Results | Race Details
Not the usual sunny weather this year. Instead cooler with smirry rain. My lower back had been giving me serious gyp for the past week, so I wasn't expecting much today and didn't bother doing any proper warming up.
The race starts at the immaculate Dallerie playing fields in Crieff courtesy of Morrison's Academy and Strathearn Harriers. I set off steadily and exited the fields in 2nd place on the shoulder of Murray Strain who would go on to win the race by some margin. I tried not to overcook it at the start and allowed a few runners to drift past until Colin Glencorse caught me at the base of Laggan Hill. I ran side by side with Colin for a couple of hundred metres, but suddenly felt quite strong and decided to press on thereby by overtaking the Corstorphine and Carnegie runners in front (Christopher O`Brien and Michael Harvey). I then pushed on and passed Ewan McCarthy to crest the hill in 4th place, with Tony Jackson of Perth and Robert Gilroy not far ahead and still in sight.
I wasn't sure how to play the next stage on the descent. Ewan passed me then slowed, so I passed him again, and this carried on about 3 times until I hit the short road section at halfway still in 4th place, but feeling like we had been just coasting the descent. That said, once we started back alongside the hedgerows to the river bank I didn't feel that fresh, and was very soon passed again by Ewan with Chris O'Brien in his slipstream. I should have worked a bit harder to keep in contention from 5 to 7km, but instead I dropped another place as Michael Harvey passed me at the start of the flat river path section. Again I should have dug in harder, but instead just coasted along hoping I could chase them down in the final kilometre.
I did make up some ground on the climb back to the road at 9km, but then felt rubbish once we hit the level tarmac and didn't get going quickly enough. I finally sort of got my act to together about halfway across the playing fields and started closing down position 5 & 6 pretty fast, but it was too little too late and I ran out of grass, so had to make do with 7th place in 38:06, so just a fraction over my sub 38 target.
Ellen was the only other Westie running at this superb classic trail race of which there are far too few in Scotland. Ellie was having serious gyp with the scarring around her prolapsed lumbar disc, and was in considerable pain, but managed to run 43:59 for 5th place in the women's race.
We dropped in at the very impressive Drummond Castle Gardens on the way home before having an exciting and noisy flat tyre change right on the M80/M876 interchange hard shoulder.