Going fast in hill races rarely feels that quick, because uphill rarely is. You can be making a good time doing a lung-bursting race walk up Beinn an Oir, but the experience is never one of speed. Not so The Whangie, I love this race because the gentle gradients throughout allow for the feeling of going fast from beginning to middle to end.

The first half of the race was unremarkable – started fast, traded a few places and comfortably settled in to 6th. It was a beautiful evening and the hills were bathed in a gorgeous golden light.

Disaster struck on the way back when my right lace came undone. Exactly the same thing happened at Kaim and it had exactly the same result – in the time it took to stop and sort it out I lost two places. At least I had someone to chase now. I caught Andy Jackson just before the second top of the Whangie, stayed strong across the plateau to get some distance between us, went clumsily down the steep rocky descent and shifted up a gear for the final 500M to avoid any chance of losing a place. I crossed the line in 7th and was happy with that.

Well done to all the Westies competing (more than Ben Dubh?), lots of dramatic battles right to the tape. Special mention to Gregor (2nd), Ruth (2nd lady), Sophie (3rd lady) and Gordon (1st V60). An ace evening – did anyone else see the double rainbow framing Dumgoyne?

James Callender


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