This was my first attempt at organising a proper race, and it pretty much beat all my expectations.
The weather couldn't have been better. Bright sunshine with a smattering of snow on the tops.
Ellie and I went to Tillicoultry first to mark the route from the Woodland Park track to the Maddy Moss approach path, and then went to Alva Glen to mark that section. Unfortunately our marking was not sufficient, and a few runners went wrong here on the descent, probably missing the left turn under the waterpipe to drop down the steps.
At 10am we set up registration at the Johnstone Centre and helped Ian White of Run-4-It to settle in with his stand of sports gear.
By mid-day 128 runners were on the startline and more or less ready to go. I sprinted off ahead in order to get some photos, but got trapped holding open a metal gate for the entire field as they caught me sooner than expected.
After the field had departed in the direction of Tillicoultry I sauntered up Ben Ever where I met Charlie Campbell and his folks braving the chill wind. I didn't get far in the direction of Ben Cleuch before Al Anthony came into view. He had a massive lead over the Carnethy duo of Sam Hesling and Andy Fallas, with Tim Austin in Westie colours chasing hard in 4th position.
In the women's race, Natalie White made the trip from the Lakes to finish in first position, followed only 2 minutes later by Ellie, with Louise Burt in 3rd place.
I think that all things considered, the race worked out pretty well, and most folks seemed to enjoy it. The great weather certainly helped. And having a huge car park, and natural good route also made life easier.
I'm toying with the idea of another new race early in 2011, but I'll need to do a bit of reccying first to see if the route I have in mind would work as a race.