Exhausting but enjoyable hill race on a lovely, sunny spring day. I felt in good spirits throughout this race despite the very rough ground and felt I held my own surprisingly well on some really difficult descents.
After topping out at Clachnaben and descending the other side I found out why a few people had been wearing "flight socks" at the start. I had kind of thought they were victims of commerce but they knew more than I did. Running through the sharp shin-deep burnt heather was agony. It was not quite death by a thousand cuts but near it. Worse, I had to take a back scrubber to my cut shins to get all the dirt out of them later on. This was a test of character as stern as the race itself. Still, I digress...the best part was I still felt strong in the second half and managed a good run/walk rhythm up the last few uphills and that I didn't let myself down too badly on the downhills.
The first and last mile and a bit are on good trail so I had to make sure and not lose any places on the last stretch, which kept the pressure on nicely right to the last 400m stretch which was cruelly back on to slippy mud, uphill and through some thigh-deep puddles.
Peter was less delighted with his race, finding the downhills tough even for him. He was tired from a week of late nights and hard training though, and I guess its a case of horses for courses. He decidedly didn't like the long heather and lumpy, unpredictable bog underneath.
It was a championship race so came humblingly far down the field but none-the-less delighted with this first solo (ie not the Devil's Burden) hill race of the year.
Photos nicked off Scottish Hill Runner site. Thankyou. Me from my best angle.