My 9th attempt at Carnethy 5. In 2001, it was my first proper hill race since joining Westies, and I remember being in close contest along to West Kip with Charlie Campbell and Kate Jenkins, the then record holders for the Munros and West Highland Way.
2001 - 1:05:14
2003 - 0:57:14
2004 - 0:57:53
2005 - 1:01:14
2006 - 1:00:40
2007 - 0:56:26 PB
2008 - 0:56:49
2011 - 1:00:57
2012 - 1:02:17
The next 4 out of 6 races were well under the hour, with two 57s and two 56s. In 2009 I was in Wales and 2010 I was crocked with a long term adductor problem. I returned in 2011, not very hill fit and just missed the hour. In 2012, i.e. last Saturday, I was probably the least hill fit I've been in years. Plus I was feeling somewhat shattered less than 5 weeks since the arrival of Benjamin.
I arrived at Beeslack School in plenty of time to deliver the SHR calendars. I then went to the massage room and attempted to get some sleep by lying on the floor behind the desk, only to be woken by Angela Mudge and Andy Spenceley discussing Carnethy secrets, before Rob Jebb came bounding in with his 2 daughters plus Sharon Taylor.
I attempted to waken myself up a bit by jogging the 4.5km up to the start with Stewart Barrie. It was refreshingly cool but bearable in the field before the gun finally went off shortly after 2pm.
The usual stampede ensued, this time of more than 500 runners charged for the gateway after 600 metres or so. Having done virtually no hill running in the past 4 or 5 months, I settled in pretty gradually and tried not to overdo it on the climb up Scald Law. I topped out with folks like Oli Blomfield, Greig Glendinning, Peter Buchanan, Catriona Buchanan, etc. and thought I wasn't doing too bad.
|The first climb up Scald Law|
The next section, the long climb up Carnethy, was where I came properly unstuck, and dropped at least 15 places to the likes of Ronnie Gallagher, Scout Adkin (again), Ali Welsh, Cameron Burt, and all sorts of other folk I didn't recognise. My legs were clearly in no state for climbing. However once on the descent I had the rare experience (probably because I was now so far down the field) of being passed by almost nobody. Just one young guy flew past and then Charlotte Morgan bounded past me through the heather, springer spaniel style.
|Approaching the finish|
Photos courtesy of Paul Dobson at fellrunner.net