19.8 km, 1150 metres of ascent
The inaugural Slioch Horseshoe Race turned out a bit of a scorcher.
Soaring temperatures accompanied the steep 980m climb after the initial run in to the base of the hill. The 39 runners were quickly strewn along the course, with race leaders Brian Marshall, Simon Peachey, Alec Keith and Al Anthony quickly vanishing into the distance.
I slogged up the hill in the fierce heat with Cosmics' Dennis Macdonald, before he took off after the main summit. After the final top I plodded back down the long steep rough slope only to see Crawford Spence (Westies) and Frank Popham (Fife) hurtle past just before I reached the next checkpoint. I thought I'd catch them easily enough on the run down the glen, but discovered I was too washed out to make any ground.
Once we reached the wooden bridge by Loch Maree I took a drink of water, and poured more over my head before launching into the 4km flat(ish) run back to the finish. I reeled in a fast failing Frank Popham and Steven Fallon who had both fallen apart in the heat, but never caught a glimpse of Crawford's yellow westie vest who finished a full 2 minutes in front.
Meanwhile at the sharp end, Brian Marshall managed to blow a massive 2 minute lead on Simon Peachey by spraining his ankle on the descent and then choosing to sit in the river whilst overheating on the 4km run out.