The route is a fraction under 16km, or just under 10 miles, and climbs 874 metres from sea level to the summit of Goatfell and back the same way.
I found myself running down the road alongside Grant MacDonald of Bellahouston Road Runners, chasing after Gary Fraser of Ochils and the usual suspects in a group beyond Gary with Es Tresidder and Graeme Campbell setting the pace.
Once on the steepening forest track my lack of hill climbing became evident, and I slowed to a shuffle allowing John Hammond, Stephen Winter, Russell Small, Tim Allan and Alan Smith to pass. I tried to keep working and run where I could, but wasn't feeling very strong.
|On the climb. Photo: Alex Ulivi|
I followed Tim Allan of Lomond Hill Runners down as far as the deer fence and wooden bridge, before he seemed to conk out, and after that I was running on my own, half expecting to get caught by Bruce Smith or Jasmin Paris. However nobody challenged me from the bridge to the finish at Ormidale Park, so I didn't need to work that hard and finished in 1:32:57, about a minute slower than last year, but still quite pleased that I'd felt OK and hadn't fallen on the descent.
|On the descent. Photo: Alex Ulivi|