My first hill race for more than 6 months. 31 Westies running, a good few who have joined since I last ran for the club.
I was slightly caught out by the race starting 2 minutes early, whilst I was standing around chatting at the back of the field. I didn’t hear any announcements, or anyone saying “Go”. And wasn’t aware of anyone moving to a start line, until everyone started trotting slowly forwards and not stopping, so I figured the race must have started. This gave me the immediate challenge of overtaking about 80 runners on the track to the gate onto the open hill.
Once up to speed I ran up the hill taking another 10 or so runners until I’d more or less caught up with Peter Mackie, and tracked behind him on the narrow rocky technical trail around to the Whangie.
Before reaching the Whangie I’d already run out of steam, and dropped about 3 places. Just after the Whangie, John Stevenson went by followed by Craig Freshwater and Harry Gilmore. I stopped at the top of the hill to wait for David Riach, thinking I might jog round with him, but then discovered I couldn’t keep up with him on the descent to the big track over the back.
Once on the run back I dropped 1 more place to Norry McNeill, before putting in an effort to catch Harry before the end (like last year). I’d left myself quite a lot to do, since Harry was already a good 200 metres ahead, but I plugged away and caught him on the final section of forest track, spurred on by Bruce Smith right on my heels. I was slightly caught out by the finishing line not being in the same place as last year, and nearly stopped at the obvious end point before realising you still had to run across the parking area. I noticed plenty of other folk made this same mistake!
The first 3 runners all broke last year’s course record, including Gregor in 3rd position, closely followed by Gwyn and the other Robert Simpson.
Well done to Niall and crew for putting on a great race!