It was the 50th anniversary of the Allan Scally Relays last Saturday and 11 Westies took part. It was what is commonly known as a road relay. So I thought it would be helpful to tell the Westies about my experience and some tips I picked up while there.
Like the devil’s burdens, FRAs and HBMR the relay is run over 4 legs. However, each leg is over an identical course and all legs are run individually. This proved particularly traumatic for Rob Hamlin who thought we were joking with him and that Will would turn up at any minute to keep him company on his leg.
Distance, elevation, and terrain:
Each leg was 5 km. With it being so short I had hoped there would be a monster of a climb at some point in the course and that Bill Breckenridge was being cheeky not telling me what the elevation was. However, the course was pan flat. The terrain also presented a problem for Gordon Bulloch who was seen getting psyched/warmed up for the downhill by throwing himself down a steep muddy bank at high speed. However, all his warm-up routine was in vain as apparently in road racing they don’t have steep technical downhills.
The route was taped the whole way. It ran alongside the river, up to people’s palace before returning the same way. It was clear and sunny on Saturday so navigation was not a problem. However, if the clouds came down I could see some people going wrong. Particularly coming past the rowing clubs.
HBT, Carnethy, Ochil, etc were all there but none featured at the front of the race. It was clubs like Edinburgh AC, Central, and Shettleston who featured on the podium. They also seemed to be running impossibly fast… 14:30 for 5km. I’d like to see them do that on the Whangie.
Chris Furse and James Bowden almost came to blows at the start arguing about whether an X talon or Mud Claw would be the best shoe choice. However, they were both wrong. Megan had seemingly got the memo about shoes and correctly wore a pair of trail shoes. Other runners wore a wide variety of questionable shoes in a variety of garish colours. But none of these would have sufficient grip when attempting to descend Cort Ma Law at speed.
There was no compulsory kit, I’m unsure if this was because the weather was good or if it is generally applicable to road races.
A good atmosphere at the start and finish. Plus a route that lets spectators see the runners at several points along the course. The biggest let down was the lack of any significant climbs. However, all the Westies who took part seemed to enjoy themselves. Apart from Rob who is still wondering when Will is going to turn up and Cal who had to run twice.