Saturday, 26 June 2010

Arrochar Alps Race

26th June 2010

Results | Route on Garmin Connect

Quite warm and muggy for my 3rd Arrochar Alps race.

A small elite field gathered at the superb new Community Hall in Arrochar.

I set off with my usual steady start, only leading the field for about the first kilometre before allowing Dave Eiser, Mark Harris, Stewart Whitlie and Al Anthony to pass.

I ran up towards Loch Sloy with Bill Fairmainer and David Houston, catching Bruce Poll at the base of Ben Vorlich. Once on the climb, my legs felt a bit dead and Bill and Bruce started pulling ahead. I turned at the summit at about 1h12m, just behind Bruce and Stephen Winter.

On the steep descent to the dam Phil Williams of Central went by, but I reeled Stephen and Phil back in on the climb to Ben Vane. Once over the summit Lewis Grundy of NFR came through strongly, and I tried to follow Lewis to the bealach before Ben Ime, where Owen O'Neill and David Riach were marshalling and handing out water.

On the climb up Ben Ime I tried to follow Bruce Poll's line rather than Lewis and Stephen who I thought were going to far left. I could see that Dave Scott was slowly closing me down, but tried to hold him off for a while.

Passing through the col before Narnain, Christine and Steph were handing out more water. I tried to gain some ground on Lewis on the final climb, but didn't feel that strong despite taking a gel and some more drink.

Reaching the summit of Ben Narnain in 3:24, I thought I was in with a shout for clocking sub 4 hours, since in 2008 I descended in 36 minutes, but I was much stronger in that race and took a lot of chances on the descent.

The time around my legs were wobbly and buckling as soon as I hit any awkward ground, and the descent from Narnain is super-awkward down steep blocky mica schist.

I could see that Dave Scott was gaining on me, so eventually I just stopped and let him go through, thinking I might be able to chase him down the hill. It helped a bit to start with, but my legs were too wobbly on the lower section strewn with rough boulders and blocks of concrete.

I knew I needed to hit the forestry track in around 3:50, but it was 3:52 when I turned onto the big track, and I knew there was no way I could get to the end in under 8 minutes, so I just plodded the final section and finished in 4:02, which wasn't too far off my target.

Andrea Priestley was 1st lady in 4:06:46, thus beating Christine Menhennet's record of 4:09:26 set back in 1987, the very first time the race was run.

1 comment:

SarahW said...

Thats a bugger about the 2 minutes, you'll have to do it again next year!