Man or machine? Well we all know the answer to that one – there is no doubt that Christine’s car was defeated at the Kilpatricks hill race, but with the cloud of midges I almost didn’t make it around either. Thank you to Christine Menhennet for another superbly organised Kilpatricks race. The little midges took their time arriving at the start, but once they realised there was a group of underdressed adults out on a cloudy and damp evening they relished their opportunity.
The early road stretch at Kilpatricks always catches me out by long it goes on for, and how steep it seems, why then when you are finishing on the same stretch of road does it never feel like down hill? I had my handy pace man of Don Reid up ahead, but there was no way I could keep up on the ascent up the first hill and he slowly edged ahead. Eventually I counted 11 runnners between us as we headed past Arrochar Mountain rescue Landrover (thanks guys!). The midges were swarming around then and for a while I lost sight of Don and Val Houston’s yellow Westies vests in front as I was treated to a number of midges in my eyes and could see very little beyond the path ahead.
The flat stretch leading up to the second reservoir was good running and I slowly managed to catch up with Don ahead, but Val was well clear. Then over the dam wall past the assorted rubbish and clothing of the youth of Glasgow and the final hill was ahead. I went for the tactic of running just a bit further on each runnable stretch than the runner in front and slowly passed people on the hill. By the top I was nicely poised right behind Don to pass him on the downhill. And then he vanished, yup clean disappeared, I eventually caught sight of him halfway down the hill he had scarpered down that quickly, and I though that I was a mad descender… I managed to struggle on to the finish and rounded the day off with a PB of around a minute over last year.
Well done to all the Westies who took part, mostly in front of me it would seem! And a particular thank you to all those Westies who helped on the hill and I hope you have recovered from your Midge baptism! And especially to Christine and that poor car…

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