The Ochills relay race happened last Sunday in the intermittent rain and where were you? For this was an epic relay race. Made epic by a steep and muddy descent down a steep Ochill Hill – the Wee Tory down into the safety of Alva. For those of you that have completed the Alva Highland Games, you my friend understand the madness. It was so sheer and muddy that walking without falling was an effort. I have never had the indignity of purposely sliding down a hill on my ass during a race (most of the time it is unintentional or short lived), but after a great first leg run by Sarah Adams, the Westies women were in first place. So I had to get down that hill as fast as I could go, so bum to ground I slid as fast as I could go and watched the gorse bushes fly by. It was a race you finished with adrenaline and endorphins pumping out of your pores. What made this such a nice event was the fact that the changeover was in the same place at the end of each leg, so no logistic challenge like the Devils Burdens and you could cheer on your fellow runners but then nip to the hall for tea and cake. So it was very pleasant. Plus it was a spectators sport, as you could see runners coming down the Wee Tory. Next year I’ll have to bring a pair of binoculars!
After leg 2 the ladies where still in the lead by about 20 mins. Could we keep the lead in leg 3? No we couldn’t because despite a very strong run by Maya the HBT women ran leg 3 with some sort of cyborg that clocked a leg 3 time of 1:29:50, which was the sixth fastest time for that leg out of 25 teams. Suspiciously the name of the leg 3 runner is George Tmley…..hmmmmm….but George turned into a women when picking up the ladies team prize.
Also flying the banner for the Westies was Ewan, Don Reid and David D.
Ochill Hill Runners have said that they hope to host this relay event next year and I really hope that they do because this is such a great relay and it is now my favourite!