Saturday, 22 October 2011

What's it called?

Whose idea was it to do this? I couldn't remember. We headed west into the deep unknown to do the National XC relays. WTF are they? None of us knew. Some people thought I would know, but I didn't. Where is Cumbernauld? We thought it was in Glasgow, turned out to be in Lanark or somewhere. I had been there some 25 years ago for a couple of hours while my friend Graham picked up something from his mum's house. He told me he grew up just down the road from Lloyd Cole. The centre of town was built like a ship or something.

So off we set, a convoy of 2 cars of Porties from Leith and Willie and Jenni were coming from Musselburgh. Amanda came wth Horatio who tried to bite my gear changing hand and eat a hanky box. Amanda thinks he might be exceptionally bright and that's why he acts like this....

We had a little detour before Cumbernauld. We found ourselves driving over the Clackmannanshire bridge. Hmmmm.....doesn't seem quite right... and had to do an about turn. Not that M876 you idiot. The other M876. There was shouting concealed as talking in the car. We got there in plenty of time though. Jenni had picked up our numbers and we figured out who should go when. Not that it makes much difference. I was glad to go first and get it over with.

4K, pretty much 2.5 miles. I think its the shortest distance I've ever raced. The course was a good course, all of it runnable but some good hills for a cross-country, for which I was grateful - and I didn't do as badly as I thought I might, so that was a bonus. 3 times I thought I was raising my game for the finishing straits only to find a twist in the route and a new uphill into the wind and I'd have to try to pull myself together again and keep on keeping on. There was a generous amount of Porty support which was much appreciated and Robert shouting "there's a Fifer on your tail" helped me make one last effort for the line to pip Innes Bracegirdle. Afterwards I had to spend some time doubled over to calm the desire to be sick.

Then Peter and I took Horatio out onto the field to take photos while Jenni ran and Amanda got ready for her third leg. H was trying to eat my laces and kept weaving in front of me because he is exceptionally bright. Still it was a great course to spectate, as it was easy to run from one part of the course to another without having to run as fast as the people who were racing.

Pretty soon it was the men's turn so Willie led out for the Porty team. We were slow getting organised to get back out and take photos, apologies Willie, but when we saw him he was looking strong and still moving up through the field right to the end. Andrew did some tremendous show-boating when we shouted him on, producing the best photographs of the day. Robert ran a solid 3rd leg but I only got one photo because by now I was out on the course on my own and wandering around with my oxygen starved brain, frozen and starving I lost my bearings and forgot where the course went. Older age doesn't come alone.

Finally Buchanan was set free from his cage and hurtled round at an impressive rate. Chastened by my recent experience of getting lost up the top of the hill I stayed near the end where I knew I could probably get a decent picture of him coming flying down the hill. By the time that happened the other Porties had caught up with me and we decided to get to the end and get the maximum out of him so shouted him on furiously for the last 200ms or so. Then we all realised it was a while since we'd seen Amanda or Horatio, but they turned up soon having got lost in the woods nearby and having had to ask the locals how to get back to the course. Horatio was probably lucky not to have been turned into a hat.

On the way home we got lost again and so came "via" Stirling. Sigh...not a day for navigation.
I should say the Fife Ladies vet team got silver medals today. Not sure what else happened yet.

Tomorrow - Run of The Mill Hill Race! We'll find out if the wine therapy works.

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