanting to run up a hill in a pair of flimsy pumps on a hot humid afternoon. Its probably a combination of both i suspect!
Anyway, back to the race. It was the usual mix of seasoned hill runners sneaking a day of work, and holiday makers in flat running shoes coaxed into trying a hill race by their friends and family. On form Colin Donnelly had turned up, fresh from his victory at Newtonmore, so my money was on him for the win. I also spied Steve Fallon, Gary Fraser, John Stevenson, Davy Duncan, Craig Love & Ian Campbell and son + a few other fast guys, so guessed i would be struggling to get into the top 10. However, i did appear to be the only westie there so that meant some westie points. A quick briefing and we were on our way. Tried to take it easy at the beginning, so left the field in about 20ish position and worked steadily at passing people. I could see Colin Donnelly doing his usual ghost runner start and just picking the good guys off as he made steady progress. By the time i got to about half way up, i could see him going into the lead. John Stevenson was about 100m in front of me, so reckoned that this was about as far up the field as i could get. However, there was a young guy, who turned out to be an English tourist trying his first hill race, about half way between us. I could see that he was wearing road shoes so reckoned that i could get him on the descent which turned out to be the case.
The descent was steep but great fun. All the guys in front were long gone, but i managed to keep a fast descending runner behind, at bay to come in 9th in a time of 27.20. Don’t know what time Mr Donnelly ran but he was already going back up the hill as i was descending so it must have been bloody quick. I am sure Brian will post the results soon.
This is a cracking little race and well worth a days annual leave. Westies take note for next year.!!