11 April 2012
There must be something about this race that attracts a certain vintage of Westie: last year there was Matt Ogston, Pete Baxter, Brian Brennan and myself, leading Matt to muse that it was ‘like 1995 all over again’; this year Matt returned (for what is increasingly looking like his annual hill race) to be joined by myself and Dave Rogers, in Perthshire on his holidays.
This is another great wee race from Adrian Davis, who seems on a one man mission to include every hill, track and trod within a five mile radius of Dunkeld in a hill race. By the time the race started the earlier torrential rain and sleet showers had eased, but despite getting into what I thought was a strategical position for the start, I still managed to get boxed in and found myself about a dozen places behind Robbie Simpson, who was off like a shot as usual. By the summit of Newtyle Hill, about a mile into the race, I’d managed to get to third place just behind Nick Barrable of Tonbridge AC, but he soon pulled away on the descent and by the foot of the track where you turn off into the forest I could hear a couple of folk close behind. As Adrian had warned in his pre-race spiel there were quite a few trees down in the woods, and fairly rapid route choice was required (round/over/under/through?) to negotiate them before we headed down into the back streets of Dunkeld and up the short but steep road to the golf course. By this time I’d managed to pull away a bit from the guys behind me and on the final climb back up to the start I was making ground on the runner in front, but despite an eyeballs-out sprint I just couldn’t manage to catch him before the line. A bit slower than last year – must have been the fallen trees – although they didn’t seem to slow Robbie or Sarah O’Neil down, who both broke the course records.
Despite some contrasting initial verdicts from my team mates as they crossed the line – Dave: ‘that was great!’; Matt: ‘that was terrible!’ – on reflection all agreed it was a grand course and a jolly good evening’s entertainment.
1. R. Simpson 27:04
2. N. Barrable 30:49
3. B. Bonnyman (1st V40) 30:55
12. Sarah O’Neil HBT (1st F) 32:44
15. Alan Smith (1st V50) 33:44
42. D. Rogers 38:48
47. M. Ogston 40:11