Saturday, 19 May 2012

Goatfell Race

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Race Route
Due to multiple clashes with the Scottish Island Peaks Race, this was only my 5th attempt at the normal Goatfell race route. By far my fastest time was 1:27:32 back in 2004, when I came over with Bish and Rhona and the girls. Last year I ran 1:31:52, and expected to be around that kind of time again.

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.

Route Elevation
The Adventure Show were filming the race, so I kept a low profile to avoid the cameras, and also didn't bother with my usual trademark sprint at the start to lead the field out round the field and down the road toards Brodick Castle. This time around I decided to be a bit more conservative to see whether saving the legs until the forest would make any difference.

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 turned at the summit in cool mist and quickly saw Jill Mykura and Jasmin Paris not far behind as I dropped off the summit plateau. The only place I can make any ground, is on the first bit of steep descent. Once lower down the trail is too technical and my legs too tired to gain on anyone.

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

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