SUNDAY 16 AUGUST 2009 – 18km 1130metres
Well, I’m sure plenty of people around me were racing, but I was plodding along on legs that had turned to mush, lead mush to be specific. At least the weather was fine and the views over Fife lovely, which distracted me a little from the effort to merely keep going and not drop out. It all started so well, with a good power walk up West Lomond, just edging ahead of Ellie and feeling not too bad. On the sloping traverse into the forest I started to slow and Ellie sped off, and when we reached the runnable forest tracks I was a goner with the race only started. I could tell straight away that this was just going to be one of those days, so settled for just trying to make the most of what little energy I had. I waved runners past on the narrow trod up to the monument and Davy Duncan came past also, but I hung on to him for a while till East Lomond. A cuddle from Brenda at least lightened the mood here. He got away from me on the long run back, as I grimly tried to not lose too much distance. At the next checkpoint on the Maidens fort he didn’t seem too far ahead, nor did Tom Bowie and Jocelyn Scott of Fife AC, but in the heathery plod off here I almost seized up and they disappeared.
The run to the 2nd ascent of West Lomond was into a fierce headwind, which slowed me to a crawl, and I was dreading the short but steep climb to its last checkpoint. John Telfer and a few others caught me up here, and this seemed to energise me a bit as I pulled away from these chasers to the top. All was downhill now, which was great, though the infamous bum-slide still had to be negotiated. I only gathered up a few kilos of undergrowth up my shorts, and fortunately no thistles or rocks. This mad descent is captured somewhere on YouTube, and some crazy Swedish runners had found this and had come all the way over on Easy Jet especially for this race, attracted by the madness of it. I finished in 2h 15m, well down on the last 2 years’ times, but quite pleased that I had actually got round at all – definitely time for a rest I think. Manny had a great race to finish 3rd behind Brian Marshall and Jon Ashcroft, Chris wasn’t too far behind him and Ellie ran well to finish in 2nd place. Many thanks to Lomond Hill Runners for this well organised race, complete with goody bags and tea in Strathmiglo Hall afterwards.
1st – Brian Marshall – 1h 40m 52s
3rd – Manny Gorman – 1h 42m 48s
8th – Chris Upson – 1h 48m 38s
34th – Ellie Homewood – 2h 7m 40s
48th – John Donnelly – 2h 15m 40s
Results and photos on SHR website