Saturday, 23 June 2012

Wet Highland Way Race

Karin McKendrick's photos of Inversnaid (above) capture the wetness!

Older and wiser than we were in 2010, Peter and I agreed to crew for Richard for the 2nd half of the race - meaning the bit after it gets light so you don't have to stay up all night and get bitten by midgies. First of all we were going to camp somewhere in striking distance of Crianlarich, but after it had rained all week and looked set to continue we adjusted our plans and decided just to stay home and get up early on Saturday to drive to assume our crew duties. 

Richard was setting off carrying a quad injury he's had for the last 3 weeks. It was still raining late on Friday and things were not looking good. Still, you can't abandon months and months of training without giving it a go so he set off regardless. We were just about to leave the house at 8am when we got a phonecall from him to say he had pulled out and he was going to get a ferry to Inveruglas, go to the cafe there and await rescue.

It was fairly bright, although windy in Edinburgh as we left but as we got onto the M8 the weather deteriorated rapidly. It was actually quite enjoyable going for a long drive with music on and the roads were fairly empty. The rain poured down and the windscreen wipers creaked.

Inveruglas was half full (haha) - half full of sodden, aimless tourists trying to put on a brave face as they enjoyed an awful holiday in Scotland. I expected Richard to be a crumpled, sodden heap in a corner but he was actually quite bright and cheerful. His leg had stayed manageable but his feet had fallen apart with the continual drenching of running through standing water in torrential rain all night. His legs were also a morass of midgy bites which he told me he had thought was "itchy mud" in the dark. And so our crewing duties were pretty minimal and we never even really got wet. News from the rest of the race has been trickling in from the website and from facebook. Apparently there was a new course record! The man must have duck in his genes. There have also been a lot of DNFs. I'm glad Richard didn't make his leg any worse. 

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