This photo is pinched off the Carnethy web-site. I don't know who took it but it's great.
Yesterday was (I think) my 13th Carnethy 5 Hill Race. I was kind of hoping it would be a warmish day, a bit sunny, not too much wind. Instead it chose to be uncharacteristically bad. For the first time in my memory of the race there was a cut-off time set for the Howe. It was cold with sleety rainy in Edinburgh. Ooyah. I put on some layers and packed some more.
Happily I recently bought a water-proof that is genuinely quite nice to run in. Up until yesterday it had gone untested. I put it on before the race and then couldn't bring myself to take it off, and never regretted the decision. I took some photos on the way up Scald Law, and after that it was all about survival. There was near white-out at the tops. A small girl running next to me got blown clean off her feet on South Black Hill. Just whipped her away. She was fine. Popped back up and ran on. It's lucky the Pentlands are mostly pretty benign though. No steep drop offs.
None of the hills seemed too bad yesterday. In terms of climbing I mean. The conditions just felt quite alarming and so I think I had a good steady flow of adrenaline going into my system for the whole race. I found the run from West Kip down to the Howe the worst bit because the horizontal sleety snow was really hurting my eyes and I could barely see. I was lucky I didn't put my foot in a hole.
Going up Carnethy I still had it in me to do some running and I really appreciated the time we have recently spent out in the hills. There seemed every incentive to try and move as fast as possible.
The top of Carnethy was unreal. There was just this ripping headwind full of blinding ice-pellets. I couldn't see and could hardly move forwards. I don't know how the marshals survived up there. Then it was a relief to go round the cairn and set off back down the hill. Except for that stinker of a descent which I am no good at and I had the usual AaaaaH! Chagrin!! As people I had passed on the way up the hill yomped past me as if there was no problem when clearly it was nearly impossible to move. Now out of danger my legs felt all weak and cottony too. Eventually I got to the bottom and could run again and enjoyed the run in through the filthy bog and up to the finish to the sound of the bagpipes.
I was pleased to have made it in under 90 minutes and in the best time since getting AF and all that chapter.
Today it was pretty bad too, but you can't waste a weekend day indoors so we headed down to Gullane despite being tired and quite sore. Peter had a bit of a knee and I had a bit of an all over body ache. My arms were sore today for some reason.
We stopped at Yellowcraigs at the toilets. There are David Lynchian distorting mirrors. There weren't a lot of people around so it didn't seem too weird to get the camera out.
OOps. Easy come, easy go.
Down at the shore we had the wind behind us and the air smelled good. We both got a lift out of how wild it was.
There were surfers in the sea at Gullane. Which was impressive. But we were both thankful it wasn't us. Jeezo. It's Sunday night again. How did that happen?
He's up! But not for long.